Navigation Links
Marine organisms with eternal life can solve the riddle of aging
Date:4/20/2011

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
helen.skold@marecol.gu.se
46-052-318-529
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Marine organisms with eternal life can solve the riddle of aging
(Date:11/16/2016)... SANTA CLARA, Calif. , Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... company enhancing user experience and security for consumer ... provider for the financial and retail industry, today ... more secure and convenient way to authenticate users ... now uses Sensory,s TrulySecure™ software which ...
(Date:11/14/2016)... Inc. ("xG" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: XGTI, XGTIW), a ... challenging operating environments, announced its results for the third ... conference call to discuss these results on November 15, ... Key Recent Accomplishments The ... Vislink Communication Systems. The purchase is expected to close ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... -- The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics was once ... one of the fastest-growing trade shows during the Fastest 50 ... Las Vegas . Winners ... each of the following categories: net square feet of paid ... The 2015 ACMG Annual Meeting was ranked 23 out of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:12/6/2016)... PARK, Calif. , Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... up to $150 million from the National Institutes ... Diseases and the Division of AIDS (NIAID-DAIDS) to ... and other non-vaccine pre-exposure (PreP) agents. Under the ... of preclinical product development services for candidate HIV-prevention ...
(Date:12/6/2016)... ... December 06, 2016 , ... ... discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the ... (AD) inhibited the direct neurotoxic effect of prion-like forms of Amyloid beta ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec. 5, 2016 Axovant Sciences Ltd. ... company focused on the treatment of dementia, today announced ... the treatment of Alzheimer,s disease will be presented at ... on Friday, December 9, 2016 in San ... results of both simple and complex measures of activities ...
(Date:12/5/2016)... , Dec 5, 2016 Research ... "Biomarkers - Technologies, Markets and Companies" to their offering. ... , , ... and their discovery using various -omics technologies such as proteomics and ... and new tests are also based on biomarker. Currently ...
Breaking Biology Technology: