(ORDO NEWS) — Molecular biologists and bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego (US) have uncovered the key mechanisms of aging and developed genetic methods for increasing life expectancy. It turned out that age-related changes in the body occur in two different ways. This is reported in an article published in the journal Science.
The researchers studied the aging process in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a model organism. It turned out that cells of the same origin in the same environment can age in radically different ways.
Using microfluidics and computer modeling, scientists have found that about half of the cells age due to a gradual decrease in the stability of the nucleolus, an organelle where key components for protein synthesis are formed. The other half of the cells develop mitochondrial dysfunction.
Yeast cells “get up” on one of the aging pathways at an early age and follow them throughout their life. However, scientists have found a molecular “circuit” that regulates both processes and links them together. The simulation allowed the researchers to reprogram the regulatory mechanism through DNA modification, creating a new aging pathway that significantly increases the lifespan of the yeast.
In the future, scientists plan to continue research on more complex cells and organisms, including human tissues. If it turns out that humans have similar aging pathways, it is possible to develop therapeutic agents and medicinal cocktails for longevity.
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