cells without mitochondria discovered


Well-Known Member
So apparently up until now scientists believed that pretty much all cells had mitochondria. Mitochondria are like the energy power plants of our cells. Now they have discovered that there are cells that don't have mitochondria (found in the scientist's chinchilla, btw).
micro.magnet.fsu.edu/cells/mitochondria/mitochondria.html said:
Without mitochondria, higher animals would likely not exist because their cells would only be able to obtain energy from anaerobic respiration (in the absence of oxygen), a process much less efficient than aerobic respiration.
Now I'm wondering: is this a clue for us? Could it be that ME patients have too many cells without mitochondria? :nailbiting:

Tony L

Active Member
A great example of how borrowing genes from another organism can promote the evolutionary process. These cells use alternative energy generation in their environment and have borrowed bacterial genes to fulfill other functions which mitochondria perform for us.

So in terms of the natural world perhaps we are an evolutionary branch where mitochondrial function is being lost, to be replaced at some point (because we need fixing) with a superior energy generator borrowed from another organism, a new human?

Thankfully, we no longer have to wait for the wonders of nature. We use our knowledge of nature very successfully in so many areas of medicine, so we know that if there is sufficient human endeavor by dedicated scientists then life will begin to improve for us.

One day we might have borrowed genes ourselves. in the sense of effective gene therapies.

Tony L

Active Member
@Who Me? A couple of weeks ago I was looking at cell-mediated therapies following a thread started on the successful treatments of B cell malignancy. Sadly most of the detail of what I read is lost from brain or not currently accessible!

So in the cancer field we are genetically engineering cells of the immune system so that they can recognise chosen specific cell type and delete using the natural immune processes. So cleaner, less unwanted side effects than for example using a monoclonal antibody such as Rituximab.

T cells have been engineered in this way, successfully, but potential problems associated with their longevity (future reactivation/gene rearrangement). Hence the focus on engineered NK cells (generated from stem cells) which have short life in vivo. So patient receives cells, these are activated to kill targets and then die off themselves, reducing potential complications.

So this is a development that some of us could potentially benefit from in the future. I think what we really need is more solid understanding of our immunopathology. So we know what exactly what we need to target.

As for potential stem cell repair to the brain. Again we need more solid data on neuropathology. Work is underway to develop stem cell therapies for dementia. So some of this technology may be transferable for some of us to promote repair of our inflammatory disease.

I think those grants to encourage workers in these relevant areas of medicine to branch into ME/... is good news in terms of speeding things up.

Tony L

Active Member
Oh sorry @Who Me?
What I was trying to say was
1. We need better understanding of what triggers disease and how this progresses in the body. What is actually going on (pathology).

2. For this we need appropriate funding to expand the research base. More people doing more top class research equals more understanding of disease. The NIH and other programs planned should get the ball rolling. Top class objective science published in leading journals will put our disease(s) where it (they) should be. Recognition!

3. As the foundations become more solid in terms of defining our disease(s) we will identify potential targets for therapies.

4. Therapies currently under development in other areas, for example cancer, dementia, may be applied to us when we actually understand what needs fixing.

This is how things should have happened for us. Instead we are left desperately hoping for 4 before 1,2and 3 have been achieved. Putting the cart before the horse. Not the way to do science.

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