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Biologists Slow Down Aging in Fruit Flies
[ Issue 156 Page 2 ] Friday, September 22, 2017, 04:49:03 Njoroge Maingi Junior Staff Reporter njoroge@kaist.ac.kr

In a recent study published on September 6 in the journal Nature Communications, biologists at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) claimed to have found a way to slow down aging.

The scientists’ approach focuses on the mitochondrion, the cell organelle found that powers our bodies by providing energy. Mitochondria often become damaged with age and over time the damaged mitochondria tend to gather in the brain, muscles, and other organs. When cells can’t eliminate the damaged mitochondria, the mitochondria may become toxic and contribute to a variety of age-related diseases.

UCLA scientists removed damaged mitochondria from fruit flies by dismantling enlarged mitochondria into smaller pieces. As soon as this was done, the flies had increased endurance. Resultantly, female flies lived on average 20 percent longer than their typical lifespan, while males lived 12 percent longer.

The scientists believe that the technique will possibly lead to a way to delay the onset of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other age-related diseases.

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