Manipulating mitochondrial networks could promote healthy aging
It has been said before that fasting can slow aging, and an article by Scienedaily decided to find out the science behind this. Overtime, cells' have a declining ability to process energy, leading to aging. Mitochondria otherwise known as the energy producer of the cell, change shape in response to their energy demand. Mitochondria loss their capacity to change shape with age. Researchers decided to further their study in C. elegans (nematode worms) which have a short lifespan. They discovered that restricting the worm's diet, or by genetic manipulation of an energy producing protein called AMP-activated protein kinase, kept mitochondria in a youthful network. By keeping it in its youthful network can increase the lifespan by communicating with organelles called peroxisome to modulate at metabolism.
This research is useful to help reduce our chance of developing age-related diseases as we get older. The next step is to apply this test to humans and see the role mitochondrial networks play in fasting of mammals and maybe explain the association between obesity and increased risk for age-related disease.