A mishmash of mitochondrial facts, stats, and trivia
Though this page includes trivia related to mitochondria, all information is intended to be accurate, and citations are provided when appropriate. Please contact Marie Lott if you discover an error or wish to add something to the list.
Movies: There is at least one non-documentary movie in which mitochondria are central to the plot. Parasite Eve (Parasaito Ivu), though I can't recommend it, is a SciFi/Horror film in which a scientist, desperate to resurrect his wife, becomes the victim of evil mitochondria. Many have also recognized the similarities between mitochondria and "midi-chlorians", the fictitious entities used in the Star Wars series to explain a Jedi Knight's ability to experience the force. (submitted by MartyBrandon)
Placeholder - The revised Cambridge sequence adjusts for an insertion error at position 3107 by inserting a placeholder. This was done to preserve the numbering system of the nucleotides, many of which had already become well-known in the literature by the positions assigned to them using the original Cambridge sequence. This placeholder, represented by an 'X', is often a source of confusion. Often an 'N' or '-' is used, but those symbols have their own meeting according to the International Union of Pure & Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). And because the 'X' is merely a placeholder for a nucleotide that does not exist, it is impossible to have a variant at position 3107. A minor quibble is that most texts will cite the human mtDNA sequence as 16,569 bps in length, based on the 16,569 positions in the rCRS; however, the actual length is 16,568, excluding the placeholder.