Scientists may have found the “fountain of aging”. They claim that the hypothalamus — a small region of the brain that plays a fundamental role in growth, development, reproduction and metabolism — holds the key to slowing down the rate of aging throughout the body.
Researchers from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in New York have successfully slowed down the rate of aging in mice by tweaking chemical messengers that affect the hypothalamus. Their study was published in the journal ‘Nature’.
By manipulating the levels of the molecule, known as NF-kB, within the hypothalamus, the researchers were able to slow down the rate of aging and increase longevity of mice. Activating the NF-kB pathway in the hypothalamus of mice significantly accelerated the development of aging. The mice showed a decrease in muscle strength and size, in skin thickness, and in their ability to learn — all indicators of aging.
“Activating this pathway promoted systemic ageing that shortened the lifespan,” scientists said. Conversely, they found that blocking the NF-kB pathway in the hypothalamus of mouse brains slowed aging and increased median longevity by about 20%, compared to controls.
“It’s clear from our study that many aspects of aging are controlled by the hypothalamus,” said senior author Dongsheng Cai, professor of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “What’s exciting is that it’s possible — at least in mice — to alter signalling within the hypothalamus to slow down the aging process and increase longevity.”
“As people age,” he said, “you can detect inflammatory changes in various tissues. Inflammation is also involved in various age-related diseases, such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease and cancer.” To find out how the hypothalamus might affect aging, Dr Cai decided to study hypothalamic inflammation by focusing on a protein complex NF-kB (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells).
London: The paint on your wall could soon power your home by generating electricity from sunlight. Interestingly, it could even change colour on request if you find it tiring to stare at the same shade.
British scientists have found that combining the wonder material ‘graphene’ with other stunning one atom thick materials could create the next generation of solar cells and optoelectronic devices. The breakthrough, published in the journal Science on Friday, could lead to electric energy that runs entire buildings by sunlight absorbed by its exposed walls.
The energy can also be used at will to change the transparency and reflectivity of fixtures and windows depending on environmental conditions, such as temperature and brightness.
Source:: Kounteya Sinha TNN
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Photo courtesy1 ::http://adventuresofsahana.blogspot.in/2012_09_01_archive.html
Photo courtesy2 :: http://surenshete.blogspot.in/