Mitochondrial respiration.

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Mitochondrial respiration. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


Thorn discusses changes in respiration during and following exercise. He analyses the physiological processes behind this both in terms of chemical and nervous signals. But in particular, he demonstrates the use of the polarographic oxygen electrode which allows close study of mitochondria, the subcellular particles in which are embedded the respiratory enzyme systems. 6 segments.


London : University of London Audio-Visual Centre, 1975.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image.




Copyright note

University of London

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Presented by Dr Michael Thorn, Department of Biochemistry, St Thomas's Hospital Medical School. Produced by David R Clark. Made by University of London Audio-Visual centre.


This video is one of around 310 titles, originally broadcast on Channel 7 of the ILEA closed-circuit television network, given to Wellcome Trust from the University of London Audio-Visual Centre shortly after it closed in the late 1980s. Although some of these programmes might now seem rather out-dated, they probably represent the largest and most diversified body of medical video produced in any British university at this time, and give a comprehensive and fascinating view of the state of medical and surgical research and practice in the 1970s and 1980s, thus constituting a contemporary medical-historical archive of great interest. The lectures mostly take place in a small and intimate studio setting and are often face-to-face. The lecturers use a wide variety of resources to illustrate their points, including film clips, slides, graphs, animated diagrams, charts and tables as well as 3-dimensional models and display boards with movable pieces. Some of the lecturers are telegenic while some are clearly less comfortable about being recorded; all are experts in their field and show great enthusiasm to share both the latest research and the historical context of their specialist areas.


Segment 1 Dr Thorn describes how our respiration changes when we exercise and shows the results of polarographic readouts detailing changes in respiration during exercise. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:05:11:13 Length: 00:05:11:13
Segment 2 Thorn refers to studies done into the relationship between mitochondria and respiration. Time start: 00:05:11:13 Time end: 00:09:11:22 Length: 00:04:00:09
Segment 3 Thorn shows further experiments using polarographic readings and describes in detail how changes in oxygen molecules can be observed during exercise. Time start: 00:09:11:22 Time end: 00:15:41:00 Length: 00:06:29:03
Segment 4 Further polarographic studies are shown, this time detailing an experiment in which a mitochondrial suspension is added to cells and respiration rates measured. Time start: 00:15:41:00 Time end: 00:20:29:00 Length: 00:04:48:00
Segment 5 Thorn shows the results of two further experiments concering interference treatments on the enzyme system. Again, he refers to readings from a polarograph. Time start: 00:20:29:00 Time end: 00:24:09:00 Length: 00:03:40:00
Segment 6 Thorn ends with the results of a final experiment showing how motochondria, which have been subjected to hypotonic conditions at room temperature, respire. Time start: 00:24:09:00 Time end: 00:30:30:10 Length: 00:06:21:10


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