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


How to rule a gene galaxy: A lesson from developing neurons
The human organism contains hundreds of distinct cell types that often differ from their neighbours in shape and function.

Is marriage good or bad for the figure?
It is generally assumed that marriage has a positive influence on health and life expectancy. But does this "marriage bonus" also apply to the health indicator of body weight?

Avocados may hold the answer to beating leukemia
Rich, creamy, nutritious and now cancer fighting. New research reveals that molecules derived from avocados could be effective in treating a form of cancer.

UGA researchers find potential treatment for fatal lung diseases
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that the drug triciribine may reverse or halt the progression of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension, two respiratory diseases that are almost invariably fatal.

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.
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

Bengal Cats and Kittens: Complete Owner's Guide to Bengal Cat and Kitten Care: Personality, temperament, breeding, training, health, diet, life expectancy, buying, cost, and more facts

Bengal Cats and Kittens: Complete Owner's Guide to Bengal Cat and Kitten Care: Personality, temperament, breeding, training, health, diet, life expectancy, buying, cost, and more facts
by Taylor David (Author)


"Bengal Cat and Kittens" will introduce you to the cat that is like no other breed in terms of their dog-like habits. If you are looking for a loyal companion that fetches, walks on a leash, often has a strong fondness for water, and is as beautiful as the Asian Leopard Cat it descended from originally, then this might be the ideal cat for you! This book also includes information on how the Bengal cat compares to other similar exotic breeds of cats that have "wild" cat ancestors from a few generations back, as well as TICA information, and legal considerations specifically for USA, Canada and the UK. "It's good to finally read a book by someone that has owned and clearly loves Bengals like I do. I learned a lot about my Bengal kitten after reading it. Highly recommended!" -Louise Pasli

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...

Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer

Prescription for Life: Three Simple Strategies to Live Younger Longer
by Richard MD, FACS Furman (Author)


During his more than thirty years as a vascular surgeon, Richard Furman literally held clogged arteries and diseased hearts in his hands and wondered why the person lying on the table hadn't been more careful. Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in America, and in most cases it is completely preventable. So why are we slowly destroying our bodies and killing ourselves? And what can we do to turn it around?

The good news is, simple, sustainable lifestyle changes can mean the difference between health and infirmity, between life and death. Putting his three decades of experience and education to work, Dr. Furman gives readers the strategies they need to live not just longer, but younger. This essential resource to health helps readers

-achieve and maintain...

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.

Understanding Life Expectancy: Why Men Die Earlier Than Women

Understanding Life Expectancy: Why Men Die Earlier Than Women
by Anthony Ekanem (Author)


It is the desire of all humans (with very few exceptions) to live long on earth and fulfil their purpose for existence. Many have desired to live up to 80, 90, 100 and some even wish to live longer. While this desire to live long is a legitimate one, it often happens that people die when they least wished or expected. Historically, women live longer than men and this trend may continue for centuries and perhaps longer. Even with the sizable risk conferred by childbirth, women lived longer than men in 1900, and it appears that women have out survived men at least since the 1500s, when the first reliable mortality data were kept. Sweden was the first country to collect data on death rates nationally; in that country's earliest records, between 1751 and 1790, the average life expectancy...

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. ...

Life's Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable (Science Essentials)

Life's Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable (Science Essentials)
by Paul G. Falkowski (Author)


For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life's Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible--and how human life today would cease to exist without them.Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built--and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how...

© 2015 BrightSurf.com