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MRC Mitochondrial Biology Unit


Pint of Science is a worldwide science festival which brings researchers to your local pub/cafe/space to share their scientific discoveries with you - no prior knowledge required.

The event recently took place in 37 towns and cities across the UK and Dr Stephen Burr (senior postdoctoral researcher in the Chinnery group), helped to organise the Cambridge events.

Professor Patrick Chinnery (Professor of Neurology) and Alannah King (PhD student, Kunji group), participated in the “Rare Body” event on 24 May, along with Andy Li (PhD student, Hansong Ma group) from the Gurdon Institute.

Alannah introduced "The Mighty Mito." Mitochondria have earned themselves a bit of a reputation – the only organelle to become an internet meme, mitochondria have found fame as the “powerhouse of the cell”. But is that accurate? Is that all there is to them? Alannah did some mitochondria-myth-busting about the mitochondria in our cells – and what happens when they are damaged.

Patrick spoke about "A Global Energy Crisis: how do rare mitochondrial diseases arise and how can we treat them?" For quarter of a century, Patrick and his research group have been unravelling the reasons why the mighty mito sometimes fails to live up to its rockstar reputation, getting under the skin of how rare mito diseases come about and using these groundbreaking discoveries to forge a path towards better treatments. Perhaps, one day, we can even hope for a cure.

Andy displayed some pictures of fruit fly tissues stained for DNA and mitochondria. Fruit flies are used as model organisms for studying mitochondrial biology and mitochondrial genetics.

The event was held at the Burleigh Arms in Newmarket Road.
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