Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New research provides new insight into age-related muscle decline

25.09.2009
Research published in the journal Genetics suggests new ways to stop byproducts from the air we breathe from harming our muscles

If you think the air outside is polluted, a new research report in the September 2009 issue of the journal Genetics (http://www.genetics.org) might make you to think twice about the air inside our bodies too.

That's because researchers show how about 3 percent of the air we breathe gets converted into harmful superoxides, which ultimately harm our muscles. Specifically, these superoxides lead to the creation of a toxic molecule called "reactive oxygen species" or ROS, which is shown to be particularly harmful to muscle tissue, and may lead to problems ranging from aging and frailty to Parkinson's disease and cancer.

"At a minimum, we hope this research leads to new ways of addressing inevitable declining physical performance and other age-dependent infirmities among the elderly," said Atanu Duttaroy, associate professor of biology at Howard University in Washington, D.C. and one of the researchers involved in the work.

To make their discovery, Duttaroy and colleagues built on their previous research showing that ROS-induced cellular damage happens in the same way in fruit flies and in mice. They started with fruit flies that lack mitochondrial superoxide dismutase enzyme (SOD), which provides the primary line of defense against ROS by capturing the superoxides and converting them to water. This lack of SOD caused the fruit flies to die within a day after hatching. Then, through genetic manipulation, the researchers "turned on" the production of SOD separately in nerves and muscles. SOD in nerves did not appear to make a significant difference in prolonging the fruit flies' lives, but it did make a difference when it was activated in their muscles. The survival of fruit flies with SOD "turned on" in their muscles increased, and for several days, they remained as active as their normal counterparts. Measurement of their muscle activity also showed that SOD helped the muscle work normally, helping survival.

"It's long been known that the oxygen we breath can be toxic, and this work provides a concrete example of that with real consequences." said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal Genetics. "As baby boomers get older, the need to help older people stay mobile and fit has never been greater in our lifetimes. This study helps address this need by providing insight into what causes physical decline, and in turn, bringing us a step closer toward finding ways to stop or reverse it."

DETAILS: Tanja Godenschwege, Renée Forde, Claudette P. Davis, Anirban Paul, Kristopher Beckwith, and Atanu Duttaroy

Mitochondrial Superoxide Radicals Differentially Affect Muscle Activity and Neural Function Genetics 2009 183: 175-184. http://www.genetics.org/cgi/content/abstract/183/1/175

Since 1916, Genetics (http://www.genetics.org) has covered high quality, original research on a range of topics bearing on inheritance, including population and evolutionary genetics, complex traits, developmental and behavioral genetics, cellular genetics, gene expression, genome integrity and transmission, and genome and systems biology. Genetics, the peer-reviewed, peer-edited journal of the Genetics Society of America is one of the world's most cited journals in genetics and heredity.

Tracey DePellegrin Connelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.andrew.cmu.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Show me your leaves - Health check for urban trees
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht Liver Cancer: Lipid Synthesis Promotes Tumor Formation
12.12.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Multi-year submarine-canyon study challenges textbook theories about turbidity currents

12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>