Navigation Links
Marine organisms with eternal life can solve the riddle of aging

Animals that reproduce asexually by somatic cloning have special mechanisms that delay ageing provide exceptionally good health. Scientists at the University of Gothenburg have shown how colony-forming ascidians (or sea squirts) can activate the enzyme telomerase, which protects DNA. This enzyme is more active also in humans who attain an advanced age.

"Animals that clone themselves, in which part of an individual's body is passes on to the next generations, have particularly interesting conditions related to remaining in good health to persist. This makes it useful to study these animals in order to understand mechanisms of ageing in humans", says Helen Nilsson Skld of the Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg.

There are enormous differences in the lengths of life of the Earth's species. Some animals and plants that reproduce asexually can in principle achieve essentially eternal life; there are examples of deep-sea corals that are tens of thousands of years old. Helen Nilsson Skld has decided to study sea squirts and starfish, which are species whose genes resemble closely those of humans.

"My research has shown that sea squirts rejuvenate themselves by activating the enzyme telomerase, and in this way extending their chromosomes and protecting their DNA. They also have a special ability to discard 'junk' from their cells. Older parts of the animal are quite simply broken down, and are then partially recycled when new and healthy parts grow out from the adult bodies."

Some species of starfish reproduce asexually by tearing apart their bodies, while others reproduce sexually only. This makes them particularly interesting animals to study. Both types of starfish can reconstruct lost body parts, but the species that reproduce asexually have considerably better health.

However, one consequence of asexual reproduction is that the species as a whole will have a very low genetic variation. This means that they will be particularly vulnerable to climate change, and the subsequent new types of changes in the environment. There is a high risk that these animals and plants will lose out and then we will lose important knowledge about the riddle of ageing.


Contact: Helen Nilsson Skld
University of Gothenburg

Related biology news :

1. VIMS study: Propeller turbulence may affect marine food webs
2. Studies of marine animals aim to help prevent rejection of transplanted organs
3. Death -- not just life -- important link in marine ecosystems
4. Human impacts on the marine ecosystems of Antarctica
5. New device uses submarine technology to diagnose stroke quickly
6. Algae, bacteria hogged oxygen after ancient mass extinction, slowed marine life recovery
7. Ecological scorecards to help assess status, trends in North Americas marine protected areas
8. A research study analyzes marine spill prevention policies in Spain
9. MBARI and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to study effects of shipping containers lost at sea
10. New study shows marine networks can protect fish stocks
11. Semporna may have richest marine biodiversity in the world
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Marine organisms with eternal life can solve the riddle of aging
(Date:11/17/2015)... Pressure BioSciences, Inc. (OTCQB: PBIO) ("PBI" and ... of broadly enabling, pressure cycling technology ("PCT")-based sample preparation ... it has received gross proceeds of $745,000 from an ... "Offering"), increasing the total amount raised to date in ... are expected in the near future. ...
(Date:11/12/2015)... 2015  Arxspan has entered into an agreement ... for use of its ArxLab cloud-based suite of ... partnership will support the institute,s efforts to electronically ... information internally and with external collaborators. The ArxLab ... the Institute,s electronic laboratory notebook, compound and assay ...
(Date:11/10/2015)...  In this report, the biomarkers market ... type, application, disease indication, and geography. The ... consumables, services, software. The type segments included ... biomarkers, and validation biomarkers. The applications segments ... drug discovery and development, personalized medicine, disease ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that all ... copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from the ... a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... PUNE, India , November 24, 2015 ... to a new market research report "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market ... Equipment), Application (PCR, Gene Synthesis, Diagnostic, DNA, RNAi), End-User ... to 2020", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is expected ... 1,078.1 Million in 2015, at a CAGR of 10.1% ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... --> --> ... by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal testing ... 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. The ... Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2014 ... to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by 2022. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In harsh industrial processes, the ... in-line sensors can represent a weak spot where leaking process media is a ... sensor housings , which are designed to tolerate extreme process conditions. They combine ...
Breaking Biology Technology: