Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Anti-Ageing Drug Restores Vision (Only to animals so far)

17.11.2006
According to the opinion of V.P. Skulachev, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Director of the A.N. Belozersky Research Institute of Physicochemical Biology, ageing of living organisms is not an inevitability at all.

The overwhelming majority of animal and plant species do grow old indeed: the organism starts to function worse than before, stops reproducing, catches up various diseases and, finally, dies. Ageing is necessary from the evolution point of view: ageing living things become noncompetitive and give way to the young. According to the most clear definition, “ageing of the organism is weakening of its vital functions in the course of time, thus increasing the probability of death”.

However, non-aging living creatures do exist in the world, points out V.P. Skulachev. For example, gigantic turtles can live for two hundred years, they preserve the ability to reproduction and continue to grow, and they die because their shell becomes too heavy to move and get food. Albatrosses live for about 50 years without aging and die suddenly. The Greenland whale lives for about 200 years. All these animals evolve very slowly, but they even do not need evolution. Other examples demonstrate that aging is caused by some external necessity. The Pacific salmon begins to grow old rapidly right after spawning is completed, fish die, thus attracting numerous maxillopods, which for their turn serve as food to fry. And the Atlantic salmon can prolong its active life owing to a parasite – pearl-oyster larva – settled in it.

It appears from this, believes V.P. Skulachev, that ageing is a program, which may be slowed down or cancel completely. This is the global target of the research work under the project sponsored by the Russian-Asian Investment Company (RAInKo) under control of Oleg Deripaska. This international project involves 32 research groups, more than 210 persons altogether, including several young researchers who returned to Russia from foreign laboratories.

... more about:
»SkQ »Skulachev »Substance »ageing

It seems that if researchers strive to cancel the ageing program, they should start acting at the genome level. Such experiments are already being carried out: researchers have found the gene, switching off of which prolongs the life of the nematode worm and the laboratory mouse. But “we do not want to interfere in the human genome, because this can cause unexpected consequences”, says V.P. Skulachev. The researchers decided to interfere not in the program itself, but in its execution at the very early stage. At this stage, aging is connected with accumulation of free radicals in the organism, this taking place initially in the mitochondrion - a power substation of a cell. The SkQ substance synthesized in the course of the research, acts as a very efficient antioxidant, which is fighting against free radical oxygen at the mitochondria level.

Hundreds of antioxidants are already being applied in the world, but not all of them are efficient as they get quickly destroyed. The peculiarity of a new substance is that the so-called “Skulachev’s ion” (the name was given by foreign colleagues) is part of it, the ion penetrating through the cell’s membrane and accumulating inside mitochondria thanks to its positive charge (the charge inside the mitochondrion is negative). This ion “drags” behind itself the proper antioxidant part. The result is that the substance saves mitochondria’s lipids from oxidation.

The SkQ influence on the life span was studied in experiments on mice. Laboratory mice were given to drink “life-giving water” with SkQ, the substance being contained in this water in nanodoses (5 nanomoles). The life time of such mice increased by one third on average as compared to that of the reference group mice. Even more demonstrative are experiments with mutant rats, where accelerated ageing – progeria – was observed. SkQ prolonged their life span by three times, besides, it cured them from a large number of senile diseases. They include infarctions, strokes, osteoporosis, hemogram abnomality, reproductive system disorders, behavior change, visual impairment.

The latter is interesting to dwell on in more detail as the SkQ drug successfully fights against cataract and retinal degeneration only of animals so far. Moreover, it does not only prevent but also cures the disease, ophthalmologists being unable yet to explain the phenomenon. The list of animals that regained their sight after the SkQ instillation into the eyes includes dogs, cats, rabbits and a horse. However, these animals are not numerous so far – they are 19 altogether. In the film shot by the researchers, owners of dogs and cats bring out clearly how their pets became blind, and the 2-3 week course of treatment turned out to be sufficient to recover their vision. “It is still early to discuss how this drug will affect human eyes, says V.P. Skulachev. But we have scheduled clinical trials for 2007.” He emphasizes that at the stage of complete loss of sight, when ophthalmologists do not give any hope, there is nothing to lose, and one may not be afraid of possible side effects.

It remains only to wish the researchers good luck in continuation of their effort, and the entire humanity – to obtain in the future if not immortality but the extension of active life.

Nadezda Markina | alfa
Further information:
http://www.informnauka.ru

Further reports about: SkQ Skulachev Substance ageing

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Symbiotic bacteria: from hitchhiker to beetle bodyguard
28.04.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis
28.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>