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Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany

Rakovic A.,University of Lubeck | Grunewald A.,University of Lubeck | Kottwitz J.,University of Lubeck | Bruggemann N.,University of Lubeck | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

PINK1 and Parkin mutations cause recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). In Drosophila and SH-SY5Y cells, Parkin is recruited by PINK1 to damaged mitochondria, where it ubiquitinates Mitofusins and consequently promotes mitochondrial fission and mitophagy. Here, we investigated the impact of mutations in endogenous PINK1 and Parkin on the ubiquitination of mitochondrial fusion and fission factors and the mitochondrial network structure. Treating control fibroblasts with mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψ) inhibitors or H2O2 resulted in ubiquitination of Mfn1/2 but not of OPA1 or Fis1. Ubiquitination of Mitofusins through the PINK1/Parkin pathway was observed within 1 h of treatment. Upon combined inhibition of Δψ and the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), no ubiquitination of Mitofusins was detected. Regarding morphological changes, we observed a trend towards increased mitochondrial branching in PD patient cells upon mitochondrial stress. For the first time in PD patient-derived cells, we demonstrate that mutations in PINK1 and Parkin impair ubiquitination of Mitofusins. In the presence of UPS inhibitors, ubiquitinated Mitofusin is deubiquitinated by the UPS but not degraded, suggesting that the UPS is involved in Mitofusin degradation. © 2011 Rakovic et al. Source


News Article
Site: http://news.yahoo.com/science/

The famous Ötzi, a man murdered about 5,300 years ago in the Italian Alps, had what's now considered the world's oldest known case of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause ulcers and gastric cancer, a new study finds. It's unclear whether the ancient iceman did, in fact, have ulcers or gastric cancer because his stomach tissue didn't survive. Today, about half of the world's human population has H. pylori in their gut, but only one in 10 people develop a condition from the bacteria, the researchers said. However, an analysis of tissues from Ötzi's gastrointestinal tract shows that his immune system had reacted to the potentially virulent strain, suggesting he might have felt ill from H. pylori symptoms on the day he died. [Mummy Melodrama: Top 9 Secrets About Otzi the Iceman] "We showed the presence of marker proteins which we see today in patients infected with Helicobacter," study lead author Frank Maixner, a microbiologist at the European Academy in Bozen/Bolzano in Italy, said in a statement. The researchers also analyzed the specific H. pylori strain that Ötzi carried. They found that, although it was unique, it was strikingly similar to a strain seen in ancient Asia but not to those in northern Africa as the researchers had suspected. Hikers discovered Ötzi's mummified body in a glacier in 1991, and his remains now reside at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. Studies on the Copper Age man suggest that Ötzi likely lived with aches and pains — during his lifetime, he had bad teeth and knees; a genetic predisposition to heart disease; lactose intolerance; arthritis; a possible case of Lyme disease; and wounds indicating that he suffered from an arrow injury and a blow to the head before he died at somewhere between 40 and 50 years old. Despite these maladies, Ötzi probably would have lived for another 10 to 20 years if he hadn't been murdered, study co-author Albert Zink, the head of the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman at the European Academy, said during a news conference yesterday (Jan. 6). The researchers were curious about whether Ötzi carried the ancient form of H. pylori, which research suggests has existed in humans for at least 100,000 years. But the new study was no easy undertaking. The scientists defrosted the heavily tattooed mummy and used an incision made by an earlier inspection of Ötzi to take tissue samples. The team extracted 12 biopsy samples from the stomach and intestine, and analyzed the genetic material from each. "We had to separate the Helicobacter pylori sequences from the other genetic material," which included the DNA from the iceman himself, food he had eaten, soil bacteria that invaded the body, and other material, study co-senior author Thomas Rattei, the head of the Division of Computational Systems Biology at the University of Vienna in Austria, said at the news conference. "This was like searching [for] a needle in the haystack." But they did find it. Moreover, Ötzi's H. pylori strain was heavily fragmented because of degradation, providing more evidence that it wasn't the result of modern contamination but rather the actual ancient strain that had infected him during the Copper Age, Rattei said. [Album: A New Face for Ötzi the Iceman Mummy] After sequencing the ancient H. pylori strain, the researchers compared it to other known strains of the pathogen. Interestingly, scientists can use H. pylori as a tool to study human migration. The human genome typically mutates slowly over time, but H. pylori mutates quickly. It changes so fast, in fact, that it's usually unique to each geographic population. What's more, if one group of people encounters another — by migrating to a new area, for instance — their H. pylori strains can mix, leaving genetic clues about the mixed strain's background. Furthermore, these H. pylori strains infect only humans, so it can't be carried by other animals, the researchers said. "That is why we studied Helicobacter pylori and why it's so important for illustrating all of these wonderful prehistoric human migrations," said co-senior author Yoshan Moodley, a professor in the Department of Zoology at the University of Venda in South Africa.


Gogele M.,European Academy | Pattaro C.,European Academy | Fuchsberger C.,European Academy | Fuchsberger C.,University of Michigan | And 4 more authors.
Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences | Year: 2011

Although genetic factors are known to influence the human aging process, the proportion of life span and longevity variation explained by them is still controversial. We evaluated the genetic contribution to life span using historical data from three Alpine communities in South Tyrol, Italy. We estimated the heritability of life span and survival to old age (longevity), and we assessed the hypothesis of a common genetic background between life span and reproduction. The heritability of life span was 0.15 (SE = 0.02), whereas the heritability of longevity increased from 0.20 to 0.35 as the longevity threshold increased. Heritability estimates were little influenced by shared environment, most likely due to the homogeneity of lifestyle and environmental factors in our study population. Life span showed both positive association and genetic correlation with reproductive history factors. Our study demonstrates a general low inheritance of human life span, but which increases substantially when considering long-living individuals, and a common genetic background of life span and reproduction, in agreement with evolutionary theories of aging. © The Author 2010. Source


Fins J.J.,Cornell College | Mayberg H.S.,Emory University | Nuttin B.,University Hospitals | Kubu C.S.,Cleveland Clinic | And 4 more authors.
Health Affairs | Year: 2011

Deep brain stimulation-a novel surgical procedure-is emerging as a treatment of last resort for people diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disorders such as severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. The US Food and Drug Administration granted a so-called humanitarian device exemption to allow patients to access this intervention, thereby removing the requirement for a clinical trial of the appropriate size and statistical power. Bypassing the rigors of such trials puts patients at risk, limits opportunities for scientific discovery, and gives device manufacturers unique marketing opportunities. We argue that Congress and federal regulators should revisit the humanitarian device exemption to ensure that it is not used to sidestep careful research that can offer valuable data with appropriate patient safeguards. © 2011 by Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc. Source


REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MicroVision, Inc. (NASDAQ:MVIS), a leader in innovative ultra-miniature projection display and imaging technology, today announced it will host a conference call to discuss its third quarter 2015 financial and operating results on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at 8:30 a.m. ET/5:30 a.m. PT. Participants may join the conference call by dialing 1-800-446-1671 (for U.S. participants) or +1-847-413-3362 (for international participants) ten minutes prior to the start of the call. The conference call pass code number is 41033401. A live webcast of the call can be accessed from the company’s web site in the Investor Events Calendar section from the Investors page. A replay of this call will be available after 8:00 a.m. PT the day of the conference call through the same link or by calling 1 (888) 843-7419 (U.S.) or +1-630-652-3042 (international), pass code 4103 3401#. The call-in replay will be available through November 12, 2015. MicroVision is the creator of PicoP® display technology, an ultra-miniature laser projection and imaging solution for mobile consumer electronics, automotive head-up displays and other applications. MicroVision’s patented technology is a single platform that can enable projected displays, image capture and interaction for a wide array of future-ready products in this rapidly evolving, always-on world. Extensive research has led MicroVision to become an independently recognized leader in the development of intellectual property. MicroVision’s IP portfolio has been recognized by the Patent Board as a top 50 IP portfolio among global industrial companies and has been included in the Ocean Tomo 300 Patent Index. The company is based in Redmond, Wash. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.microvision.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MicroVisionInc or follow MicroVision on Twitter at @MicroVision. MicroVision and PicoP are trademarks of MicroVision, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners. Certain statements contained in this release, including those relating to future product and product applications, are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the company’s forward-looking statements include the following: our ability to raise additional capital when needed; products incorporating our PicoP display technology may not achieve market acceptance; commercial partners may not perform under agreements as anticipated; we may be unsuccessful in identifying parties interested in paying any amounts or amounts we deem desirable for the purchase or license of IP assets; our or our customers’ failure to perform under open purchase orders; our financial and technical resources relative to those of our competitors; our ability to keep up with rapid technological change; government regulation of our technologies; our ability to enforce our intellectual property rights and protect our proprietary technologies; the ability to obtain additional contract awards; the timing of commercial product launches and delays in product development; the ability to achieve key technical milestones in key products; dependence on third parties to develop, manufacture, sell and market our products; potential product liability claims; and other risk factors identified from time to time in the company’s SEC reports, including the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Except as expressly required by federal securities laws, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, changes in circumstances or any other reason.

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