Society 11:54 26/07/2013

Scientists discover death can be SEEN spreading like a blue glowing wave through the body of a worm

British scientists have captured death spreading like a wave through the body of a worm, by studying the blue fluorescence that travels cell-to-cell until the whole organism is dead, the Daily Mail reported. 

Researchers from the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) likened the spread of the blue glow travelling through the worm's body to that of the Grim Reaper, stalking death.

They believe that the research could eventually prove to be a useful model to understanding death in people and perhaps even lead to an increase in life expectancy.

When individual cells die, they trigger a chemical chain reaction that leads to the breakdown of cell components and a build-up of molecular debris.

The molecular mechanisms of this are reasonably well understood at a cellular level but we know much less about how death spreads throughout an organism at the end of its life.

In worms, the spread of death can be seen easily under a microscope as a wave of blue fluorescence travelling through the gut of the worm.

The study, published in PLoS Biology, reveals that this fluorescence is caused by a cell death pathway called necrosis and its spread throughout the organism is dependent on calcium signalling.

Professor David Gems from the Institute of Health Ageing at University College London, who led the study, said: 'We’ve identified a chemical pathway of self-destruction that propagate cell death in worms, which we see as this glowing blue fluorescence travelling through the body.

'It’s like a blue Grim Reaper, tracking death as it spreads throughout the organism until all life is extinguished.

'We found that when we blocked this pathway, we could delay death induced by a stress such as infection, but we couldn’t slow death from old age.

'This suggests that ageing causes death by a number of processes acting in parallel.'

The mechanisms involved are similar to those that are active in mammals, confirming that the worm can provide a useful model to understand cell death in people.

The source of the blue fluorescence was previously thought to be a substance called lipofuscin, which emits light of a similar colour and has been linked to ageing because it accumulates with increasing molecular damage.

However, scientists now think another molecule called anthranilic acid is the source of the blue hue and the study shows that lipofuscin is not involved.

Professor Gems said: 'Together the findings cast doubt on the theory that ageing is simply a consequence of an accumulation of molecular damage.

'We need to focus on the biological events that occur during ageing and death to properly understand how we might be able to interrupt these processes.'



Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Azerbaijani forces have applied AOP-17 and RSL-7 types of grenade launchers
On the night of October 26-27 the adversary have violated the ceasefire regime along the Line of Contact between Armenian-Azerbaijani opposing...
Azerbaijan: Ten years imprisonment for activist for painting on monument to Heydar Aliyev
Baku court handed down a ten-year prison sentence tothe Azerbaijani activist of youth opposition movement “NiDa”, GiyasIbrahimov, on...
Armenian soldier killed by Azerbaijan fire
The Azerbaijani forces have continued violating the ceasefire along the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan on Wednesday....
Armenian artists comment on Yerevan current view
Architect Arsen Karapetyan wrote on his Facebook page: “People who are unable to differentiate between plaster and concrete had enough...
"Armenia is a donor country"
Brain drain in Armenia is one-sided phenomenon which is not compensated by inflow,” Head of Alternative research center, Economist Tatoul...
Engine of airplane en route from Moscow to Yerevan caught fire
Last night one of the engines of an airplane en route from Moscow to Yerevan caught fire. As Life news reports the passengers were quickly...
Apple VP Lisa Jackson talks of sharing user data with government
WikiLeaks’ ongoing dump of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta have already offered a few insights relating...
Man Booker prize 2016 won by American author Paul Beatty
Paul Beatty has become the first American writer to win the Man Booker prize, for a caustic satire on US racial politics that judges said put...
EU renews calls for a humanitarian pause to allow aid into Aleppo
As conflict continues in the divided Syrian city of Aleppo and wounded civilians remained trapped without access to aid, High...
Arthur Abraham sustained elbow injury
Armenian professional boxer Arthur Abraham was getting ready for the upcoming boxing bout against Martin Murray. The bout was scheduled to take...
Naira Zohrabyan: Issue of Interaction via skype remains pending for three years
The submitted program is a good one. We all realize that we will approve it by vote and put it in a shelf. Do not come up with utopian...
Gagik Tsarukyan is likely to return to politics
During today’s “EXPO-RUSSIA ARMENIA plus IRAN” International Industrial Exhibition businessman, MP Gagik Tsarukyan has...
A. Alaverdyan: Students with disabilities make up only one percent
“Let them register slow progress but let it be real so that the inclusive educational institutions become genuine,” Unison NGO...
Armenia’s snow-covered landscape in photos
Gagik Surenyan, the deputy head of Weather Forecasts Department of Armenian State Hydrometeorological Service have posted photos of...
Armenia, EU intensively negotiate over including economic element into the new cooperation document, expert says
“The regular session of Armenia-EU talks were held aimed at clarifying the last provisions of a new legal comprehensive document,...
Pobeda to carry out round-trip flights from Moscow to Gyumri
An arrangement has been reached with Russian Pobeda Airlines to carry out round-trip flights from Gyumri’s Shirak t to Moscow’s...
Minsk Group Co-Chairs will discuss in Hamburg a possible meeting of the Presidents at the earliest opportunity.
The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Ambassadors Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, James Warlick of the United States of America, and...
Situation on the frontline
On the night of October 25-26 the Azerbaijani forces have violated the ceasefire regime along the Line of Contact between Nagorno Karabakh and...
Harut Sassounian: WikiLeaks reveals Hillary Clinton’s email exchanges on Armenian issues
The whole world is following with great interest the flood of internal emails released by WikiLeaks: over 400,000 emails of the Turkish ruling...
President met with the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group
President Serzh Sargsyan received on Tuesday the Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group Igor Popov (Russia), James Warlick (US), Pierre Andrieu, and...
President received representatives of the 8th Panarmenian Journalists Conference
President Serzh Sargsyan received today representatives of the 8th Panarmenian Journalists Conference titled Armenian Statehood: The Pivot of...
Weightlifter Arpine Dalakyan conquers a bronze medal at Junior World Championships
Armenia’s women’s weightlifting junior team member Arpine Dalakyan conquered a bronze medal at the 2016 IWF Youth World...
James Warlick presented the reasons of the Minsk Group co-chairs’ regional visit
The US co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group James Warlick gave a press conference in Yerevan on Tuesday, speaking of the reasons the Minsk Group...
Number of RA citizens with dual citizenship amounts to 96 thousand
Currently the data available in the police archive shows that the number of dual citizens in Armenia amounts to 95.839. During the NA session...
Five countries align with EU's anti-Russia sanctions until mid-March
Ukraine, Montenegro, Albania, Liechtenstein, and Norway have aligned themselves with the sanctions extended by the Council of the European Union...
James Warlick: After April incidents the ceasefire is generally respected
After the April tragedies on the Line of Contact between Armenian-Azerbaijani opposing troops the ceasefire has generally been respected. Today...
Antares and Edit Print publishing houses announce books coming out soon
Antares Publishing House will complete the planned publications by the end of the year, Arkmenik Nikoghosyan, Editor-in-Chief of the publishing...
Greek journalists to go on 5-hour strike against pension legislation
Greek journalists will hold a five-hour strike on Tuesday in opposition to the new pension legislation, the Journalists’ Union of Athens...
Economist: Word “subsidy” is so common in the new government program, that one is frightened
“The issues are clearly defined in the new government program,” Economist Ashot Khurshudyan noted during the discussion on the topic...
“IT’s Armenia” seminar to be held in Tokyo
On October 28 a seminar entitled “IT’s Armenia” will be held in Tokyo dedicated to the introduction of the IT sphere in...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}