A lifespan-extending calorie-restricted diet reversed some of the aging effects – but, unlike the widespread changes observed in somatic organs, it had an impact only in a small number of gonad-specific genes.
As well as tackling one of the key questions of ageing – by exploring if reproductive organs age in the same way as other body organs – this research is important in the light of the trend for some women in developed countries to put off childbearing until later in life.
A research team led by Minoru Ko, MD, PhD, from the National Institute on Aging, Baltimore, USA used whole-genome DNA microarrays to study the effects of age, sex and diet on the global gene expression in mouse ovaries and testes. They found that reproductive organs age in a different way to other body tissues and, furthermore, that ovaries age in a different way from testes.
Age-related changes in gene expression occurred in gonads – as they are known to in other body tissues – but these changes tended to be in different classes of genes. Only two of the six categories of genes previously associated with aging in muscle, kidney and brain were associated with aging in the ovary; none were associated with aging in the testis. The changes seen in ovaries could be influenced by changes in the tissue composition of ovaries as females age and ovulation ceases.
The researchers also found that calorie restriction in females reduced the expression of genes involved in metabolism and follicle growth, which seems to be consistent with a popular view that the calorie restriction causes a shift in energy use away from reproduction towards general body maintenance and repair. However, male mice on the same diet did not appear to sacrifice reproductive function, suggesting an evolutionary difference between males and females when coping with a food shortage.
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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