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Public ‘Social’ Mitochondria, Whispering Between Cells, Influence Health - Quanta Magazine

Discussion in 'Health News and Research unrelated to ME/CFS' started by InitialConditions, Jul 7, 2021.

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  1. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Barry, EzzieD, hinterland and 7 others like this.
  2. alktipping

    alktipping Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    welcome to stating the obvious i have always thought that all living cells communicate with each other in some form otherwise complex organisms could not exist .
     
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  3. Hutan

    Hutan Moderator Staff Member

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    It's an interesting article, underlining how much more there is to find out. Counting the number of mitochondria in a cell is not even scratching the surface of the differences there might be between the cells of healthy and ill people. There's the shape of mitochondria, their location in the cell, and the frequency of fusion and fission, and the exchange of molecules, and a synchronised (or not) production of ATP and even the alignment of cristae (the folds) across adjacent mitochondria.
     
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  4. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    One of the problems in biology that is glossed over is levels of organisation. We have a lot of knowledge of each level but how you go from one to the other is as difficult as how a quantum world becomes the physical one we know.

    I just can't get my head round how it moves from the chemistry of cellular respiration to me being unable to cook my dinner.

    The animations of how a cell works are amazing but it is the way it is all mindless chemistry that is the awesome thing. Each chemical reaction happens because the energy flow has to be that way but somehow that brings the proteins that drive us into the right place for the next step.

    The next level is the way organelles can interact with others and I believe it is very possible that ME happens somewhere there.

    This whole mindboggling complexity is one of the reasons I hate the way the BPS reduce it all to trivia.
     
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  5. InitialConditions

    InitialConditions Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    mitochondria are not cells.
     
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  6. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Aren't they supposed to be symbiotic prokaryotic cells?
     
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  7. Peter Trewhitt

    Peter Trewhitt Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Sorry, here follows a self indulgent tangent:

    I find the whole idea of mitochondria fascinating. That they have distinct DNA to the rest of what makes up our body, that this is inherited only through the female line, ie it comes from our mother’s, mother’s mother’s mother’s and so on and that it’s is more like the DNA of a bacteria than what we normally regard as human DNA that comes as a repeatedly mixed inheritance from both our parents and both their parents and so on backwards.

    Consequently it is possible to look on ourselves not as a single organism, but as a symbiotic mashing up of some more loosely connected organisms such as the bacteria and viruses that inhabit various parts of our body and the more inseparable components of our cells formed by the cells themselves that we might superficially regard as the human bit and the mitochondria that may in turn be very remotely descended from bacteria or an early bacteria relative.

    So intuitively it seems to makes sense that disorders or illnesses could arise at the interfaces between our component organisms, be it in relation to the internal microbiomes or how our mitochondria interact with the rest of us.
     
  8. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I think it is long overdue that we realise that we are colonial structures consisting of cells of variety of sorts, some with very similar DNA content, some not. Organism is a useful term for a colony but should not imply a single life unit nor should it imply a single subjective self. That is the gist of my work on the mind that I have been publishing over the last twenty years!
     
  9. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Knowing what we now know it might be interesting to look back at the work of Behan and his collaborators from either side of 1990. He claimed to find abnormalities in muscle mitochondria. Edwards said he couldn't distinguish them from controls. That seemed to put paid to that. However it seems that Edwards regarded CFS as "effort syndrome" and that "you can cure your effort syndrome if you really want to". His cohort might need closer scrutiny. Behan was using a strictly PVFS cohort.
     
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  10. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Having read Behan's papers and having worked in Richard Edwards's lab for two years alongside the histochemists who studied muscle metabolism (David Jones, Joan Round, Mike Rennie etc.) I think this is an inappropriate analysis. Edwards concluded there was nothing to find. He may also have had odd theories but I would be confident that the methodology at UCL was significantly more thorough than Behan's. I cannot make much of Behan's morphological observations to be honest. My MD thesis was based partly on electron microscopy. Sampling problems were still very big in the 1980s.
     
  11. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Is it not possible to have thorough methodology but to have flawed results if the methodology is applied to the wrong cohort?
     
  12. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    I don't buy the wrong cohort argument. Edwards's group were studying people that would be considered to have ME/CFS now I am pretty sure.
     
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  13. chrisb

    chrisb Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    ...Still he expected his cohort to recover if only they wanted to.
     
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  14. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Which is the standard approach to PWME.
     
  15. Barry

    Barry Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    Fascinating that this dynamic orderly collaboration, cohesion, between trillions of component parts, essentially characterises what we call "life". Components forming subsystems within subsystems, nested to goodness knows what depth.

    And it all breaks down once the organism dies, its atoms re-entering the free pool. I imagine that understanding the mechanisms of life is maybe helped by better understanding the mechanisms involved in death?
     
  16. Mithriel

    Mithriel Senior Member (Voting Rights)

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    "Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life" by Dr Nick Lane is one of best science books I have read. The reviews call it enthralling and astounding.

    The accidental union of an archaean cell with a bacterial cell has allowed organisms to have enough power to grow into multicellular systems. Well worth reading if you can.
     

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