A group of researchers from the California Institute of technology and the University of California Los Angeles have developed a new technique that allows you to slow down or even reverse the aging process. This technique allows you to rid the body of accumulated age damage cells by removal of modified DNA molecules from the mitochondria, small intracellular organelles that produce most of the energy consumed by the cell during its life.
Each cell contains hundreds to thousands of mitochondria, each of which has its own circular DNA molecule, in which lies the information needed by the mitochondria for the process of energy production. This DNA, mtDNA has a very limited ability to repair itself unlike the DNA in the cell nucleus. And this means that the cell may eventually accumulate a large enough number of mutated DNA. When over time the number of mutated DNA mitochondrially exceeds a threshold, the cells lose their functionality or die.
The increase in the number of mutated DNA over time is considered by scientists the "engine" of the aging process and the cause of many degenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, degeneration of muscles and decrease the strength of bones. Moreover, a number of defects mitohondrialnoj DNA is inherited, which causes diseases such as autism.
"As a result of our research we came to the conclusion that if you find a way to reduce the amount of mutated DNA, we can slow down and even turn back the aging process," says Bruce hay (Bruce Hay), Professor of biology at the California Institute of technology.
As the experimental beings, the researchers used the fly Drosophila, the muscles which through genetic engineering in 75 percent mitohondrialnoj DNA has been artificially introduced defects, which could not fly after that due to insufficient amount of produced in the cells of energy. In relation to the front sight method was used, called mycophagy (mitophagy), in which occurs a release of cells from mitochondria with defective DNA. As a result of this impact the number of defective DNA in the cells fell sharply, from 75 to 5-4 per cent.
"This reduction in the number of modified DNA completely eliminated all defects of metabolism in the cells, making these cells fully again "young" and capable of producing large amounts of energy," says Bruce hay, "And the most interesting in this case that in the process of purification of the cells from the defective DNA has been used only natural intracellular processes, some of which were artificially us "stir up"".
Once the researchers were convinced that violations of the DNA in the mitochondria are responsible for the aging process and this process can be reversed, they plan to unite with researchers, pharmacists in order to develop a drug having a rejuvenating effect on the body.
"Using these drugs, we can perform periodic "spring cleaning" in our body, removing defective DNA from the cells of muscle tissue, nervous tissue and tissues of other organs," says Bruce hay, — "It will allow people to maintain their intellectual abilities, mobility and overall health at a high level throughout his life." published
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