Mitochondria burn oxygen and provide energy for the body. Cells lacking oxygen or nutrients have to change their energy supply quickly in order to keep growing. Scientists have now shown that mitochondria are reprogrammed under depleted oxygen and nutrients. Tumors of the pancreas may also use this reprogramming mechanism to keep growing despite reduced nutrient and oxygen levels. The researchers believe that proteins in this newly discovered signaling pathway could be a good target for therapies against pancreatic cancer, for which no drug is currently available.