Problems with cell respiration have been linked to numerous conditions, from rare genetic diseases to diabetes, cancer, Parkinson's disease and the normal ageing process.
For cell respiration to function properly, it needs proteins synthesised outside and then imported into the mitochondria, and proteins synthesised within the mitochondria themselves from their own DNA (mtDNA).
The amount of protein is normal, but the proteins are rendered unstable and quickly disintegrate, leading eventually to the breakdown of cell respiration.
There are many reasons why students find cell respiration difficult to understand.
Since using the 5E method to teach cell respiration my students are more actively engaged in class and their test scores have improved.
When teaching cell respiration I try to engage the students by giving a demonstration in which I burn a large potato chip and use the energy released to raise the temperature of a small amount of water in a test tube.
The purpose of the prompt is to challenge the students to begin to "construct" an understanding of how cell respiration actually takes place.