Written by: The MQ

Point: The Mitochondria Is, in Fact, Not the Powerhouse of the Cell

After seeing so many test questions and textbooks reference such erroneous material like it’s no big deal, I feel a personal need to set the record straight. Contrary to popular belief, the Mitochondria is not all that great. Like, keeping up with a cell really is a team effort, and it’s pretty unfair to claim that any one organelle is the “powerhouse,” so to speak. Whether it’s cancer, a foreign toxin, or a yellow school bus full of screaming children, when something goes wrong, we organelles are all in it together.

Honestly, I have no idea where this popular misconconception came from. It’s not like the Mitochondria contains all of the genetic instructions, regulates the transport of molecules, and is the sole reason genes can be passed down between generations. To be perfectly frank, I am the only reason Susie can roll her tongue and Jimmy can’t, and I’m responsible for ensuring your grandmother does not look like your Yorkshire Terrier, yet I for some reason don’t get any attention.

I don’t get why everyone adores the Mitochondria. So they may show off all that flashy ATP energy, along with their slimmer, more oval shape; so what?! It’s all a conspiracy! The textbooks purposefully make the Mitochondria a more beautiful color in the diagrams to trick you into believing their lies. I bet the Mitochondria is passing off some oxygen on the side (those people live for that stuff) as a kickback!

I personally advocate for a reworking of the cell metaphor. A more accurate description, in my opinion, would be that of an infinitely complex, elegant supercomputer in charge of it all, supported by all its ribosomal wiring and encased in only the finest double plasma insulation. The Mitochondria would be the mere mouse running on a wheel in a corner keeping it on.

Written by: Nancy the Nucleus, Disgruntled Organelle

Counter Point: The Mitochondria is the Powerhouse of the Cell

As demonstrated in all 10 editions of high school and college Pearson general biology textbooks, scientific research has proven the Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

As seen in Figure 3.2, the Mitochondria is clearly producing all the energy that powers the cell (denoted by small lightning bolts), and if you look to Figure 3.3 you will find a diagram of a power plant which also produces energy (denoted by slightly larger lightning bolts). The parallels are undeniable and verifies that the Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

Pearson is a dignified and world-renowned publishing company. To imply that this institution would ever print something inaccurate is almost as ridiculous as suggesting that the Mitochondria is not the powerhouse of the cell.

If you are still having trouble grasping these concepts, consider investing an extra 100 dollars in the Extended Edition of “Campbell’s Biology Concepts and Connections,” featuring a diagram with a more sophisticated power plant and more realistic lightning bolts. These improvements illustrate even more precisely that the Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

To be sure you understand this section’s key concept, try out this knowledge test:

The Mitochondria __.
a. Is not all that important.
b. Stores genetic material.
c. Is the powerhouse of the cell.

Written by: “Biology Concepts and Connections” Pearson’s 10th Edition Textbook

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