"This enlarged electron
micrograph image which I
took in the early 70's led me, Dr. Lou Sordahl, and in
collaboration with Dr. Michael DeBakey's biochemical
group in Houston, to a startling breakthrough.
We discovered that during
a heart attack when oxygen
supplied to the heart muscle is diminished or cut off
(ischemia), precipitation of dense crystals mostly
composed of calcium and phosphorus occurs.
These crystals, which you can see here, gather mostly
the mitochondria in the area of the heart which
has no oxygen or blood supply. The crystals are like
needles inside the mitochondria."
crystals cause irreversible damage to the heart
tissue itself. This is one of the first pieces of evidence that
shows the process of oxidative phosphorylation
interrupted and the necrosis of mitochondrion tissue.
Electron Micrograph: Dr. Burton Silver, 1972
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