Ethylene (C2H4) is a gaseous hormone produced naturally in plants and by man in combustion (1). When plants encounter ethylene they soften and ripen (fruit) or wilt and fade (flowers.)
We all like fruit that is ripe but lasts longer and flowers that stay colorful are a good thing so some growers spray plants with products like EthylBloc for flowers or SmartFresh for fruits and vegetables which contain a compound, 1-methylcyclopropane or 1-MCP, that blocks ethylene’s action on plants.
But how this compound works at the molecular level remains uncertain despite several chemical pathways chemists have proposed.
Calorie restriction is a hot topic in discussions of aging but most studies use mice that were weaned with calorie restriction as test subjects whereas humans would have to adopt that lifestyle later in life if they were to grow normally.
Research continues to see how a restricted calorie diet impacts the aging process. Working with yeast cells, University of Washington scientists have linked ribosomes, the protein-making factories in living cells, and Gcn4, a specialized protein that aids in the expression of genetic information, to the pathways related to dietary response and aging.
Previous research has shown that the lifespan-extending properties of dietary restriction are mediated in part by reduced signaling through TOR, an enzyme involved in many vital operations in a cell. When an organism has less TOR signaling in response to dietary restriction, one side effect is that the organism also decreases the rate at which it makes new proteins, a process called translation.
If the aging process can’t be stopped, it can at least be predicted, say researchers from Tel Aviv University.
They have developed a new biological marker that represents the age of a body’s bones. It reveals that the speed of physical aging is strongly influenced by genetics.
Christened the osseographic score (OSS), this new marker can be used by doctors as a scientific tool for predicting a person’s general functioning and lifespan, says Tel Aviv University scientist Dr. Leonid Kalichman, an instructor at The Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions. He is a co-author of the study published in Biogerontology and the American Journal of Human Biology (2007), which was conducted in partnership with Dr. Ida Malkin and Prof. Eugene Kobyliansky, both from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University.
A daily dose of caffeine blocks the disruptive effects of high cholesterol that scientists have linked to Alzheimer's disease. A study in the Journal of Neuroinflammation revealed that caffeine equivalent to just one cup of coffee a day could protect the blood-brain barrier (BBB) from damage that occurred with a high-fat diet.
The BBB protects the central nervous system from the rest of the body's circulation, providing the brain with its own regulated microenvironment. Previous studies have shown that high levels of cholesterol break down the BBB which can then no longer protect the central nervous system from the damage caused by blood borne contamination. BBB leakage occurs in a variety of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
DNA repair capacity is an important factor in cancer, inflammation, aging, and other human conditions. Radiation is something we can never avoid and it's responsible for a lot of medical problems.
Bdelloid rotifers have been able to give up sex and escape the usual drawback of asexuality – extinction - and still survive because they have evolved an extraordinary efficient mechanism for repairing harmful mutations to their DNA, say the Marine Biological Laboratory’s David Mark Welch, Matthew Meselson, and their colleagues.
What’s more, they have done so over millions of years of evolution, resulting in at least 370 species.
We all know people who can seemingly eat whatever they want and not gain weight. Recent research from Tel Aviv University says a woman’s waistline may have less to do with rigorous exercise and abstaining from sweets than it does with the genes of her parents.
A new study by Prof. Gregory Livshits from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and colleagues from King’s College in London found a scientific link between the lean body mass of a woman and her genes. They’ve determined that thinness – like your smile or the color of your eyes – is an inheritable trait.
Of the almost 25,000 human genes science that have been identified, half are believed to be silent at any particular time and activated only when needed.
Perhaps not, says Andre Ptitsyn, of the Center for Bioinfomatics at Colorado State University. He says he has discovered that current tools cannot measure extraordinarily low levels of gene expression signals so genes may not be turned off, but instead have undetected functioning.
"Genes that we have believed to be silent are actually whispering," said Ptitsyn, who a applied a common physics principle to find oscillating patterns of gene expression in genes previously thought to be shut off.
Healthy men who report lower levels of the nutrient folate in their diets have higher rates of chromosomal abnormalities in their sperm, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Women of child-bearing age are encouraged to maintain adequate levels of folate in their diet, but the new findings, to be published Thursday, March 20, in the journal Human Reproduction, provide evidence that what men eat may also affect reproductive health.
Obesity is associated with clear changes in gene-networks and the dysfunction of mitochondria, say researchers at the University of Helsinki and the National Public Health Institute - worse, the impacts of these cellular changes may aggravate and work to maintain the obese state in humans
Surprisingly, the genes most drastically affected by obesity were ones involved in the breakdown of a class of amino acids known as branched-chain amino acids. These changes in the obese twins were clearly associated with pre-diabetic changes in sugar metabolism and the action of the hormone insulin.
The researchers say that, while healthy eating habits and exercise are important, genes play some role in the development of obesity, so they studied rare cases of young (25 year old) identical twins with large differences in bodyweight and saw clear changes in the function of the cellular mitochondria.
A brain network linked to introspective tasks -- such as forming the self-image or understanding the motivations of others -- is less intricate and well-connected in children, say researchers. They also showed that the network establishes firmer connections between various brain regions as an individual matures.
The scientists are working to establish a picture of how these connections and other brain networks normally develop and interact.