Scientists for years have been under the assumption that the Mitochondria works similarly to standard household batteries, generating energy in a single chamber or cell.
“Nobody had looked at this before because we were so locked into this way of thinking; the assumption was that one mitochondrion meant one battery,” stated Dr. Orian Shirihai. Shirihai, a professor of medicine in endocrinology and pharmacology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and senior author of the study published in EMBO Journal.
Shirihai has used conventional microscopy to look closer into the Mitochondria to see the internal structure, which was thought to be a single structure with a wrinkled inner membrane that has folded, called cristae, that extends toward the mitochondrion’s center.
Shirihai and colleagues have faced significant issues when trying to map the voltage on the membrane of the mitochondria, which was solved by two students named Dane Wolf, and Mayuko Segawa have optimized a form of high-resolution microscopy to visualize the inner workings of the mitochondria. “What the images told us was that each of these cristae is electrically independent, functioning as an autonomous battery, One cristae can get damaged and stop functioning while the others maintain their membrane potential.” Shirihai has stated in the magazine.
This has led researchers to equate the mitochondria to less like a standard battery and more like the Telsa battery. Elon Musk’s Telsa battery used a large number of smaller batteries in series and parallel to allow for the high voltage discharge, and this allows the battery to charge as well cool efficiently rapidly.
Shirihai has also stated, “The battery experts I had originally talked to were very excited to hear that they were right, It turns out that mitochondria and Teslas, with their many small batteries, are a case of convergent evolution.”
This shows that the Telsa battery is built in a similar way to how the mitochondria functions and how close these two power generators have come to be one and the same.