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SCIENCE SUNDAYS: What Do We Really Know About the Origin of the Cell's Powerhouse?

Mitochondria — the so-called “powerhouse of the cell” — have a vital function in eukaryotic cells. Evidence accumulated over the past half century strongly points to an origin of the mitochondrion from a free-living bacterium closely related to a specific group, the Alphaproteobacteria. However, the actual processes by which this endosymbiotic bacterium was integrated into its host cell remain controversial. Michael W. Gray discusses what we really know about the origins of the cell's powerhouse. 

Michael W. Gray is a professor emeritus of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Centre for Comparative Genomics and Evolutionary Bioinformatics at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Science Sundays is a free public lecture series offered and supported by The Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences and its sponsoring science centers. Speakers are leading experts in their fields dedicated to making their work interesting and accessible for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Science Sundays brings leading-edge work directly to the public with lectures covering diverse topics in science, arts and technology that touch our everyday lives.

Each lecture is from 3-4 p.m. at the Ohio Union U.S. Bank Conference Theatre, followed by a free, informal reception from 4-5 p.m. at the Ohio Staters Traditions Room in the Ohio Union.

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