As seen on the Wacky World of YouTube!
The wonders of nature, visualized.
Can blueberry extract prevent or reduce the effects of Parkinson’s? That’s what researchers at Memorial University are trying to figure out.
A new paper by David Lipsett and Dr. Brian Staveley of the Department of Biology suggests that a diet supplemented with blueberry extract may indeed have a positive impact on a fruit fly model of Parkinson Disease.
“Parkinson disease is the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disorder and is only surpassed in frequency by Alzheimer disease,” he said. “Initially believed to be an entirely random disease, studies have identified alpha-synuclein as the first gene related to Parkinson’s.”
Alpha-synuclein is a protein abundant in the human brain, found mainly at the tips of nerve cells, or neurons, in specialized structures called presynaptic terminals. These terminals release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters, which relay signals between neurons and is critical for normal brain function.
Although the function of this gene is not well understood, studies suggest that it plays an important role in regulating the release of dopamine, a type of neurotransmitter critical for controlling the start and stop of voluntary and involuntary movements.
“This gene is proven to be the cause of inherited Parkinson disease in human families that have more of the gene, or an unusual form of it,” said Dr. Staveley. “We’ve taken that gene and put it in fruit flies and found that causes a few defects including decreased lifespan and retinal degeneration.”
A few weeks ago we shared with you the first part in a two part series on 2D Gel Electrophoresis. In this last part of the series you will learn: IEF separation, using immobilized pH gradient (IPG) strips, running second-dimension PAGE, spot detection, gel matching, and data analysis, followed by Q&A on topics including sample preparation, storage, and running conditions.
Great video with some great quotes (although they may have been misattributed)
Functional genomics will be to 21st century medicine what infections disease was to the 20th century
(found quoted in the name of many people across the web)
Live as if you were to die tomorrow…and learn as if you were to live forever
(Mahatma Ghandi-misattributed to Dr. Ricciardi)