When Cells "Eat" Their Own Power Plants: Scientists Solve Mystery of Basic Cellular Process, University of Pittsburgh Study

Published: Oct 01, 2013

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A mix of serendipity and dogged laboratory work allowed a diverse team of University of Pittsburgh scientists to report in the Oct. 1 issue of Nature Cell Biology that they had solved the mystery of a basic biological function essential to cellular health. By discovering a mechanism by which mitochondria -- tiny structures inside cells often described as "power plants" -- signal that they are damaged and need to be eliminated, the Pitt team has opened the door to potential research into cures for disorders such as Parkinson's disease that are believed to be caused by dysfunctional mitochondria in neurons.

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