‘Cellular time machine’ Biologists slows down aging, extend the lifespan of flies
‘Cellular time machine’ Biologists slows down aging, extend the lifespan of flies. Researchers at University of California – Los Angeles have been researching on extending life spans of living beings so as to eventually use the following on humans and benefit them. This is being called as Cellular Time Machine as it turns back the time for the aging process. During a study on middle-aged fruit flies, the researchers were able to improve the health of animals by significantly slowing their aging process. Now the researchers state that the technique could now be used to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer and a lot more age-related diseases in humans.
The research mainly focuses on mitochondria which are tiny power generators within a cell which control the growth of cells and determine the death and life. As Mitochondria gets old, It becomes damaged and as we humans grow older, those old damaged mitochondria accumulated in our muscles, brains and other organs. When our cells cannot fight on with removing damaged mitochondria, these damaged mitochondria becomes very toxic and leads to a wide range of diseases which are age-related diseases.
As we said mitochondria accumulate with age rather than getting discarded by the cells. Now in case of flies the size of mitochondria increases after flies are at their mid average age. So they decided to reduce the size of mitochondria which is now old and cannot be discarded by cells. They did this by breaking the mitochondria into smaller sizes which successfully did the trick. Now the flies were active than ever before and live for a larger period of time increasing their life span. Similarly, We hope to achieve the same with humans so that the mitochondria do not accumulate or if does and causes some diseases we can find an alternative to stop the toxication and increase the life span of the being.