Friday, May 18, 2012

Suicide-bags

Suicide-bags would probably be a good name for a band. If this was the 1970's. Suicide-bags is also a name for the lysosomes found within cells because as well as pathogen destruction they are involved in the natural process of cell organelle recycling and even cell death. This degradation and recycling of ageing and dying cells, or autophagy, is attracting a lot of attention these days because of its links to disease and aging.

The science writter Carl Zimmer wrote an article for the New York Times on this topic, Self-Destructive Behavior in Cells May Hold Key to a Longer Life based on a paper in Trends in Cell Biology: The regulation of aging: does autophagy underlie longevity?
Recent evidence has revealed that autophagic activity is required for lifespan extension in various long-lived mutant organisms, and that numerous autophagy-related genes or proteins are directly regulated by longevity pathways. These findings support the emerging view that autophagy is a central regulatory mechanism for aging in diverse eukaryotic species.

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