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Quite well understood actually.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellular_respiration

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electron_transport_chain

One of the fundamental biochemical pathways and required reading for entry level life-sciences degree programs.




We can have a better handle on what happens inside a given cell than the complex web of cause and effect that happens between populations of different kinds of cells and their environment.

What goes on inside your gut is still more of a mystery than what goes on inside your cells.

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What is the actual chemical reaction going on here?

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Reduction of one molecule; oxidation of another. The long version comprises textbooks, but that is the short version.

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