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Cambridge Science Festival 2009

The Mitochondrial Biology Unit participates in the Cambridge Science Festival every year, and staff and students participating in the development of posters and events are very enthusiastic about it. As something new the posters this year were based on a highly visual design clearly emphasizing the importance of visuals in the research process as well as in the communication process. The posters explain how the body uses energy stored in food to produce ATP.

Metabolic Media

Loop.pH’s artworks investigate how scientific discoveries on a molecular level can be scaled up to architectural dimensions. The three dimensional model or space aids the understanding of complex form and enables a conversation about structure across different fields of art and science.

Motive Force

Marjorie Mikasen, an American artist who belongs to the “hard-edge” school of acrylic painting, attended a lecture given by John Walker in Lincoln, Nebraska and was inspired by the scientific results in ATP synthase to make the painting “Motive Force”.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz opens MRC MBU on April 1st 2009 (no joke)

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, FRS, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council, opened the MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit at a ceremony held in the Sackler Lecture Theatre in The Wellcome Trust/MRC building on April 1st 2009. After the ceremony, he and other guests visited exhibits provided by members of the Unit that explained aspects of the research activities of the Unit.

Symmetry points to transport mechanism

By looking at the symmetry of residues around the inside of the cavity in the mitochondrial transporters, Alan Robinson, Catherine Overy and Edmund Kunji have proposed a mechanism for how these proteins may work.

The mechanism of transport by mitochondrial carriers based on analysis of symmetry.

Robinson, A. J., Overy, C. & Kunji, E. R. S. (2008)

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 105, 17766 - 17771.

MitoMiner: integrated mitochondrial database

It has been estimated that approximately 1500 different proteins are present within the mammalian mitochondrion1, but despite intense interest in this organelle, its proteome has yet to be accurately defined and characterized. Efforts have been made to identify these mitochondrial proteins and their post-translational modifications in order to further understand mitochondrial metabolism and bioenergetics2,3. This has resulted in the generation of large volumes of mitochondrial proteomic data from complete organelle studies to in-depth analyses of protein complexes.

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