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Do biologists dream of technicolor cells?

Here's a neat video, called "Powering the Cell: Mitochondria," from Harvard's Biovisions website. This is the latest chapter in a series of similar animations called "The Inner Life of a Cell."

Mitochondria are the power-packs of every one of our cells. They're rumored to have descended from once-free-living bacteria that fused with eukaryotic cells like our own, in a win-win synergy whereby we supply the food and oxygen and they perform the controlled combustion required to keep us alive and kicking. You don't want them to be defective (although if they are, Stanford just may be looking for you).

No explanatory soundtrack for this video; just pretty music. And for all we know (and as Lewis Thomas once speculated), it's our mitochondria who, enraptured by such harmonics, squirt out extra energy for and get us up off our feet and onto the dance floor.

If you concentrate you can catch the odd mitochondrial-membrane-asociated channel protein slurping up whatever. Fun for a Friday afternoon.

Image by Harvard Biovisions

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