Researchers identify genes that protect during ageing

April 21st, 2009 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

London, April 21 (IANS) A new method developed by scientists will help researchers isolate genes that can protect the body during the ageing process.
They developed a method of analysing genes in multiple ageing tissue types in both animals and humans.

The analysis, which included more than five million gene measurements, highlighted mechanisms to protect the body against muscle degeneration and cognitive ageing.

Research has suggested that some genes respond to age-related conditions by increasing key protein levels, allowing the body to manage the ageing process more effectively.

Joao Pedro Magalhaes, from Liverpool University’s School of Biological Sciences, explained: “We developed a new algorithm to analyse microarray data of genes from different species, and combined data from multiple studies to obtain a picture of how genes respond to ageing in a whole organism.”

“This method is similar to the way scientists study the molecular characteristics of cancer, but it is the first time it has been used to research ageing,” he said.

“Studies so far have looked at the ageing process in particular tissues, but have not been able to build a coherent view of ageing in whole organisms, said a Liverpool release.

Results have suggested that genes can adapt to ageing and help protect the body, or even slow down the ageing process.

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