How does cellular respiration work?

CurioCity
21 January 2012

Question

How does cellular respiration work?�

Answer

There is just so much to know about cellular respiration, which is vital to the survival of many living species (especially animals and humans). So basically, cellular respiration is a process that goes on in our body to produce energy which can supply the fuel to make our body work efficiently (like to help our muscles move). It is actually a very complex process that goes on in every cell in the body, in a special part of each cell called the mitochondria. I don't know how much detail you could like about how cellular respiration works in the mitochondria, but basically in the mitochondria glucose (or sugar) and other macromolecules (like fatty acids) that we obtain by eating food are together converted into the cellular form of energy called ATP which can be readily used by the body. When oxygen is present in this process, it is typically called aerobic respiration, and it generates a lot of ATP (or energy) for our body to use. However, cellular respiration can also occur in the absence of oxygen (typically called anaerobic respiration), but this yields a much smaller about of ATP (or energy). Again, I am not too sure about how much you would like to know about this topic, but the process of cellular respiration becomes even more complex with the oxidation reduction reactions that occur in the process of Glycolsis, then the decarboxilation of pyruvate, and (if oxygen is present) then cellular respiration continues on to the Calvin Cycle, and finally finishes with oxidative phosphorlation. But the key thing to remember here is that cellular respiration happens completely WITHIN the cells themselves. It is easy to confuse cellular respiration with breathing or respiration which is the exchange of gases between the blood and the lungs (which is actually what helps supply oxygen for cellular respiration).

Answered By: Harman Sawhney

CurioCity

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