UPDATE: August 17, 2009 deadline for matching funds, Every dollar you donate is $6 for the research
Great opportunity to raise funds for the laser ablation of lipofuscin: each $30 donation becomes $180 by the end of all the matching.
The goal of this research is to tune the use of laser pulses in order to remove lipofuscin from aged cells, to hopefully cure or reduce aging. Worms and human cell cultures are the first target, but it is believed that accumulated lipofuscin is a key process leading to age related diseases:
Abstract: Lipofuscin is membrane-bound cellular waste that can be neither degraded nor ejected from the cell but can only be diluted through cell division and subsequent growth. The fate of postmitotic cells is to accumulate lipofuscin, which as an “aging pigment” has been considered a reliable biomarker for the age of cells such as neurons and, by extension, their hosts. In the aging human brain, deposits of lipofuscin are not uniformly distributed but are concentrated in specific regions of functional interest. The prevailing thought is that the major source of lipofuscin is incomplete lysosomal degradation of damaged mitochondria. Accumulating evidence suggests that lipofuscin is not benign but can impair the functioning of seemingly unrelated cellular systems, including the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway. A damaging feedback loop of lysosomal and proteasomal inhibition may occur as lipofuscin accumulates, leading to what has been appropriately named a “garbage catastrophe.” Reversing this catastrophe presents a formidable challenge.
Citation: D. A. Gray, J. Woulfe, Lipofuscin and Aging: A Matter of Toxic Waste. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2005 (5), re1 (2005).
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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