Small but mighty, mitochondria are double-membraned organelles that generate energy for our cells and power biological processes that keep us alive. These potent bodies of energy received its famous name “powerhouse of the cell” in 1857 for their essential role in keeping our cells alive. Near the end of the century, another “powerhouse” was being discovered — the use of neon lights to generate light.

Drawing parallels between the two powerhouses — mitochondria and neon lights — the cover of this issue depicts mitochondria as a set of neon lights. Morphologically, the winding folds of the mitochondria are reminiscent of the bends of neon light tubes. Similar to the way neon lights illuminate the night life in busy metropolitan cities, mitochondria produce energy for cells to connect different processes for life. Both symbolizing the essence of life, their means of vitality are both rooted in the flow of electrons. As one can imagine the darkness in the absence of light, one can similarly imagine the immense power mitochondria hold should they malfunction.

Design notes

In this issue, our designers used a wide range of colours to convey the many facets of mitochondria. From the use of photographs to illustrations, our talented team beautifully conveyed the complexity that is mitochondria. If there were creativity cells in our bodies, then our designers must have an abundance of mitochondria in those cells! With that, we would like to thank all of our designers for their beautiful contributions this issue.
– Kitty Liu

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