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Science >> Biology for Kids

Biology

Cell Mitochondria

What are mitochondria?

Mitochondria are important parts of our cells because they take food and make energy that the rest of the cell can use.

Organelle

Animals and plants are made up of many complex cells called eukaryotic cells. Inside these cells are structures that perform special functions for the cell called organelles. The organelle that is responsible for producing energy for the cell is the mitochondria.

How many mitochondria are in a cell?

Different types of cells have different numbers of mitochondria. Some simple cells contain only one or two mitochondria. However, complex animal cells that need a lot of energy, like muscle cells, can have thousands of mitochondria.

Energy Factory

The main function of mitochondria is to produce energy for the cell. Cells use a special molecule for energy called ATP. ATP stands for adenosine triphosphate. The ATP for the cell is made within the mitochondria. You can think of the mitochondria as the energy factory or power plant of the cell.

Respiration

Mitochondria produce energy through the process of cellular respiration. Respiration is another word for breathing. The mitochondria take food molecules in the form of carbohydrates and combine them with oxygen to produce the ATP. They use proteins called enzymes to produce the correct chemical reaction.

Mitochondrion Structure

Mitochondria have a distinct structure that helps them to generate energy.

Other Functions

In addition to producing energy, mitochondria perform some other functions for the cell including cellular metabolism, the citric acid cycle, producing heat, controlling the concentration of calcium, and producing certain steroids.

Interesting Facts about Mitochondria Activities

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More Biology Subjects

Cell
The Cell
Cell Cycle and Division
Nucleus
Ribosomes
Mitochondria
Chloroplasts
Proteins
Enzymes

The Human Body
Human Body
Brain
Nervous System
Digestive System
Sight and the Eye
Hearing and the Ear
Smelling and Tasting
Skin
Muscles
Breathing
Blood and Heart
Bones
List of Human Bones
Immune System
Organs

Nutrition
Nutrition
Vitamins and Minerals
Carbohydrates
Lipids
Enzymes

Genetics
Genetics
Chromosomes
DNA
Mendel and Heredity
Hereditary Patterns
Proteins and Amino Acids

Plants
Photosynthesis
Plant Structure
Plant Defenses
Flowering Plants
Non-Flowering Plants
Trees
Living Organisms
Scientific Classification
Animals
Bacteria
Protists
Fungi
Viruses

Disease
Infectious Disease
Medicine and Pharmaceutical Drugs
Epidemics and Pandemics
Historical Epidemics and Pandemics
Immune System
Cancer
Concussions
Diabetes
Influenza


Science >> Biology for Kids





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