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Oxygen free radicals in cell. Illustration of the inside of a cell containing oxygen free radicals (OFRs, red). OFRs are highly active, transitory particles released during oxidation of sugars in the mitochondria (upper right, for example). The OFRs are thought to damage DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid, double spiral structures) in the nucleus (lower right), ultimately leading to ageing and death of the organism. Antioxidant enzymes (centre left) mop up excess OFRs to protect the cell. Also shown is the cell membrane (top left), a golgi body (lower left) and endoplasmic reticulum (upper centre).
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