Falsifying DNA Evidence Analysis

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I was watching Law and Order one night and the topic was falsifying DNA evidence. During the show they mentioned that red blood cells do not have mitochondria or nuclei. The bad guys took advantage of this fact to make a blood sample with red blood cells that would contain only the DNA they added from the cop they wanted to frame. I was very surprised by the accuracy of this scenario! This is a really cool thing about red blood cells, because when we talk about eukaryotic cells we say they have a nucleus and other complex organelles -- like mitochondria, but red blood cells are different. The main function of red blood cells is to carry oxygen. To do this they contain a special protein molecule called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin binds to both oxygen and carbon dioxide. It carries oxygen to cells that need it and picks up the…show more content…
Think about it. The red blood cell's job is to carry oxygen. Mitochondria use oxygen to make ATP. If red blood cells had mitochondria, then some of the oxygen would be constantly used up. So -- no mitochondria either. Now you should ask, "If red blood cells do not have mitochondria, where do they get their ATP?" Maybe you would ask, "Do red blood cells even need ATP?" To answer the second question first: Yes, red blood cells need ATP. I just read this today, red blood cells release ATP into the blood stream as a signal that results in the relaxation of tight vessels, especially under stress conditions (Eissenberg, 2011). In this case, the ATP acts as a signal molecule. So where do red blood cells get ATP? The same place that yeast and other anaerobic organisms get ATP -- they use glycolysis. Remember that glycolysis does not require oxygen. The process does not make a lot of ATP, only 2 ATP molecules are made for every glucose molecule broken down. Just like your muscle cells when they are oxygen starved, red blood cells then use lactic acid fermentation to allow glycolysis to

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