Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Research breakthrough on the question of life expectancy

August 05, 2010
Why do we grow old and what can we do to stop it? This is the question asked by many, but it appears that we are now closer to an answer thanks to new research published by Monash University researcher Dr Damian Dowling.

According to the research published in the August edition of the prestigious journal, The American Naturalist, a small set of genes in mitochondria (a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells), passed only from mothers to offspring, plays a more dynamic role in predicting life expectancies than ever previously anticipated.

The research discovered that particular mitochondrial haplotypes were linked to the life expectancies of females in the beetle species Callosobruchus maculatus.

"What we found in these beetles that some combinations of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes confer long life in virgin females, but these are not the same combinations that result in long life in females that mate once, or in females that mate many times," Dr Dowling said.

"Clearly, the genetic determinants underlying life expectancies are complex.

"As we unravel this complexity, we draw closer to the day in which we might use the genetic information encoded in the mitochondria to assist in the development of therapies that slow the onset of ageing in humans," Dr Dowling said.

In animals, most of the genetic material that controls bodily functions is found inside the cell nucleus. This is the nuclear genome - it is passed on from generation to generation through both mothers and fathers, and it encodes somewhere between 14 thousand and 40 thousand proteins.

However, a separate genome exists that is found only within the energy-producing factories of our cells - the mitochondria. To put things in perspective, the mitochondrial genome is tiny, encoding just 13 proteins. Despite being so small, it can pack a punch when it comes to its ability to affect a range of fundamental biological processes.

Dr Dowling, a research fellow at Monash University's School of Biological Sciences led the research together with Goran Arnqvist of Uppsala University Sweden and their student, Tejashwari Meerupati, made the discovery.

"Our findings are part of a much broader research agenda in which we are elucidating the ways in which mitochondrial genomes have shaped our evolutionary past and present. What we are finding is that natural variation in this diminutive genome results in a huge range of effects on metabolism, mating behaviour and reproductive biology, including male fertility," Dr Dowling said.

"At the outset of our research program, we suspected that the evolutionary significance of the mitochondria had probably been underestimated by scientists that have come before us, but even we have been continually surprised by the magnitude and ubiquity of the effects that we have uncovered.

"We suspect that this genome still harbours many more secrets awaiting discovery," Dr Dowling said.

Monash University


Related Life Expectancy Current Events and Life Expectancy News Articles


Research identifies best treatment for blood pressure in diabetic kidney disease
Blood pressure lowering drugs do not improve life expectancy among adults with diabetes and kidney disease, a new study of the global evidence published today in The Lancet reveals.

Studies examine prevalence of amyloid among adults and its link with cognitive impairment
Two studies in the May 19 issue of JAMA analyze the prevalence of the plaque amyloid among adults of varying ages, with and without dementia, and its association with cognitive impairment.

Groundbreaking treatment for patients with cystic fibrosis
Treatment with two medications that target the most common genetic cause of cystic fibrosis improves lung function and lowers the rate of pulmonary exacerbations, according to the results from a Phase III international clinical trial published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 17, 2015.

Aging baby boomers, childless and unmarried, at risk of becoming 'elder orphans'
With an aging Baby Boomer population and increasing numbers of childless and unmarried seniors, nearly one-quarter of Americans over age 65 are currently or at risk to become "elder orphans," a vulnerable group requiring greater awareness and advocacy efforts, according to new research by a North Shore-LIJ geriatrician and palliative care physician.

Exercise, however modest, found progressively beneficial to the elderly
Even exercise of short duration and low intensity has life expectancy benefits for the elderly. Such conclusions have been well examined in the general population, where a recommended exercise program of 30 minutes at least five days a week (or 150 minutes per week) has been shown to reduce the average risk of death by 30 percent.

Cardiovascular risk factors extremely high in people with psychosis
Extremely high levels of cardiovascular risk factors have been found in people with established psychosis, with central obesity evident in over 80 per cent of participants, in a study by researchers from the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust (SLaM) and King's College London.

Odd genetic syndrome suggests increased blood vessel resistance could cause hypertension
The culmination of two decades of research, a new study reveals the genetic causes of a curious, rare syndrome that manifests as hypertension (high blood pressure) accompanied by short fingers (brachydactyly type E).

New developments in personalized medicine could save billions of dollars in improved health
New developments in personalised and precision medicine (PPM) could offer enormous gains in healthy life expectancy for Americans, but the incentives to develop them are weak, according to Dr Victor Dzau, President of the US Institute of Medicine, and colleagues, writing in a Personal View in The Lancet.

Substantial benefits for health and environment through realistic changes to UK diets
Making a series of relatively minor and realistic changes to UK diets would not only reduce UK diet-related greenhouse gas emissions by nearly a fifth, but could also extend average life expectancy by eight months, according to new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Urine profiles provide clues to how obesity causes disease
Scientists have identified chemical markers in urine associated with body mass, providing insights into how obesity causes disease.
More Life Expectancy Current Events and Life Expectancy News Articles

Life Expectancy: A Novel

Life Expectancy: A Novel
by Dean Koontz (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
 
Before he died on a storm-wracked night, Jimmy Tock’s grandfather predicted that there would be five dark days in his grandson’s life—five dates whose terrible events Jimmy must prepare himself to face. The first is to occur in his twentieth year, the last in his thirtieth. What terrifying events await Jimmy on these five critical days? What challenges must he survive? The path he follows will defy every expectation and will take all the love, humor, and courage he possesses. For who Jimmy Tock is and what he must accomplish on the five days his world turns is a mystery both dangerous and wondrous.

LIFE Expectancy: It's Never Too Late to Change Your Game

LIFE Expectancy: It's Never Too Late to Change Your Game
by William Keiper (Author)


WINNER - NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARDS - Best Personal Growth Book 2014
WINNER - THE USA BEST BOOK AWARDS - Best New Non-Fiction Book 2012
WINNER - WORLD BOOK AWARDS - Best Self-Help & Motivational Book 2012
WINNER - NEW YORK BOOK FESTIVAL - Best eBook (all categories, fiction and non-fiction) 2012
WINNER - PARIS BOOK FESTIVAL - Best eBook (all categories, fiction and non-fiction) 2012
WINNER - WORLD BOOK AWARDS - Best Business Motivational Book 2012

LIFE Expectancy makes the case that many Americans do not yet fully appreciate the fact that the American economic game and the associated stakes have substantially changed over the past couple of years.  

LIFE Expectancy tells the truth about the financial challenges facing Americans now and in the...

Dean Koontz Life Expectancy Hardback with Dust Cover

Dean Koontz Life Expectancy Hardback with Dust Cover
by Dean Koontz (Author)


Book

Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy
by HarperCollins e-books


In Girl Trouble, acclaimed writer Holly Goddard Jones examines small-town Southerners aching to be good, even as they live in doubt about what goodness is.A high school basketball coach learns that his star player is pregnant--with his child. A lonely woman reflects on her failed marriage and the single act of violence, years buried, that brought about its destruction. In these eight beautifully written, achingly poignant, and occasionally heartbreaking stories, the fine line between right and wrong, good and bad, love and violence is walked over and over again.In "Good Girl," a depressed widower is forced to decide between the love of a good woman and the love of his own deeply flawed son. In another part of town and another time, thirteen-year-old Ellen, the central figure of "Theory of...

A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope

A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope
by Tom Brokaw (Author)


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

From Tom Brokaw, the bestselling author of The Greatest Generation, comes a powerful memoir of a year of dramatic change—a year spent battling cancer and reflecting on a long, happy, and lucky life.
 
Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that...

Vital Statistics of the United States 2014: Births, Life Expectancy, Deaths, and Selected Health Data (U.S. DataBook Series)

Vital Statistics of the United States 2014: Births, Life Expectancy, Deaths, and Selected Health Data (U.S. DataBook Series)
by Shana Hertz-Hattis (Editor)


Vital Statistics of The United States: Births, Life Expectancy, Deaths, and Selected Health Data brings together a comprehensive collection of birth, mortality, and health data into a single volume. It provides a wealth of information compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics and other government agencies.

Vital Statistics contains over 225 tables and is divided into 4 parts : Births, Mortality, Health, and Marriage and Divorce.

This edition contains updated tables which provide a more comprehensive look at births, mortality, health, and marriage and divorce. Some of the subjects covered include premature and low birthweights, births by cesarean section, five-year cancer survival rates, percentage of individuals with no health insurance coverage, mortality by...

Social Security For Dummies

Social Security For Dummies
by Jonathan Peterson (Author)


Praise for Social Security For Dummies: 
"Social Security for Dummies is a must read for people of any age who want a comfortable retirement. Jonathan Peterson does a great job of explaining this complicated system and helps you understand how to get the most from the benefits you've earned. The difference between a smart claiming strategy and a dumb one can cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, so you'll want to invest in this book." —Liz Weston, personal finance columnist and author of The 10 Commandments of Money “This is your go-to book on Social Security. Chock-full of useful tips, easy to use, and well organized, it answers all your questions about Social Security." —Steve Vernon, author of Money for Life: Turn Your IRA and 401(k) Into a Lifetime Retirement...

Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass

Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass
by Theodore Dalrymple (Author)


Here is a searing account-probably the best yet published-of life in the underclass and why it persists as it does. Theodore Dalrymple, a British psychiatrist who treats the poor in a slum hospital and a prison in England, has seemingly seen it all. Yet in listening to and observing his patients, he is continually astonished by the latest twist of depravity that exceeds even his own considerable experience. Dalrymple's key insight in Life at the Bottom is that long-term poverty is caused not by economics but by a dysfunctional set of values, one that is continually reinforced by an elite culture searching for victims. This culture persuades those at the bottom that they have no responsibility for their actions and are not the molders of their own lives. Drawn from the pages of the...

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives
by Lola M. Schaefer (Author), Christopher Silas Neal (Illustrator)


In one lifetime, a caribou will shed 10 sets of antlers, a woodpecker will drill 30 roosting holes, a giraffe will wear 200 spots, a seahorse will birth 1,000 babies.

Count each one and many more while learning about the wondrous things that can happen in just one lifetime. This extraordinary book collects animal information not available anywhere else—and shows all 30 roosting holes, all 200 spots, and, yes!, all 1,000 baby seahorses in eye-catching illustrations. A book about picturing numbers and considering the endlessly fascinating lives all around us, Lifetime is sure to delight young nature lovers.

Diet, Life Expectancy, and Chronic Disease: Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists and Other Vegetarians

Diet, Life Expectancy, and Chronic Disease: Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists and Other Vegetarians
by Gary E. Fraser (Author)


Research into the role of diet in chronic disease can be difficult to interpret. Measurement errors in different studies often produce conflicting answers to the same questions. Seventh-day Adventists and other groups with many vegetarian members are ideal study populations because they have a wide range of dietary habits that adds power and clarity to research findings. This book analyzes the results of such studies, focusing on heart disease and cancer. These studies support the benefits of a vegetarian diet and in addition provide evidence about the effects of individual foods and food groups on disease risk that is relevant to all who are interested in good health. Fraser places the findings in athe broader context of well-designed nutritional studies of the general population. ...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com