An ageing cell goes through major negative changes: defective proteins are not eliminated as they should, mitochondria – the power plants of a cell – do not function properly, the ability to sense nutrients is lost.
All of these defects lead to shortened lifespan. One might think at first glance, they appear to have nothing to do with each other on a molecular level.
“In fact, they are highly interconnected”, says Adam Antebi,Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne.
“Now we have found a network of regulators that connects all those different cellular processes.” For their studies the researchers used the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans, a commonly used model organism in the field of ageing research.
It all began with a scientific finding scientists made already some years ago: Roundworms live much longer if you remove their germ cells – the sperm and egg producing cells. “But we did not know why this happened”, explains Antebi. To answer this question the scientists removed specific genes to test if these worms lost the ability to live long.
If this was the case, the researchers assumed that they found a gene that was normally required to increase the lifespan. In the end the researchers had a list of proteins, which extend lifetime. Many of them belonged to the so-called transcription factors - proteins that reside in the nucleus of the cell to turn on and off other genes.
The detected transcription factors appear to work together. “We found that all these transcription factors regulate and support one another. Actually they behave like a network”, Antebi says.
This network impacts very diverse processes in the worm-cells: the recycling machine, the digestion system and the sensing of nutrients.
“The end-result is changes in metabolism, the process where nutrients become the fuel and building blocks we need”, Antebi explains. With their study the researchers can begin to explain how reproduction, metabolism and life span are intertwined.
Dr. Maren Berghoff | Max-Planck-Institut für Biologie des Alterns
Enduring cold temperatures alters fat cell epigenetics
19.04.2018 | University of Tokyo
Full of hot air and proud of it
18.04.2018 | University of Pittsburgh
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
In an article that appears in the journal “Review of Modern Physics”, researchers at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) assess the current state of the field of ultrafast physics and consider its implications for future technologies.
Physicists can now control light in both time and space with hitherto unimagined precision. This is particularly true for the ability to generate ultrashort...
The Atlantic overturning – one of Earth’s most important heat transport systems, pumping warm water northwards and cold water southwards – is weaker today than any time before in more than 1000 years. Sea surface temperature data analysis provides new evidence that this major ocean circulation has slowed down by roughly 15 percent since the middle of the 20th century, according to a study published in the highly renowned journal Nature by an international team of scientists. Human-made climate change is a prime suspect for these worrying observations.
“We detected a specific pattern of ocean cooling south of Greenland and unusual warming off the US coast – which is highly characteristic for a slowdown of the...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
19.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
19.04.2018 | Life Sciences
18.04.2018 | Materials Sciences