Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A little stress is good for cellular health and longevity

           Molecular biologists from Northwestern University just discovered that a little stress can be good for health. The scientists found that a stressed mitochondria prevents the failure of protein folding which suppresses the increase of damaged protein such as Alzheimer's and Parkinsons disease. The biologists also observed animals and noticed that when a mitochondria is stressed just a little, the stress signal is absorbed by cells and animal making the animals stress resistant which doubles their life span. From this discovery the biologists didn't want to discover something to make people live longer, but to improve health at cellular levels. Research was done and scientists from Northwestern University found that molecular decline during aging happens due to inhibitory signals which prevents production of protective cell stress responses. From this an experiment was done on roundworms, a set of genes known as mitochondrial electron transport chain out of 22,000 genes was discovered to be the start of age related decline. Signaling small amounts of stress resulted in healthier animals in the end leading to the increase of life span. This research was very interesting and actually really cool. The article unlike many gives a good background of what was done and how they lead up to the discovery of a little bit of stress to be good for humans and animals. Its always been to thought that stress on the body will always negatively impact a person, but its crazy to see how smalls amounts of stress on the mitochondria helps with the overall health of cells. This research could lead to so many new discoveries and could lead to tests on humans to see if this discovery positively impacts our bodies. 


  1. I think this is very good to hear as everyone stresses; it is seemingly unavoidable. With this research, we can relax a little and know that our stress is not only negatively affecting us but can have a positive effect.

  2. It's good to hear that the stress I experience (especially as a student) can be having some sort of positive effect on my body. What I find really interesting is that stress can even lead to a person living a longer life! My question; however, is if the stress is more than just "a little" - will that have a significant effect on someone's overall health - positive or negative?

  3. The research on molecular biology of mitochondrial stress in relation to health and longevity is a very interesting finding that I did not expect to have a beneficial correlation. I always thought stress adversely affected overall health, but this study shows that stress plays a role on the cellular level. Ironically it is finals week and I am full of stress so maybe my cells will help me survive!