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 From Ponce De Leon to Pfizer, humans have always been in search of the "fountain of youth."   Whether it be internal or external, the goal is to "be young again," or in these studies, to increase the lifespan in mice.  Reactive Oxygen Species(ROS) and free radicals have been pinned as the cultprits of aging; the goal of these experiments is to reverse this process. Years before his death Linus Pauling saw the picture of ROS in the battle of age defiance.  So here's the big picture; we are looking at a few mice treated with this catalase in either the peroxisome, the nucleus, or the mitochondria. The catalase inhibits the production of ROS The results were conclusive in that the mice treated with the catalse lived significantly longer, months, than the "wild type."  Therefore, we have a significant scientific breakthrough, right? Perhaps, yes, this does spark an increase in lifespan in mice, however, the catalase blocks the formation of these ROS, and thus the experiments further prove that ROS "damage cellular constituents" (Anti-Aging Sweepstakes). 
       Scientists are not miracle workers.  As of right now, they can only use what they have found in mice to further investigate aging in larger animals, and eventually humans.  Hopefully in the not-too-far-off future, doctors can use this information to hinder "age-related problems such as cancer and Alzheimer's" (Catalase Extends Mouse Lifespan).  But as for right now, scientists will continue to monitor the "slow-aging organisms donated to us by 100 millions years of natural selection, to map out the common pathways by which aging can best be modulated" (Anti-Aging Sweepstakes).

 

     

 

 

 
University of Arizona
Biology 181H 2005 Group 7
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Last Revised: 12/7/05