This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

The body rids itself of damage when it really matters

Although the body is constantly replacing cells and cell constituents, damage and imperfections accumulate over time. Cleanup efforts are saved for when it really matters. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, are able to show how the body rids itself of damage when it is time to reproduce and create new life.

'I have a daughter. She is made of my cells yet has much less cellular damage than my cells. Why didn't she inherit my cells including the damaged proteins? That's the process I'm interested in,' says Malin Hernebring from the Department of Cell- and Molecular Biology at the University of Gothenburg. A few days after conception, the cells in the embryo all look the same – they are unspecified stem cells that can develop into any bodily cell type. As the process of cell specification (differentiation) begins, they go from being able to keep dividing infinitely to being able to do so only a limited number of times. This is when they start cleansing themselves. 'Quite unexpectedly we found that the level of protein damage was relatively high in the embryo's unspecified cells, but then it decreased dramatically. A few days after the onset of cell differentiation, the protein damage level had gone down by 80-90 percent. We think this is a result of the damaged material being broken down.'
Read more

TAGGED: BIOLOGY, MEDICINE


RELATED CONTENT

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk...

Peter Singer - The Scotsman Comments

Analysis: Why it’s irrational to risk women’s lives for the sake of the unborn

Jumping Genes a Cause of Cancer?

Ruth Williams - TheScientist Comments

Double helix showing coplanar alignment of standard base pairs.

A Mathematical Challenge to Obesity

CLAUDIA DREIFUS - New York Times 15 Comments

Carson C. Chow deploys mathematics to solve the everyday problems of real life. As an investigator at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, he tries to figure out why 1 in 3 Americans are obese.

Cocaine decreases activity of a protein...

- - MedicalXpress 27 Comments

Cocaine decreases activity of a protein necessary for normal functioning of the brain's reward system

Neurons Mirror the Diametric Mind

Christopher Badcock, Ph.D -... 3 Comments

Neurons Mirror the Diametric Mind

Schizophrenics amplify neuronal mirroring, autistics reduce it

How thinking about death can lead to a...

- - MedicalXpress 11 Comments

How thinking about death can lead to a good life
Thinking about death can actually be a good thing. An awareness of mortality can improve physical health and help us re-prioritize our goals and values, according to a new analysis of recent scientific studies. Even non-conscious thinking about death – say walking by a cemetery – could prompt positive changes and promote helping others.

MORE

MORE BY UNIVERSITY OF GOTHENBURG

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment