The Challenges of Attending College Essay

1078 WordsApr 9, 20145 Pages
There are a number of annoying clichés of science reporting, prime among them being the need to make a connection from any research to a specific application. It must be deeply embedded in the journalism culture, or written in a handbook somewhere. In medicine this means that any study that involves viruses or the immune system’s ability to fight off infection might lead to a cure for the common cold. Any study that has anything to do with cell function might lead to a cure for cancer. Almost any study of the brain might one day cure Alzheimer’s disease. Add to this – any study that alters a metabolic parameter that changes with age might, of course, reverse the ageing process. Such were the headlines about a recent study in Cell looking at mitrochondrial function in mice. Here is the summary: Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of aging, but its causes are debated. We show that, during aging, there is a specific loss of mitochondrial, but not nuclear, encoded OXPHOS subunits. We trace the cause to an alternate PGC-1α/β-independent pathway of nuclear-mitochondrial communication that is induced by a decline in nuclear NAD+ and the accumulation of HIF-1α under normoxic conditions, with parallels to Warburg reprogramming. Deleting SIRT1 accelerates this process, whereas raising NAD+ levels in old mice restores mitochondrial function to that of a young mouse in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Thus, a pseudohypoxic state that disrupts PGC-1α/β-independent nuclear-mitochondrial communication contributes to the decline in mitochondrial function with age, a process that is apparently reversible. They used the magic word, “reversible” – that means to the media, apparently, the fountain of youth. The research itself is very interesting. Mitochondria certainly are vitally important to cell function and are implicated in a number of disease processes. The more we
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