Meet and greet a Nobel Laureate.
The Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters is proud to announce the sixteenth Royal Academy Nobel Laureate Lecture. After the lecture the audience is invited to a reception. Attending the lecture as well as the reception is free of charge but registration below is necessary.
Fuel for life
The lecture will be devoted to the topic of how the biological world supplies itself with energy to make biology work, and what medical consequences ensue when the energy supply chain in our bodies is damaged or defective. We derive our energy from sunlight, which, via photosynthesis in green plants, provides high energy components in the foods that we ingest. We harvest that energy, effectively by “burning” (oxidising) the high energy components, releasing cellular energy in a controlled way to generate the fuel of life, in the form of the molecule known as adenosine triphosphate (or ATP for short).
The key steps in this process take place in the mitochondria inside the cells that make up our tissues. They serve as biological “power stations” that contain millions of tiny molecular turbines, the ATP synthase, that rotate rather like man-made turbines churning out the cellular fuel in massive quantities, which is then delivered to all parts of our bodies to provide the energy to make them function. Each of us makes and expends about 60 kg of this fuel every day of our lives. Defects in the fuel supply process are increasingly being recognized as important components of complex human diseases such as cancer, neurodegeneration and neuromuscular diseases, and they may also be part of the process of ageing.