Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Biologists may have identified gene central to development, reproduction and aging

Date:
August 29, 2013
Source:
Université de Fribourg
Summary:
Biologists have been looking at a threadworm gene which also occurs in humans. This gene could be central to a genetic system which is responsible for development, reproduction and the aging process.

Biologists at the University of Fribourg have been looking at a threadworm gene which also occurs in humans. This gene could be central to a genetic system which is responsible for development, reproduction and the ageing process.

Ageing involves a deterioration in physiological functions which inevitably leads to death. The risk of contracting age-related diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders is increased by the body's deterioration. Latest advances in research permit the isolation of genetic factors which control not only ageing but also the occurrence of age-related diseases.

Prof. Fritz Müller, Dr. Chantal Wicky and their research team have highlighted the importance of the gene let-418/Mi2 in the Caenorhabditis elegans worm because it regulates ageing and stress resistance as well as being essential for development and reproduction. The researchers have discovered that when the gene is deactivated in adult worms in the laboratory, they live longer and are considerably more resistant to stress. The gene forms part of a genetic system which plays a key beneficial role in growth and reproduction. But as soon as these stages are over, the effects become harmful.

Thanks to their collaboration with Prof. Simon Sprecher's recently formed research team at the University of Fribourg, the researchers were able to establish that this gene also operates as an ageing and stress regulator in the case of flies and plants. This indicates that the mechanism of action of this gene has been preserved over the course of evolution and may function similarly in humans. Deactivating the gene after the reproductive stage is over would enable the human body to enjoy a significant increase in life expectancy since its level of resilience would rise and the occurrence of age-related illnesses would diminish. The study of such factors -- which have negative as well as positive effects according to the stage of life -- represents a huge potential for human medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Université de Fribourg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Véronique De Vaux, Catherine Pfefferli, Myriam Passannante, Khaoula Belhaj, Alina von Essen, Simon G. Sprecher, Fritz Müller, Chantal Wicky. TheCaenorhabditis elegansLET-418/Mi2 plays a conserved role in lifespan regulation. Aging Cell, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/acel.12129

Cite This Page:

Université de Fribourg. "Biologists may have identified gene central to development, reproduction and aging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110029.htm>.
Université de Fribourg. (2013, August 29). Biologists may have identified gene central to development, reproduction and aging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110029.htm
Université de Fribourg. "Biologists may have identified gene central to development, reproduction and aging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829110029.htm (accessed April 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) — A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) — President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins