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    #1

    misfiring mitochondria/mitochondria

    Dear teachers,

    I came across this article "
    How a baby can have three parents" on the Economist website.

    In the sentence below, I find it quite curious that shouldn't "he tiny power plants found in virtually every cell that release energy from food and oxygen" describes misfiring mitochondria? But I think in this instance, it is describing just mitochondria.

    "ROUGHLY one baby in 6,500 is born with misfiring mitochondria, the tiny power plants found in virtually every cell that release energy from food and oxygen."

    My question is how can one tell if this to describe
    mitochondria or misfiring mitochondria? Thank you for helping me understand.

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: misfiring mitochondria/mitochondria

    The description applies to mitochondria in general. That is what they do.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: misfiring mitochondria/mitochondria

    It refers simply to "mitochondria". Common sense and context will tell you that it does not refer to "misfiring mitochondria". I assume that the article title you found had a question mark at the end.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: misfiring mitochondria/mitochondria

    I'm going to call it sloppy writing. The general public has such an abysmal knowledge of science that they don't need these problems as well.

  4. probus's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: misfiring mitochondria/mitochondria

    I agree with the "sloppy writing" comment. But the Economist article is not too bad. It does not explain how the mitochondrial DNA of some children fails to program for the correct biochemical behaviour of their cells, probably because that is too technical for even a scientifically literate typical reader of the Economist to understand (a reader like me :). But it does call attention to the possibility of a technical solution, and to some of the related social and political issues.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/econo...ist-explains-1
    Last edited by probus; 08-Jun-2014 at 04:37.

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