There is no way to avoid getting old. However, researchers affiliated with the University of California San Diego, also abbreviated as UCSD, could now be one step closer to delaying the aging process. A brilliant team of researchers has looked into the process of aging in yeast. Yeast was chosen because its cells can be manipulated with ease, so they can be used in an effort to understand if different cells all age at the very same rate and if the reasons for aging are the same in every cell.
The results of this study were absolutely intriguing. It would seem that even the cells made out of the very same genetic material and within the exact same environment somehow aged in completely distinct manners. The scientists that had these findings published their results in Science, the academic journal.
Around half of the yeast cells were aged because the nucleolus presented a gradual decline. The nucleolus is a round body found in the nucleus of the cells, which is something that researchers understood after using different techniques, involving computer modeling and microfluidics.
On the other hand, the other half of the cells aged because they presented a dysfunction of the mitochondria, which is the powerhouse of the cell, responsible for producing energy. It would seem that cells go down one of these paths, either mitochondrial or nuclear, very early in their existence, then they go on their route until death.
Nan Hao, the senior author of the study and an associate professor affiliated with the UCSD division of the biological sciences’ molecular biology division, explained that the molecular processes have to be identified in order to understand how cells go on each of their respective routes. There appears to be a molecular circuit that is able to control the aging of cells.