Ok, maybe a wierd title, but one that highlights the ROS in tiny worms called C. Elegans. What the heck is ROS you say? It is Reactive Oxygen Species. Yea, and, you say? Thought to be detrimental all the way around, ROS has been blamed for many of man’s maladies from heart problems to aging. A natural oxidizer, it now is thought to have a particular function depending on where it is, and may not be so bad after all.
Researchers in Grand Rapids Michigan have genetically modified these 1mm long worms to have ROS in different compartments of the cell, the mitochondria or the cytoplasm. The mitochondria are the power house of the cell while the cytoplasm is the liquid part. It turns out that if the ROS is in the mitochondria, it can lengthen the little worm’s life, but the opposite is true if it is in the cytoplasm.
Antioxidants are used to counteract the oxidative effects of ROS, and what this means is now they can be better targeted for treatments.
Read more at www.the-scientist.com//?articles.view/articleNo/42164/title/ROS-Can-Shorten-or-Lengthen-Life