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XNA- ARTIFICIAL LIFE-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE or ALIEN LIFE-ALIEN INTELLIGENCE

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XNA- ARTIFICIAL LIFE-ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE or ALIEN LIFE-ALIEN INTELLIGENCE

New research has brought us closer than ever to synthesizing entirely new forms of life. An international team of researchers has shown that artificial nucleic acids – called “XNAs” – can replicate and evolve, just like DNA and RNA.

We spoke to one of the researchers who made this breakthrough, to find out how it can affect everything from genetic research to the search for alien life.

The researchers, led by Philipp Holliger and Vitor Pinheiro, synthetic biologists at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, say their findings have major implications in everything from biotherapeutics, to exobiology, to research into the origins of genetic information itself. This represents a huge breakthrough in the field of synthetic biology.

The “X” Stands for “Xeno”

Every organism on Earth relies on the same genetic building blocks: the the information carried in DNA. But there is another class of genetic building block called “XNA” — a synthetic polymer that can carry the same information as DNA, but with a different assemblage of molecules.

The “X” in XNA stands for “xeno.” Scientists use the xeno prefix to indicate that one of the ingredients typically found in the building blocks that make up RNA and DNA has been replaced by something different from what we find in nature — something “alien,” if you will.

Strands of DNA and RNA are formed by stringing together long chains of molecules called nucleotides. A nucleotide is made up of three chemical components: a phosphate (labeled here in red), a five-carbon sugar group (labeled here in yellow, this can be either a deoxyribose sugar — which gives us the “D” in DNA — or a ribose sugar — hence the “R” in RNA), and one of five standard bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine or uracil, labeled in blue).

The molecules that piece together to form the six XNAs investigated by Pinheiro and his colleagues (pictured here) are almost identical to those of DNA and RNA, with one exception: in XNA nucleotides, the deoxyribose and ribose sugar groups of DNA and RNA (corresponding to the middle nucleotide component, labeled yellow in the diagram above) have been replaced. Some of these replacement molecules contain four carbons atoms instead of the standard five. Others cram in as many as seven carbons. FANA (pictured top right) even contains a fluorine atom. These substitutions make XNAs functionally and structurally analogous to DNA and RNA, but they also make them alien, unnatural, artificial.

Information Storage vs Evolution

But scientists have been synthesizing XNA molecules for well over a decade. What makes the findings of Pinheiro and his colleagues so compelling isn’t the XNA molecules themselves, it’s what they’ve shown these alien molecules are capable of, namely: replication and evolution.

“Any polymer can store information,” Pinheiro tells io9. What makes DNA and RNA unique, he says, “is that the information encoded in them [in the form of genes, for example] can be accessed and copied.” Information that can be copied from one genetic polymer to another can be propagated; and genetic information that can be propagated is the basis for heredity — the passage of traits from parent to offspring.

In DNA and RNA, replication is facilitated by molecules called polymerases. Using a crafty genetic engineering technique called compartmentalized self-tagging (or “CST”), Pinheiro’s team designed special polymerases that could not only synthesize XNA from a DNA template, but actually copy XNA back into DNA. The result was a genetic system that allowed for the replication and propagation of genetic information.

A simplified analogy reveals the strengths and weaknesses of this novel genetic system: You can think of a DNA strand like a classmate’s lecture notes. DNA polymerase is the pen that lets you copy these notes directly to a new sheet of paper. But let’s say your friend’s notes are written in the “language” of XNA. Ideally, your XNA-based genetic system would have a pen that could copy these notes directly to a new sheet of paper. What Pinheiro’s team did was create two distinct classes of writing utensil — one pen that copies your friend’s XNA-notes into DNA-notes, and a second pen that converts those DNA notes back into XNA-notes.

Is it the most efficient method of replication? No. But it gets the job done. What’s more, it does all this copying to and from DNA with a high degree of accuracy (after all, what good is replication if the copy looks nothing like the original?). The researchers achieved a replication fidelity ranging from 95% in LNA to as high as 99.6% in CeNA — the kind of accuracy Pinheiro says is essential for evolution:

“The potential for evolution is closely tied with how much information is being replicated and the error in that process,” he explains. “The more error-prone… a genetic system is, the less information can be feasibly evolved.” A genetic system as accurate as theirs, on the other hand, should be capable of evolution.

The researchers put this claim to the test by showing that XNA strands made up of the HNA xeno-nucleotides like the one pictured here could evolve into specific sequences capable of binding target molecules (like an RNA molecule, or a protein) tightly and specifically. Researchers call this guided evolution, and they’ve been doing it with natural DNA for some time. The fact that it can also be accomplished in the lab with synthetic DNA indicates that such a system could, in theory, work in a living organism.

“The HNA system we’ve developed,” explains Pinheiro, is “robust enough for meaningful information to be stored, replicated and evolved.”

A Step Toward Novel Lifeforms

The implications of the team’s findings are numerous and far-reaching. For one thing, the study sheds significant light on the origins of life itself. In the past, investigations into XNA have been largely driven by the question of whether simpler genetic systems may have existed before the emergence of RNA and DNA; the fact that these XNAs appear to be capable of evolution adds to an ever-growing body of evidence of a genetic system predating DNA and RNA both.

What mysterious genetic material ruled the world before DNA and RNA?

All living organisms use DNA as the carrier of genetic material and RNA as the messenger molecule… Read more

Practical and therapeutic applications abound, as well. “The methodologies [we’ve developed] are a major step forward in enabling the development of nucleic acid treatments,” says Pinheiro. Natural nucleic acids [i.e. DNA and RNA] can be forced to evolve so that they bind tightly and specifically to specific molecular targets. The problem is that these nucleic acids are unsuitable for therapeutic use because they are rapidly broken down by enzymes called nucleases. As a result, these evolved nucleic acid treatments have a short lifespan and have a difficult time reaching their therapeutic targets.

To get around this, Pinheiro says medicinal chemistry is used to modify evolved DNA sequences in an attempt to create a functional molecule that can still bind to a therapeutic target but resist nuclease degradation. But doing this is tough:

“Overall, this leads to high cost and a high failure rate for potential therapies – there is still only a single licenced [nucleic acid-based] drug on the market (Macugen).”

But all six of the XNAs studied by Pinheiro and his team are stronger than regular DNA or RNA, in that they’re more resistant to degradation by biological nucleases.

As a result, these molecules would need little or no adaptation for therapeutic (or diagnostic) use. “Since these molecules can now be selected directly on XNA, medicinal chemistry should no longer be limiting,” says Pinheiro. You could select a suitable XNA for its biocompatibility and therapeutic potential, and not worry about having it rapidly degrade inside the body.

Pinheiro also says the outcome of the research could even have a strong impact on exobiology:

In my view, exobiology looks for life in regions it cannot physically visit. In that context, it searches for tell tale signs of life that can be remotely monitored but it has only life on Earth as examples to identify such suitable markers. Based on extant biology, DNA and RNA are good candidates for such a search. However, by showing that other nucleic acids can also store information, replicate and evolve, our research may force a rethink as to whether DNA and RNA are the most suitable tell tale signs of life.

Of course, nothing would call the indispensability of DNA- or RNA-based life into question more than the generation of an entirely synthetic, alternative life form, built from the ground up entirely by XNA. Such an organism would require XNA capable of driving its own replication, without the aid of any biological molecules. Pinheiro says that’s still a ways off. “Even in its simplest setup… it would be very challenging to develop an XNA system within a cell.” Such a system would require XNA capable of self-replication, and capable of undergoing evolution in a self-sustained manner.

That said, his team’s work represents a major step in the right direction. As the molecular machinery designed to manipulate XNAs grows, so, too, will the capacity for synthetic genetic systems to stand and operate on their own.

The researchers’ findings are published in today’s issue of Science.
Top image via Shutterstock; XNA moieties via Science; all other images via Wikimedia Commons

One wonders if we’ll ever come across creatures in the universe that evolved and emerged from XNA naturally. Life on earth only uses about 20 amino acids but there are many others so to stands to life elsewhere in the universe might be working in proteins based on a largely different set of amino acids.

There’s a growing body of evidence that suggests TNA (one of the six XNAs examined by Pinheiro’s team) may have been a simple, four-carbon-sugar (threose) precursor to RNA. Alasdair did a good writeup on it a couple of months ago (the ASU researcher Alasdair quotes was a co-author on this latest study, as well).

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XNA-Synthetic DNA That Can Evolve

By swapping sugars in the DNA helix, scientists have created a new kind of genetic code that can function and evolve like regular DNA.

 

Every living thing on Earth uses DNA or RNA to carry its genetic instructions for life. These two nucleic acids have different names because they’re built from different sugars: DNA uses deoxyribose sugars for a backbone of its double helix, while RNA uses ribose. But what if other sugars could be used too?

Now scientists have shown that at least six other types of sugars can form nucleic acid backbonesand they can be used to store and retrieve genetic information. The researchers built DNA molecules from scratch, but replaced the deoxyribose with six other kinds of sugar, including hexitol, threose, and arabinose. The six types of synthetic genetic chains are called XNAs, or xeno-nucleic acids (“xeno” is Greek for “foreign”). And because XNA shows the possibility of heredity—passing down their genetic information—the researchers say these molecules not only could address fascinating questions about the origin of life, but also could open up the possibility of another kind of life based not on DNA and RNA. –Jack Szostak, a geneticist and Nobel laureate at Harvard University, tells PM in an email that the work “is very interesting with respect to the origin of life—in principle, many different polymers could serve the roles of RNA and DNA in living organisms. Why then does modern biology use only RNA and DNA?”

How to Make Synthetic DNA

This isn’t the first time that geneticists have cooked up synthetic nucleic acids in a lab. Some scientists had previously created DNA with new kinds of base pairs beyond the A-T and C-G connections in DNA, and others had already created XNAs that incorporate foreign sugars. John Chaput, a molecular biologist at Arizona State University and an author on the new study in Science, says this work asks a new question: “How can you perform Darwinian evolution on something other than DNA or RNA? Lots of DNA and RNA molecules have been evolved in the laboratory, but going the next step and doing it on other molecules has been very challenging. This is one of the first examples of that.”–To prove that XNAs could evolve, the researchers first had to create a new kind of enzyme to build the XNAs. Although it’s possible to manufacture XNAs by machine, the resulting nucleic acids are short chains that have limited functionality and evolvability. So instead of using the machinated approach, the researchers took thousands of DNA-building enzymes and evolved them into XNA-building enzymes.–That required taking thousands of enzymes and mixing them together with XNA building blocks, as well as DNA strands that served as templates for the scaffolding on which to build XNA molecules. If an enzyme turned out to be good at building XNA strands, it was captured using a filtering process and amplified it for the next round of testing; enzymes that were bad at making XNA were washed away. Over many rounds of filtering, the enzyme population evolved to become more adroit at building XNAs—in fact, they could produce polymers XNA chains that lasted were five times longer than machine-made XNAs.

“They took enzymes that already existed, and evolved mutants of them that are better at making XNAs,” says Floyd Romesberg, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute, who called the technique “impressive.”–Next, the researchers tried to evolve the XNAs themselves. To do so, they used a similar filtering technique. In this case, the scientists selected for XNAs that could bind to a specific protein; XNAs that did not bind to the proteins were washed away. Those that did bind were transcribed back into DNA so that they could be replicated. After replication, the team transcribed the copies back into XNA. In this way, the XNAs that had evolved to bind the protein were able to pass on that talent to a new generation of XNAs.

Synthetic DNA, Synthetic Life?

Because the XNAs are able to pass genetic information from one generation to the next and can adapt to the constraints of test tube evolution, Chaput says, XNAs could serve as the building blocks for completely new genetic systems.Could you create synthetic life with it? That’s possible, but it’s much further down the road.”-Szostak agrees, saying that “in the longer run, a very interesting implication is that it may be possible to design and build new forms of life that are based on one or more of these non-natural genetic polymers.” But Romesberg emphasized that creating completely new life forms using XNA would be a long and difficult mission. The foremost challenge: Researchers must find an efficient way to reproduce XNAs directly into more XNAs without having to convert them to DNA and back again.—Some folks are nervous that releasing XNA into the biosphere could allow it to intermingle with DNA and RNA with unpredictable results. But scientists such as Steven Benner and Markus Schmidt retort that XNAs are foreign enough to be invisible to natural organisms (read more about this issue here).–Regardless of whether XNAs can or will be used to create new life forms, the researchers have shown that it is possible to expand evolution into systems based not on DNA or RNA. And the XNAs and their enzymes may also lead to some answers about why life as we know it is based on those to molecules only. Are DNA and RNA the best molecules to store genetic information and catalyze biological reactions, or did they become the building blocks of life by sheer happenstance? Now researchers will have the tools to test the true efficiency against lab-created competitors.–Medicine, too, could benefit from XNAs, Romesberg says. Doctors already prescribe biological products such as enzymes and antibodies to treat certain diseases, but these drugs break down quickly in the stomach and the blood stream. Because XNAs are somewhat foreign, they’re not broken down as quickly in the body, as it has not evolved enzymes to digest them.The experiment also has implications for looking for life on other planets. “Maybe if you look hard enough out in space, you might find a life form based on XNA,” Chaput says.

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Towards XNA nanotechnology- new materials from synthetic genetic polymers.

Pinheiro VB1, Holliger P2.

Author information

Abstract

Nucleic acids display remarkable properties beyond information storage and propagation. The well-understood base pairing rules have enabled nucleic acids to be assembled into nanostructures of ever increasing complexity. Although nanostructures can be constructed using other building blocks, including peptides and lipids, it is the capacity to evolve that sets nucleic acids apart from all other nanoscale building materials. Nonetheless, the poor chemical and biological stability of DNA and RNA constrain their applications. Recent advances in nucleic acid chemistry and polymerase engineering enable the synthesis, replication, and evolution of a range of synthetic genetic polymers (XNAs) with improved chemical and biological stability. We discuss the impact of this technology on the generation of XNA ligands, enzymes, and nanostructures with tailor-made chemistry.

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Synthetic genetic polymers capable of heredity and evolution.

Pinheiro VB1, Taylor AI, Cozens C, Abramov M, Renders M, Zhang S, Chaput JC, Wengel J, Peak-Chew SY, McLaughlin SH, Herdewijn P, Holliger P.

Author information

Abstract

Genetic information storage and processing rely on just two polymers, DNA and RNA, yet whether their role reflects evolutionary history or fundamental functional constraints is currently unknown. With the use of polymerase evolution and design, we show that genetic information can be stored in and recovered from six alternative genetic polymers based on simple nucleic acid architectures not found in nature [xeno-nucleic acids (XNAs)]. We also select XNA aptamers, which bind their targets with high affinity and specificity, demonstrating that beyond heredity, specific XNAs have the capacity for Darwinian evolution and folding into defined structures. Thus, heredity and evolution, two hallmarks of life, are not limited to DNA and RNA but are likely to be emergent properties of polymers capable of information storage.

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Artificial Cells –Self Repair Self Assembly and Self Production-An EU integrated project in IT- FP6-IST-FET-002035

The European Commission has supported the Integrated Project PACE in its Future Emerging Technologies program from 2004-2008. This is the final public report of results and experience in PACE.—PACE has created the foundation for a new generation of embedded IT using programmable chemical systems that approach artificial cells in their properties of self-repair, self-assembly, self-reproduction and evolvability.

Future projects will build on the technology and experience developed in PACE to build the first artificial chemical cells and apply them to revolutionize complex construction in and outside IT. PACE has established a new hybrid IT technology for programming complex chemical systems. PACE has explored the IT potential of future synthetic chemical cells: addressing both the novel embedded IT required to produce and program them and their technical opportunities, both within IT and to other fields. In contrast with biological approaches to minimize existing cells, applications of these artificial chemical cells will exploit their chemical distinctiveness from biological cells, in particular their ability to function without proteins and below the complexity barrier posed by biological translation machinery.--A consortium of some 13 partners and 2 cooperating groups from 8 European countries, including Switzerland and Lithuania, and several leading USA organizations are pioneering this new approach under the IST-FET section of the EU 6th Framework Program (FP6).

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XNA-Synthetic DNA That Can Evolve

By swapping sugars in the DNA helix, scientists have created a new kind of genetic code that can function and evolve like regular DNA.

 

Every living thing on Earth uses DNA or RNA to carry its genetic instructions for life. These two nucleic acids have different names because they’re built from different sugars: DNA uses deoxyribose sugars for a backbone of its double helix, while RNA uses ribose. But what if other sugars could be used too?

Now scientists have shown that at least six other types of sugars can form nucleic acid backbonesand they can be used to store and retrieve genetic information. The researchers built DNA molecules from scratch, but replaced the deoxyribose with six other kinds of sugar, including hexitol, threose, and arabinose. The six types of synthetic genetic chains are called XNAs, or xeno-nucleic acids (“xeno” is Greek for “foreign”). And because XNA shows the possibility of heredity—passing down their genetic information—the researchers say these molecules not only could address fascinating questions about the origin of life, but also could open up the possibility of another kind of life based not on DNA and RNA. –Jack Szostak, a geneticist and Nobel laureate at Harvard University, tells PM in an email that the work “is very interesting with respect to the origin of life—in principle, many different polymers could serve the roles of RNA and DNA in living organisms. Why then does modern biology use only RNA and DNA?”

How to Make Synthetic DNA

This isn’t the first time that geneticists have cooked up synthetic nucleic acids in a lab. Some scientists had previously created DNA with new kinds of base pairs beyond the A-T and C-G connections in DNA, and others had already created XNAs that incorporate foreign sugars. John Chaput, a molecular biologist at Arizona State University and an author on the new study in Science, says this work asks a new question: “How can you perform Darwinian evolution on something other than DNA or RNA? Lots of DNA and RNA molecules have been evolved in the laboratory, but going the next step and doing it on other molecules has been very challenging. This is one of the first examples of that.”–To prove that XNAs could evolve, the researchers first had to create a new kind of enzyme to build the XNAs. Although it’s possible to manufacture XNAs by machine, the resulting nucleic acids are short chains that have limited functionality and evolvability. So instead of using the machinated approach, the researchers took thousands of DNA-building enzymes and evolved them into XNA-building enzymes.–That required taking thousands of enzymes and mixing them together with XNA building blocks, as well as DNA strands that served as templates for the scaffolding on which to build XNA molecules. If an enzyme turned out to be good at building XNA strands, it was captured using a filtering process and amplified it for the next round of testing; enzymes that were bad at making XNA were washed away. Over many rounds of filtering, the enzyme population evolved to become more adroit at building XNAs—in fact, they could produce polymers XNA chains that lasted were five times longer than machine-made XNAs.

“They took enzymes that already existed, and evolved mutants of them that are better at making XNAs,” says Floyd Romesberg, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute, who called the technique “impressive.”–Next, the researchers tried to evolve the XNAs themselves. To do so, they used a similar filtering technique. In this case, the scientists selected for XNAs that could bind to a specific protein; XNAs that did not bind to the proteins were washed away. Those that did bind were transcribed back into DNA so that they could be replicated. After replication, the team transcribed the copies back into XNA. In this way, the XNAs that had evolved to bind the protein were able to pass on that talent to a new generation of XNAs.

Synthetic DNA, Synthetic Life?

Because the XNAs are able to pass genetic information from one generation to the next and can adapt to the constraints of test tube evolution, Chaput says, XNAs could serve as the building blocks for completely new genetic systems.Could you create synthetic life with it? That’s possible, but it’s much further down the road.”-Szostak agrees, saying that “in the longer run, a very interesting implication is that it may be possible to design and build new forms of life that are based on one or more of these non-natural genetic polymers.” But Romesberg emphasized that creating completely new life forms using XNA would be a long and difficult mission. The foremost challenge: Researchers must find an efficient way to reproduce XNAs directly into more XNAs without having to convert them to DNA and back again.—Some folks are nervous that releasing XNA into the biosphere could allow it to intermingle with DNA and RNA with unpredictable results. But scientists such as Steven Benner and Markus Schmidt retort that XNAs are foreign enough to be invisible to natural organisms (read more about this issue here).–Regardless of whether XNAs can or will be used to create new life forms, the researchers have shown that it is possible to expand evolution into systems based not on DNA or RNA. And the XNAs and their enzymes may also lead to some answers about why life as we know it is based on those to molecules only. Are DNA and RNA the best molecules to store genetic information and catalyze biological reactions, or did they become the building blocks of life by sheer happenstance? Now researchers will have the tools to test the true efficiency against lab-created competitors.–Medicine, too, could benefit from XNAs, Romesberg says. Doctors already prescribe biological products such as enzymes and antibodies to treat certain diseases, but these drugs break down quickly in the stomach and the blood stream. Because XNAs are somewhat foreign, they’re not broken down as quickly in the body, as it has not evolved enzymes to digest them.The experiment also has implications for looking for life on other planets. “Maybe if you look hard enough out in space, you might find a life form based on XNA,” Chaput says.

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World’s first artificial enzymes created using synthetic biology

Xeno nucleic acid (XNA) is a synthetic alternative to the natural nucleic acids DNA and RNA as information-storing biopolymers that differs in the sugar backbone.[1] As of 2011, at least six types of synthetic sugars have been shown to form nucleic acid backbones that can store and retrieve genetic information. Research is now being done to create synthetic polymerases to transform XNA. The study of its production and application has created a field known as xenobiology.–Although the genetic information is still stored in the four canonical base pairs (unlike other nucleic acid analogues), natural DNA polymerases cannot read and duplicate this information. Thus the genetic information stored in XNA is “invisible” and therefore useless to natural DNA-based organisms.[2]

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/worlds-first-artificial-enzymes-created-using-synthetic-biology#sthash.Hi3SOWu0.dpuf

Enzymes made from artificial molecules which do not occur anywhere in nature have been shown to trigger chemical reactions in the lab, challenging existing views about the conditions that are needed to enable life to happen.–Our assumptions about what is required for biological processes – the ‘secret of life’ – may need some further revision

Alex Taylor –A team of researchers have created the world’s first enzymes made from artificial genetic material.-The synthetic enzymes, which are made from molecules that do not occur anywhere in nature, are capable of triggering chemical reactions in the lab.–The research is published in the journal Nature and promises to offer new insights into the origins of life, as well as providing a potential starting point for an entirely new generation of drugs and diagnostics. In addition, the authors speculate that the study increases the range of planets that could potentially host life.–All life on Earth depends on the chemical transformations that enable cellular function and the performance of basic tasks, from digesting food to making DNA. These are powered by naturally-occurring enzymes which operate as catalysts, kick-starting the process and enabling such reactions to happen at the necessary rate.–For the first time, however, the research shows that these natural biomolecules may not be the only option, and that artificial enzymes could also be used to power the reactions that enable life to occur.–The findings build on previous work in which the scientists, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and the University of Cambridge, created synthetic molecules called “XNAs”. These are entirely artificial genetic systems that can store and pass on genetic information in a manner similar to DNA.

Using these XNAs as building blocks, the new research involved the creation of so-called “XNAzymes”. Like naturally occurring enzymes, these are capable of powering simple biochemical reactions.–Dr Alex Taylor, a Post-doctoral Researcher at St John’s College, University of Cambridge, who is based at the MRC Laboratory and was the study’s lead author, said: “The chemical building blocks that we used in this study are not naturally-occurring on Earth, and must be synthesised in the lab. This research shows us that our assumptions about what is required for biological processes – the ‘secret of life’ – may need some further revision. The results imply that our chemistry, of DNA, RNA and proteins, may not be special and that there may be a vast range of alternative chemistries that could make life possible.–Every one of our cells contains thousands of different enzymes, many of which are proteins. In addition, however, nucleic acids – DNA and its close chemical cousin, RNA – can also form enzymes. The ribosome, the molecular machine which manufactures proteins within all cells, is an RNA enzyme. Life itself is widely thought to have begun with the emergence of a self-copying RNA enzyme.–Dr Philipp Holliger, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, said: “Until recently it was thought that DNA and RNA were the only molecules that could store genetic information and, together with proteins, the only biomolecules able to form enzymes.”“Our work suggests that, in principle, there are a number of possible alternatives to nature’s molecules that will support the catalytic processes required for life. Life’s ‘choice’ of RNA and DNA may just be an accident of prehistoric chemistry.”“The creation of synthetic DNA, and now enzymes, from building blocks that don’t exist in nature also raises the possibility that if there is life on other planets it may have sprung up from an entirely different set of molecules, and widens the possible number of planets that might be able to host life.”–The group’s previous study, carried out in 2012, showed that six alternative molecules, called XNAs, could store genetic information and evolve through natural selection. Expanding on that principle, the new research identified, for the first time, four different types of synthetic catalyst formed from these entirely unnatural building blocks.-These XNAzymes are capable of catalysing simple reactions, like cutting and joining strands of RNA in a test tube. One of the XNAzymes can even join strands together, which represents one of the first steps towards creating a living system. Because their XNAzymes are much more stable than naturally occurring enzymes, the scientists believe that they could be particularly useful in developing new therapies for a range of diseases, including cancers and viral infections, which exploit the body’s natural processes.—Dr Holliger added: “Our XNAs are chemically extremely robust and, because they do not occur in nature, they are not recognised by the body’s natural degrading enzymes. This might make them an attractive candidate for long-lasting treatments that can disrupt disease-related RNAs.”—Professor Patrick Maxwell, Chair of the MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board and Regius Professor of Physic at the University of Cambridge, said: “Synthetic biology is delivering some truly amazing advances that promise to change the way we understand and treat disease. The UK excels in this field, and this latest advance offers the tantalising prospect of using designer biological parts as a starting point for an entirely new class of therapies and diagnostic tools that are more effective and have a longer shelf-life.”-Funders of the research included the MRC, European Science Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.The text in this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you use this content on your site please link back to this page. For image rights, please see the credits associated with each individual image.- See more at: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/worlds-first-artificial-enzymes-created-using-synthetic-biology#sthash.Hi3SOWu0.dpuf

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Breakthrough in synthetic enzymes could lead to the manufacture of organisms

  • Synthetic form of DNA, called XNA, is capable of editing genetic material
  • XNA triggered reactions thought to be crucial for life first starting on Earth
  • Scientists suggest alien life could have evolved using XNA instead of DNA
  • Artificial molecules could also be used to create synthetic life in the lab
  • Researchers believe XNA may lead to a new ways of treating cancers

The world’s first enzymes made from artificial genetic material have been created by scientists in what could be a major step towards generating synthetic life.-The enzymes, which do not occur naturally, were created using a synthetic form of DNA called XNA and were capable of triggering chemical reactions in the lab.-The findings build on previous work that showed six types of XNA molecules were capable of storing and transmitting genetic information in the same way as DNA and RNA.-It had been previously thought that DNA and RNA, which form the basis for all life on Earth, were the only way of storing genetic material.-But now the latest research by synthetic biologists in Cambridge shows that this synthetic genetic material is also capable of performing another crucial biological role – catalysing biochemical reactions that are essential for life.-Using their lab-made XNAs as building blocks, the team were able to create synthetic enzymes, which they have named ‘XNAzymes’, that could cut up and stitch together small chunks of genetic material, just like naturally occurring enzymes.-The suggests that such molecules could be used to replicate some of the earliest steps needed to produce life itself and may even provide clues about what life on other planets may be like.-It is thought that life first began with the evolution of a segment of RNA that was able to copy itself and catalyse reactions. If XNA is also capable of this, then it could also have led to different forms of life on other planets or could be used to create new synthetic forms of life. However, Dr Philipp Holliger, who led the research at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, said: ‘Our work suggests that, in principle, there are a number of possible alternatives to nature’s molecules that will support the catalytic processes required for life.-‘Until recently, it was thought that DNA and RNA were the only molecules that could store genetic information and, together with proteins, the only biomolecules able to form enzymes.-‘Life’s ‘choice’ of RNA and DNA may just be an accident of prehistoric chemistry.–‘The creation of synthetic DNA, and now enzymes, from building blocks that don’t exist in nature also raises the possibility that if there is life on other planets it may have sprung up from an entirely different set of molecules, and widens the possible number of planets that might be able to host life.’-In 2012 Dr Holliger’s group showed that there were six alternative molecules to the oligonucleotides that form RNA and DNA, which they called XNAs.–They demonstrated that these could store information and could even evolve through natural selection.-In their latest research, which is published in the journal Nature, the team created four different types of synthetic enzyme from strands of XNA.–These XNAzymes were able to perform the role of a polymerase – an enzyme that cuts and joins RNA strands together – in a test tube. One of the XNAzymes they created was also able to join XNA strands together to form longer molecules – a key step towards creating a living system that can replicate itself.–Although it will still be some time before these can be used to create living synthetic organisms, Dr Holliger believes that XNAzymes could also be useful for developing new therapies for range of diseases including cancers and some viral infections.-Dr Holliger added: ‘Our XNAs are chemically extremely robust and, because they do not occur in nature, they are not recognised by the body’s natural degrading enzymes.-‘This might make them an attractive candidate for long-lasting treatments that can disrupt disease-related RNAs.’Professor Patrick Maxwell, chair of the MRC’s Molecular and Cellular Medicine Board, said the work could kick start an entirely new branch of medicine.

Two of the XNA enzymes created by the scientists at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, which were able to join two strands of XNA together (left) and cut up strands of RNA (right)-Life on other planets outside our own solar system, like this exoplanet, could have evolved from XNA rather than RNA, which could have led to very different forms of life to those we are familiar with here on Earth–He said: ‘Synthetic biology is delivering some truly amazing advances that promise to change the way we understand and treat disease. ‘This latest advance offers the tantalising prospect of using designer biological parts as a starting point for an entirely new class of therapies and diagnostic tools that are more effective and have a longer shelf-life.’-Professor Jack Szostak, a Nobel prize winner at Harvard University who studies the origins of life, added that the research raises some fundamental questions about what life on other planets may be like.He told New Scientist: ‘The possibility that life elsewhere, on exoplanets, could have started with something other than RNA or DNA is quite interesting. ‘But the primordial biopolymer for any form of life must satisfy other constraints as well, such as being something that can be generated by prebiotic chemistry and replicated efficiently.-‘Whether XNA can satisfy these constraints, as well as providing useful functions, remains an open question.’

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Synthetic enzymes hint at life without DNA or RNA

Life might not have to be based on DNA or RNA (Image: Mohamed Sadath/Getty)

Enzymes that don’t exist in nature have been made from genetic material that doesn’t exist in nature either, called XNA, or xeno nucleic acid.–It’s the first time this has been done and the results reinforce the possibility that life could evolve without DNA or RNA, the two self-replicating molecules considered indispensible for life on Earth.–“Our work with XNA shows that there’s no fundamental imperative for RNA and DNA to be prerequisites for life,” says Philipp Holliger of the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK, the same laboratory where the structure of DNA was discovered in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.

It’s not all about the base–

Holliger’s team has made XNAs before. Their unnatural XNA contains the same bases – adenine, thymine, guanine, cytosine and uracil – on which DNA and RNA rely for coding hereditary information. What’s different is the sugar to which each base is attached.In DNA and RNA, the sugars are deoxyribose and ribose, respectively. Holliger made new types of genetic material by replacing these with different sugars or other molecules.–Now, they have taken a step closer to mimicking early life on the planet by showing that XNAs can also serve as enzymes – indispensible catalysts for speeding up chemical reactions vital for life.–One of the first steps towards life on Earth is thought to be the evolution of RNA into self-copying enzymes.

Big steps

So by showing that XNAs can act as enzymes, on top of being able to store hereditary information, Holliger has recreated a second major step towards life.–The XNA enzymes can’t yet copy themselves but they can cut and paste RNA, just like natural enzymes do, and even paste together fragments of XNA.–It’s the first demonstration that, like prehistoric RNA, XNA can catalyse reactions on itself, even if it can’t yet copy itself as RNA can.–Holliger argues that RNA and DNA may have come to dominate Earth by chance, simply because they were the best evolutionary materials to hand. “You could speculate that on other planets, XNAs would dominate instead,” he says.

Primal molecules

“This work is another nice step towards demonstrating the functional capabilities of XNAs,” says Nobel prizewinner Jack Szostak of Harvard University, who studies the origins of life on Earth .–“The possibility that life elsewhere, on exoplanets, could have started with something other than RNA or DNA is quite interesting, but the primordial biopolymer for any form of life must satisfy other constraints as well, such as being something that can be generated by prebiotic chemistry and replicated efficiently,” Szostak says. “Whether XNA can satisfy these constraints, as well as providing useful functions, remains an open question.”

Holliger says that XNAs may also have roles to play in medicine. Because they do not occur naturally, they can’t be broken down in the human body. And since they can be designed to break and destroy RNA, they could work as drugs for treating RNA viruses or disabling RNA messages that trigger cancers.-“We’ve made XNA enzymes that cut RNA at specific sites, so you could make therapies for cleaving viral or oncogenic messenger RNA,” says Holliger. “And because they can’t be degraded, they could give long-lasting protection.”

Journal reference: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13982

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Scientists unveil giant leap towards synthetic life

Achievement akin to ‘climbing Mount Everest’ in its complexity

Steve Connor

Friday, 28 March 2014

Scientists have made the first artificial chromosome which is both complete and functional in a milestone development in synthetic biology, which promises to revolutionise medical and industrial biotechnology in the coming century.–The researchers built the artificial chromosome from scratch by stitching synthetic strands of DNA together in a sequence based on the known genome of brewer’s yeast. They predict that a completely synthetic yeast genome comprised of its entire complement of 16 chromosomes could be made within four years.-“Our research moves the needle in synthetic biology from theory to reality. This work represents the biggest step yet in an international effort to construct the full genome of synthetic yeast,” said Jef Boeke of the New York University School of Medicine, a lead author of the study published in the journal Science.-“It is the most extensively altered chromosome ever built. But the milestone that really counts is integrating it into a living yeast cell. We have shown that yeast cells carrying this synthetic chromosome are remarkably normal,” Dr Boeke said.–“They behave almost identically to wild yeast cells, only they now possess new capabilities and can do things that wild yeast cannot [do],” he said.–“Not only can we make designer changes on a computer, but we can make hundreds of changes through a chromosome and we can put that chromosome into yeast and have a yeast that looks, smells and behaves like a regular yeast, but this yeast is endowed with special properties that normal yeasts don’t have,” he explained.–The synthetic yeast chromosome was based on chromosome number 3, but scientists deleted large parts of it that were considered redundant and introduced further subtle changes to its sequence – yet the chromosome still functioned normally and replicated itself in living yeast cells, they said.–“We took tiny snippets of synthetic DNA and fused them together in a complex series of steps to build an essentially computer-designed chromosome 3, one of the 16 chromosomes of yeast. We call it ‘synIII’ because it’s a completely synthetic derivative that has been engineered in a variety of interesting ways to make it different from the normal chromosome,” Dr Boeke said.–The achievement was compared to climbing Mount Everest in its labour-intensive complexity, as it involved stitching together 273,871 individual building blocks of DNA – the nucleotide bases of the yeast’s genes – in the right order, and removing about 50,000 repeating sequences of the chromosome that were considered redundant.–“When you change the genome you’re gambling. One wrong change can kill the cell. We have made over 50,000 changes to the DNA code in the chromosome and our yeast still lived. That is remarkable, it shows that our synthetic chromosome is hardy, and it endows the yeast with new properties,” Dr Boeke said.–Britain is one of several countries involved in the international effort to synthesise all 16 yeast chromosomes. Last year, the Government announced that it will spend £1 million on the yeast project out of a total budget of £60 million it has dedicated to synthetic biology.–Paul Freemont of Imperial College London said that the first complete and functional synthetic yeast chromosome is “a big deal” and significant step forward from the work by DNA scientist Craig Venter, who synthesised the much simpler genome of a bacterium in 2010.–“It opens up a whole new way of thinking about chromosome and genome engineering as it provides a proof of concept that complicated chromosomes can be redesigned, synthesised and made to work in a living cell,” Dr Freemont said.–Artificial chromosomes designed by computer will be vital for the synthetic life-forms that scientists hope to design for a range of applications, such as the breakdown of persistent pollutants in the environment or the industrial manufacture of new kinds of drugs and vaccines for human and animal medicine.–“It could have a lot of practical applications because yeast is used in the biotechnology industry to produce everything from alcohol, which has been produced for centuries, to biofuels and speciality chemicals to nutrients,” Dr Boeke said.–“Yeast is a really interesting microorganism to work on because it has an ancient industrial relationship with man. We’ve domesticated it since the days of the Fertile Crescent and we’ve had this fantastic collaboration to make wine, break and beer,” he said.–“That relationship persists today in a wide range of products that are made with yeast such as vaccines, fuels and specialty chemicals and it’s only going to be growing. Yeast is one of the few microbes that packages its genetic material in a nucleus just like human cells. So it serves as a better model for how human cells work in health and disease,” Dr Boeke added.

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Scientists create ‘alien’ life form with artificial genetic code

 

From left to right, the structures of A-, B- and Z-DNA. Zephyris

Scientists made a substantial breakthrough in understanding how to alter the fundamental nature of life, and they did so by creating for the first time a partially artificial life form that passes along lab-engineered DNA. –The work, published online in the journal Nature on Wednesday, came from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., and centered around a modified strain of E. coli bacterium that was fused with chemically synthesized nucleotides and was able to replicate its natural and synthetic components during reproduction. -Throughout the entire history of life on Earth, the genetic code of all organisms has been uniform, from the simplest of bacteria all the way up to human beings, meaning our genetic code is composed of the same four nucleotides labeled A, C, T, and G. Those nucleotides join to form base pairs, which are used in the creation of genes that cells use to produce proteins. –Researchers at Scripps created two new nucleotides, X and Y, and fused them into the E. coli bacterium. The organism was able to reproduce normally with six — instead of the standard four — nucleotides, meaning it genetically passed along the first combination of manmade and natural DNA. -“This has very important implications for our understanding of life,” Floyd Romesberg, who headed the Scripps researcher team, told The New York Times. “For so long people have thought that DNA was the way it was because it had to be, that it was somehow the perfect molecule.” –Because this breakthrough could impact more than just biological research, the field — called synthetic biology — is likely to be met with harsh criticism from those who fear that tampering with the building blocks of existence could be a step too far for science. The subset of synthetic biology focusing on creations unfamiliar to nature with expanded genetic alphabets is sometimes referred to as xenobiology. –“The arrival of this unprecedented ‘alien’ life form could in time have far-reaching ethical, legal and regulatory implications,” Jim Thomas of the ETC Group, a Canadian advocacy organization, told The New York Times. “While synthetic biologists invent new ways to monkey with the fundamentals of life, governments haven’t even been able to cobble together the basics of oversight, assessment or regulation for this surging field.”-To create a modified organism that would reproduce, Romesberg’s team had to first create stable enough artificial nucleotides. The creation of X and Y variants came only after 300 types were tried. The X nucleotide pairs with the Y, just as A does with T and C with G in natural DNA. It’s unclear whether a semi-artificial organism could sustain a far more expansive genetic code, meaning many more synethic pairs, and if there is any time-based restraint involved.-As far as worrying about never-before-seen strains of bacteria escaping into the wild, Romesberg stressed that this newly created organism could never infect anything. To continue reproducing the synthetic nucleotides, the researchers had to feed the necessary chemicals to the bacterium or else it would stop producing the X and Y pair. P–Romesberg and his colleagues’ findings follow decades of work in synthetic biology, and the results have long since left the confines of academic research. Romesberg’s company, Synthorx, is trying to design an administering technique for viruses that would rely on the artificial life forms’ inability to reproduce the synthetic nucleotides without the proper chemicals, meaning they could be used to create an immune system response while be inhibited from spreading.

Beyond those immediate applications, the next steps are figuring out if the synthesized nucleotides can be fused into the RNA of living organisms and used to produce new proteins, as well as discovering whether or not genetically engineered cells could be used to help organisms reproduce those synthetic nucleotides on their own.

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Good Bacteria in the Intestine Prevent Diabetes

Good Bacteria in the Intestine Prevent Diabetes, Study Suggests

Jan. 18, 2013 — All humans have enormous numbers of bacteria and other micro-organisms in the lower intestine. In fact our bodies contain about ten times more bacteria than the number of our own cells and these tiny passengers are extremely important for our health. They help us digest our food and provide us with energy and vitamins. These ‘friendly’ commensal bacteria in the intestine help to stop the ‘bad guys’ such as Salmonella that cause infections, taking hold. Even the biochemical reactions that build up and maintain our bodies come from our intestinal bacteria as well as our own cells. -Pretty important that we get along with these little bacterial friends… definitely. But as in all beautiful relationships, things can sometimes turn sour. If the bacteria in the intestine become unbalanced, inflammation and damage can occur at many different locations in the body. The best known of these is the intestine itself: the wrong intestinal bacteria can trigger Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The[U1]  liver also becomes damaged when intestinal bacteria are unbalanced.—Research groups led by Professor Jayne Danska at the Sick Children’s Hospital of the University of Toronto and Professor Andrew Macpherson in the Clinic for Visceral Surgery and Medicine at the Inselspital and the University of Bern have now shown that the influence of the intestinal bacteria extends even deeper inside the body to influence the likelihood of getting diabetes. In children and young people, diabetes is caused by the immune cells of the body damaging the special cells in the pancreas that produce the hormone insulin. By[U2]  chance, 30 years ago, before the development of genetic engineering techniques, Japanese investigators noticed that a strain of NOD laboratory mice tended to get diabetes. These mice (also by chance) have many of the same genes that make some humans susceptible to the disease. With the help of the special facilities of the University of Bern and in Canada, these teams have been able to show that the intestinal bacteria, especially in male mice, can produce biochemicals and hormones that stop diabetes developing.—Diabetes in young people is becoming more and more frequent, and doctors even talk about a diabetes epidemic. This increase in diabetic disease has happened over the last 40 years as our homes and environment have become cleaner and more hygienic. At the moment, once a child has diabetes, he or she requires life-long treatment.[U3] “We hope that our new understanding of how intestinal bacteria may protect susceptible children from developing diabetes, will allow us to start to develop new treatments to stop children getting the disease,” says Andrew Macpherson of the University Bern.—Story Source-The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Bern. —Journal Reference-J. G. M. Markle, D. N. Frank, S. Mortin-Toth, C. E. Robertson, L. M. Feazel, U. Rolle-Kampczyk, M. von Bergen, K. D. McCoy, A. J. Macpherson, J. S. Danska. Sex Differences in the Gut Microbiome Drive Hormone-Dependent Regulation of Autoimmunity. Science, 2013; DOI: 10.1126/science.1233521

Toxic Effects of Excessive Consumption of MSG

Toxic Effects of Excessive Consumption of MSG

The toxic effects that occur as a result of excessive consumption of MSG are known as Chinese Restaurant Syndrome.

MSG is known to be more toxic than Glutamic Acid – this is due to MSG being more readily absorbed by the body compared to Glutamic Acid.  The increased toxicity of MSG is also believed to occur from the presence of the D-Glutamic Acid form of Glutamic Acid (as opposed to L-Glutamic Acid).

Digestive System—Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Intestinal Cramps (abdominal Pain).  Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Vomiting.  references

Eyes/Vision–Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Blurred Vision.

Excessive consumption of MSG may damage the Retina (which could lead to Blindness)

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Sight impairment.

Metabolism—Excessive consumption of MSG may cause atrophy of the Thyroid.

Musculoskeletal  System-Excessive consumption of MSG may contribute to the symptoms of Fibromyalgia and some Fibromyalgia patients may experience symptom relief after discontinuing MSG use.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Muscle Tension.

Nervous System–Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Convulsions

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Headaches.

Excessive consumption of MSG may damage the Hypothalamus.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause impairment of Long-Term Memory.

Excessive consumption of MSG may trigger Migraines.

Many of the toxic effects of excessive consumption of MSG are due to MSG causing excessive stimulation of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate (NMDA) Receptors in the Brain.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Nausea.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause atrophy of the Pituitary Gland.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Vertigo (dizziness).

Respiratory System-Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Asthma.

Sexual System:  Female Excessive consumption of MSG may cause Female Infertility.  Excessive consumption of MSG may cause cause Male Infertility.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause atrophy of the Ovaries.

Excessive consumption of MSG may cause atrophy of the Testes.

MSG may Interfere with these Substances

Amino Acids–Excessive consumption of MSG may interfere with Taurine.

Enzymes—MSG may lower Catalase levels.

MSG may lower Glutathione Peroxidase levels.

MSG may lower Glutathione Reductase levels.

MSG may lower Superoxide Dismutase levels.

MSG may Enhance the Function of these Substances

Amino Acids–MSG can be converted within the body to form Glutamic Acid.

MSG can be converted within the body to form Glutamine.

Celery Seed and Benefits

Celery Seed

 Gout sufferers take heart! You may find relief with Celery Seed. Its exceptional diuretic action not only promotes the flow of urine and uric acid excretions from the kidneys, helping to flush kidney stones and gravel, but its antiseptic properties ease urinary inflammation and benefits the overall health of the urinary tract. Celery Seed is also thought to be an especially helpful anti-inflammatory for people who suffer from joint discomforts, such as arthritis and rheumatism.

Botanical: Apium graveolens

Family: Umbelliferae (carrot) – Apiaceae (parsley)Other Common Names: Smallage, Marsh Water Parsley, Wild Celery, Garden Celery, Marsh Parsley

 History:

Celery has been used since earliest times as a food, for flavoring and for medicinal purposes. Of uncertain origin, perhaps the Mediterranean region, the bitter marsh plant grew wild on wet and flooded salt marshes, and it is sometimes called “smallage,” a biennial with stalks that grow from one to two feet. Celery Seed is the dried fruit (tiny brown seed with a celery-like flavor and aroma) of the Apium graveolens. Its botanical genus, the Latin, apium, may be derived from a prehistoric Indo-European word for water. If true, it seems logical that celery’s growth preference is wet soil and marshes. The town of Selinuntein Sicilyderived its name from the Greek word for the plant, selinon (Σέλινο). The ancient Egyptians used the plant for culinary purposes, and Celery leaves were part of the garlands discovered in the tomb of the Egyptian pharoah, Tutankhamun. The Greeks and Romans used Celery for medicinal and culinary purposes, and there was even a popular belief that it was an aphrodisiac. The use of Celery Seed for relieving pain and inflammation was described by Aulus Cornelius Celcus (circa 30 AD). It was also regarded in ancient times to have magical properties and was frequently associated with rites and celebrations of death and the underworld. In the Middle Ages, Italian farmers began to cultivate “smallage,” and once begun, this cultivation steadily improved its quality. When the seeds were first used is not clear, but we know that the English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, wrote in 1653 that Celery Seeds would “sweeten and purify the blood.” Celery was introduced to the new world as a vegetable, but in the nineteenth century, it was known that the Shakers grew “smallage” for their medical remedies. The plant grows in North and South America, Europe, Asiaand Africa. It is used in Ayurvedic medicine for asthma, bronchitis, hiccups, flatulence and as a nerve tonic; and in Mainland China, it is taken to reduce hypertension. In temperate countries, Celery is also grown for its seeds, which yield a valuable volatile oil used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries. Celery Seeds can be used as flavoring or spice either as whole seeds or, ground and mixed with salt, as celery salt. The seeds, harvested after the plant flowers in its second year, are the basis for homeopathic remedies as a diuretic and for urinary tract inflammations. Celery Seeds and stalks contain a sedative compound called phthalide, and the seeds contain essential oils (bergapten, apiole, which is very potent), 3-n-butylphthalide (3-n-B), beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, fiber, flavonoids (apigenin, rutin, quercetin), calcium, choline, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, copper, chromium, bromine, sulfur, zinc, silicon, stearic acid, thymol, scopoletin, limonene, eugenol, P-coumaric acid, pectin, mannitol, essential fatty acids (linoleic acid, linolenic acid), amino acids, arginine, alanine, tryptophan, tyrosine, B-vitamins and vitamins A, C, E and K. and  andersterone

Beneficial Uses:

Celery Seed is an excellent herbal diuretic that promotes the flow of urine through the kidneys and increases uric acid excretions, helping to clear toxins from the system. This is especially good for gout, where excess uric acid crystals collect in the joints. Its diuretic action may also relieve bladder disorders, cystitis and other kidney problems including stones and gravel. Early herbalists used it as a cleansing tonic after the stagnation of winter, and herbalists in France today use the extract to relieve retention of urine.

Celery Seed may support a healthy heart. Its diuretic properties help to rid the body of excess water through increased urine flow, including the release of fluid surrounding the heart, which helps to reduce the heart’s workload.

Celery Seed is considered beneficial for easing the discomfort and degeneration of the body joints frequently associated with age. Its anti-inflammatory properties also appear to help those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout and neuralgia, and its diuretic qualities help flush impurities (including uric acid and other toxins) from the kidneys, which frequently cause these ailments. Considered a fine anti-inflammatory, the 3-n-butylphthalide content in Celery Seed is said to calm the action of COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes that trigger pain and cause swelling and discomfort, especially in the joints. Moreover, researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center found that 3-n-B may also help lower blood pressure and improve overall circulation.

Although Celery is said to be a stimulant (particularly in kidney function), it is also known as a sedative that will calm stressed nerves and promote restfulness and sleep.

Celery Seed is thought to have a calming effect on the digestive system, enhancing appetite, relieving gas and indigestion.

In 2009, researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HarvardMedicalSchoolshowed that increased intake of the flavonoid  apigenin, found in Celery (and parsley and cooked tomato), may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer by twenty percent in a large, population-based study. The mechanism included an inhibitory effect on endogenous estrogen activity or a reduction on circulating estrogen levels via competition for estrogen receptors or suppression of estrogen biosynthesis.

Celery Seed is a popular folk remedy for promoting the onset of menstruation.

Recipe –Combine Celery seed-Rosemary-Parsley—equal parts dried 1 tablespoon of each—and mix in a heated water  2 cup capacity pot or container -or in broths and drink several oz throughout the day—the added benefits of the pther herbs would be again anti-inflammatory and kidney regulating-and the antioxidant profile to further protect the endocrine system as well as the brain liver and blood CAs an Anti Estrogen—for males this will maintain the levels of Testosterone and for Women it will assist in the balancing of the excesses of estrogens and estrogen conversions—Adding iodine to this will increase estriol production further lowering and balancing estradiol—but men and women can benefit from this to minimize estrogenically based cancers—

The Value Of SALT!!

 

SALT

 Both sea salt and rock salt were well known to the ancient Greeks who noted that eating salty food affected basic body functions such as digestion and excretion (urine and stools). This led to salt being used medically. The healing methods of Hippocrates (460 BC) especially made frequent use of salt. Salt-based remedies were thought to have expectorant powers. A mixture of water, salt, and vinegar was employed as an emetic. Drinking a mixture of two-thirds cow’s milk and one-third salt-water, in the mornings, on an empty stomach was recommended as a cure for diseases of the spleen. A mixture of salt and honey was applied topically to clean bad ulcers and salt-water was used externally against skin diseases and freckles. Hippocrates also mentions inhalation of steam from salt-water. We know today that the antiinflammatory effects of inhaled salt provide relief from respiratory symptoms (c). Thus, 2000 years ago, Greek medicine had already discovered topical use of salt for skin lesions, drinking salty or mineralized waters for digestive troubles and inhaling salt for respiratory diseases!

The doctor and alchemist Paracelsus (1493–1541 A.D.) introduced an entirely new medical concept. He believed that external factors create disease and conceived a chemically oriented medical system which contrasted with the prevalent herbal medicine. Only salted food could be digested properly: “The human being must have salt, he cannot be without salt. Where there is no salt, nothing will remain, but everything will tend to rot.” He recommended salt water for the treatment of wounds and for use against intestinal worms. A hip-bath in salt water was a superb remedy for skin diseases and itching: “This brine – he said – is better than all the health spas arising out of nature.” He described the diuretic effect of salt consumption and prescribed salt preparations of different strengths that were used for instance against constipation.

 If the body does not get enough salt, a hormonal mechanism compensates by reducing the excretion of salt in the urine and sweat. But it cannot reduce this output to zero. On a completely salt-free diet the body steadily loses small amounts of salt via the kidneys and sweat glands. It then attempts to adjust this by accelerating its secretion of water, so that the blood’s salt concentration can be maintained at the vital level. The result is a gradual desiccation of the body and finally death.”

 An eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population stratified for sodium intake levels found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets – the exact opposite of what the “salt hypothesis” would have predicted. (1995). Dr. Jeffrey R. Cutler documented no health outcomes benefits of lower-sodium diets.

The past president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Suzanne Oparil of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said her personal view is that the government may have been too quick to recommend that everyone cut back. “Salt restriction as a solitary recommendation for the population for the prevention or the treatment of hypertension

The seawater has 84 chemical elements. For our body to be healthy we need all those elements. When we use the common salt, we are in deficit of 81 elements which means we are somehow contributing to becoming weaker, imbalanced and more susceptible to diseases. Use the seawater salt.

 When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of the salt that was held back. This is how we can get rid of edema fluid in the body; by drinking more water. Not diuretics, but more water!! In people who have an extensive edema and show signs of their heart beginning to have irregular or very rapid beats with least effort, the increase in water intake should be gradual and spaced out, but not withheld from the body. Naturally, salt intake should be limited for two or three days because the body is still in an overdrive mode to retain it. Once the edema has cleared up, salt should not be withheld from the body

Salt has many other functions than just regulating the water content of the body. Here are some of the more vital functions of salt in the body:

1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, Contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure – in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.

2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.

3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element in diabetics.

4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.

5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells’ communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.

6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.

7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.

8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.

9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.

10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.

11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.

12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.

13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.

14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.

15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.

16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.

17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.

18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.

19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work – from the moment of conception to death.

20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become “leaky” in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The “leakiness” spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.

21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease.

22. Twenty-seven percent of the body’s salt is in the bones. Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from the body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we’re deficient in salt or water or both.

 

 Salt Might Be ‘Nature’s Antidepressant’

 Most people consume far too much salt, and a University of Iowa researcher has discovered one potential reason we crave it: it might put us in a better mood–ScienceDaily (Mar. 11, 2009) — Most people consume far too much salt, and a University of Iowa researcher has discovered one potential reason we crave it: it might put us in a better mood.—UI psychologist Kim Johnson and colleagues found in their research that when rats are deficient in sodium chloride, common table salt, they shy away from activities they normally enjoy, like drinking a sugary substance or pressing a bar that stimulates a pleasant sensation in their brains.—“Things that normally would be pleasurable for rats didn’t elicit the same degree of relish, which leads us to believe that a salt deficit and the craving associated with it can induce one of the key symptoms associated with depression,” Johnson said.–The UI researchers can’t say it is full-blown depression because several criteria factor into such a diagnosis, but a loss of pleasure in normally pleasing activities is one of the most important features of psychological depression. And, the idea that salt is a natural mood-elevating substance could help explain why we’re so tempted to over-ingest it, even though it’s known to contribute to high blood pressure, heart disease and other health problems.—Past research has shown that the worldwide average for salt intake per individual is about 10 grams per day, which is greater than the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended intake by about 4 grams, and may exceed what the body actually needs by more than 8 grams.^^^^^-( This has been challenged in the amount the fda recommends—and in some challenges are saying that it is not enough and should be higher) —another concept is that if you are eating foods that are toxic and then consume salt there maybe a chemical reaction going on triggering a negative side effect that salt maybe getting blamed for and in that it may not be true what salt is doing-^^^^^^ Johnson, who holds appointments in psychology and integrative physiology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and in pharmacology in the Carver College of Medicine, published a review of these findings in the July issue of the journal Physiology & Behavior with Michael J. Morris and Elisa S. Na, UI graduate students. In addition to reporting their own findings, the authors reviewed others’ research on the reasons behind salt appetite.–High levels of salt are contained in everything from pancakes to pasta these days, but once upon a time, it was hard to come by. Salt consumption and its price skyrocketed around 2000 B.C. when it was discovered as a food preservative. Roman soldiers were paid in salt; the word salary is derived from the Latin for salt. Even when mechanical refrigeration lessened the need for salt in the 19th century, consumption continued in excess because people liked the taste and it had become fairly inexpensive. Today, 77 percent of our salt intake comes from processed and restaurant foods, like frozen dinners and fast food.–Evolution might have played an important part in the human hankering for salt. Humans evolved from creatures that lived in salty ocean water. Once on land, the body continued to need sodium and chloride because minerals play key roles in allowing fluids to pass in and out of cells, and in helping nerve cells transfer information throughout the brain and body. But as man evolved in the hot climate of Africa, perspiration robbed the body of sodium. Salt was scarce because our early ancestors ate a veggie-rich diet and lived far from the ocean. –“Most of our biological systems require sodium to function properly, but as a species that didn’t have ready access to it, our kidneys evolved to become salt misers,” Johnson said.—Behavior also came to play a key role in making sure we have enough salt on board. Animals like us come equipped with a taste system designed to detect salt and a brain that remembers the location of salt sources — like salt licks in a pasture. A pleasure mechanism in the brain is activated when salt is consumed.—So the body needs salt and knows how to find it and how to conserve it. But today scientists are finding evidence that it’s an abused, addictive substance — almost like a drug.—One sign of addiction is using a substance even when it’s known to be harmful. Many people are told to reduce sodium due to health concerns, but they have trouble doing so because they like the taste and find low-sodium foods bland.—Another strong aspect of addiction is the development of intense cravings when drugs are withheld. Experiments by Johnson and colleagues indicate similar changes in brain activity whether rats are exposed to drugs or salt deficiency.—“This suggests that salt need and cravings may be linked to the same brain pathways as those related to drug addiction and abuse,” Johnson said.

Journal reference:

  1. Morris, M.J.; Na, E.S.; Johnson, A.K. Salt craving: The psychobiology of pathogenic sodium intake. Physiology & Behavior, 94 (5), p.709-721, Aug 2008, 2008; 94 (5): 709-721 DOI: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2008.04.008

Adapted from materials provided by University of Iowa.

Salt is one of the easiest most affective remedies on the planet! Sea salt, a salt obtained by evaporating seawater, is used in cooking and cosmetics. Its mineral content gives it a different taste from table salt, which is usually sodium chloride refined from mined rock salt (halite), or refined from sea salt.

Table salt may contain anti-caking agents and additives such as the dietary supplement iodides. Areas that produce specialized sea salt include theCayman Islands,France,Ireland,SicilyandApuliainItaly, andMaineandCape Codin theUnited States.

Salt is essential for life and you cannot live without it. There are enormous differences between the standard, refined table and cooking salt and healthy natural salt. The differences can have a major impact on your health.

Halite crystal (sodium chloride) occurs in seawater, along with other salts of sodium, calcium, magnesium, and other light metals. When seawater evaporates in a closed lagoon, halite and other minerals precipitate out and sink to the bottom as crystals. In this way, great beds of rock salt have been formed. Pure halite is colorless, though it is often colored by impurities. It is soft and breaks (cleaves) into cubes.

Halite crystallizes in the isometric (also called cubic) crystal system and when it forms crystals, it generally forms cubes. Its most noticeable and important physical feature is that halite is readily soluble in water. This allows halite to be useful in such varied applications as cooking, food preservation, and chemical production.

Salt can be mined from rock salt either by traditional mining practices using heavy equipment underground, or by pumping hot water in pipes into the salt deposit, where the hot water dissolves the halite. The resulting salt water is then pumped to surface and evaporated to yield salt. This is called “solution mining”.

In some modern dry salt lakes, a crust of halite can be recovered by simply scraping the salt crust off the lake bottom with bulldozers or scrapers. Ancient rock salt is mined inMichigan,New York,Kansas, and other states. Solution mining is used to recover salt from underground “salt domes” inLouisianaandTexas. Recovery of salt from dry lakes takes place in the deserts ofCalifornia,Nevada, andUtah.

Table Salt

Table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents, and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt causing the potential for many health problems in your body. Table salt is not recommended in your healing arsenal.

Dead Sea Salt

The mineral content of theDead Seais significantly different from that of ocean water, consisting of approximately 53% magnesium chloride, 37% potassium chloride and 8% sodium chloride (common salt) with the remainder comprised of various trace elements. The concentration of sulfate, SO42-, ions is very low, and the bromide ion concentration is the highest of all waters on Earth. Chlorides neutralize most of the calcium ions in theDead Seaand its surroundings.

While in other seas sodium chloride is 97% of the salts, in theDead Seathe quantity of NaCl is only 12-18%. Comparison between the chemical composition of theDead Seato other lakes and oceans show that the salt concentration in theDead Seais 31.5% (the salinity fluctuates somewhat). Because of its unusually high concentration of salt, anyone can easily float in theDead Seabecause of natural buoyancy as a result of the higher density of the water.

Celtic Sea Salt

This salt is unparalleled in the world. Less than 1% of the world’s salt harvest has the quality of Celtic Sea Salt. Pure, moist, biologically active, and free from any chemicals or additives, this is considered “living sea salt”. Celts discovered a way to harvest salt from the ocean using the sun, the wind, and shallow clay ponds. Pristine ocean channels spiral water into the concentrating ponds. The live flowing mixture is carefully stirred by the salt farmer, and dazzling crystals form and are gathered by hand. The ionizing action of the clay, combined with the artisan’s skillful method, passed down through generations, enlivens the unique, bioavailable array of trace elements that exist in a perfectly balanced matrix.

Epsom Salts

This salt is a rich source of magnesium. Magnesium helps to regulate the activity of more than 325 enzymes and performs a vital role in orchestrating many bodily functions, from muscle control and electrical impulses to energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. Epsom Salt also delivers sulfates, which are extremely difficult to get through food but which readily absorb through the skin. Sulfates serve a wide variety of functions in the body, playing a vital role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract.

Sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are believed to help detoxify the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants. Soak in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Epsom Salts. This is good for relaxing muscles and drawing toxins from the body. When magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, such as in a bath, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more. Soak for 15-20 minutes.

Himalayan Crystal Salt

Himalayan Crystal Salt is salt in its native form, with all its vibrational energy intact and it helps your body return to a state of balance. Not having balanced electrolytes shifts your body out of homeostasis – the balance of chemicals that is conducive to the body’s function. The renowned Frezenius Institute inEuropeanalyzed the Himalayan Crystal Salt and proved that it has an amazing array of important trace minerals and elements including potassium, calcium and magnesium that help your body achieve balance by restoring fluids and replenishing your supply of electrolytes whenever you sweat heavily.

Salt Water

The healing abilities of salt water are profound and well documented. Salt water is an astringent and speeds wound healing. Floating in sea water is an extreme release of tension and stress of the day. Allow yourself to float weightlessly in the water. You deserve it.

Sea Air

Deep breathing of ocean air helps us to relax and let go. The faint smell of salt in the air can take us to a place of pure joy. Sea air has a certain aliveness found no where else. This deep breathing can help release tension and the problems associated with it.

Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word thalassos, meaning “sea”) is the medical use of seawater. The properties of seawater are believed to have beneficial effects upon the pores of the skin. Thalassotherapy was developed in seaside towns inFranceduring the 19th century. Trace elements of magnesium, potassium, calcium sulphates and sodium, found in seawater, are believed to be absorbed through the skin. The therapy is applied in various forms, as either showers of warmed seawater, application of marine mud or of algae paste, or the inhalation of sea fog. Spas make hot seawater and provide mud- and seaweed wrapping services available.

Healing Salt Remedies

Sinusitis

Chronic sinusitis refers to inflammation of the sinuses that continues for weeks, months, or even years. Allergies are the most common cause of chronic sinusitis. Chronic sinusitis can persist even after antibiotics are given. It’s the most frequently reported chronic disease.–Acute sinusitis occurs when bacteria invade the sinus cavities and impair proper drainage of mucus from the sinuses to the nose. Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages also can lead to sinusitis. Allergic rhinitis is the most common cause of chronic sinusitis and is a frequent cause of acute sinusitis.–The common cold is the most prevalent predisposing factor to sinusitis. Acute sinusitis typically causes symptoms of nasal congestion and a thick yellow or green discharge. Other symptoms include tenderness and pain over the sinuses, frontal head pain, and sometimes chills, fever, and pressure in the area of the sinuses.—Entering bacteria gets trapped and filtered out by mucus and minute nasal hairs called cilia. This air-flow system can sometimes slow down when something impedes the cilia, if a cold clogs the sinus openings, or if an allergen swells the sinus linings. Then air gets trapped, pressure builds, the mucus stagnates, and bacteria breed. Infection sets in and you have sinusitis. When you get clogged up, you may end up with a permanent thickening of the sinus membranes and chronic congestion.

Sinus Wash

Flush out nasal secretions. Mix 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt or sea salt with 2 cups of warm water and a pinch of baking soda. Pour it into a shot glass, tilt your head back, close one nostril with your thumb, and sniff the solution with the open nostril. Then blow your nose gently. Repeat on the other side.–An Ayurvedic solution, similar to this is done in the same manner with a Netti Pot. It looks similar to a tea pot, but with a longer, narrower spout for the nostrils. These can be found in most health food stores. ~~~~~A cup or handful of water in your hand or neti pot is a wonderful cleansing therapy. Slowly inhale the salt water into your nose to cleanse your sinus and open up the air passages. Over the counter nasal washes (not nasal sprays) are available. The simplest form is a non iodized salt water spray.

Mouth Care

The tissues in the mouth can benefit greatly from sea salt.–For bleeding gums – make a paste of 1 tsp. baking soda to 1/2 tsp. sea salt…brush with this mixture 3 times per day instead of the toothpaste. You can also add a 1-2 drops of anyone of these: myrrh-peppermint-thyme—savoury-tea tree oil-clove-.–Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day to relieve a painful throat, mouth sores or cankers.

 

Sea Salt Baths and Scrubs

Sea Salt Scrubs

1. Take a handful of Sea Salt
2. Moisten it into the bath water.. and
3. Gently scrub whole body in circular motion until all the body is scrubbed.
4. Pay extra attention to your feet
5. Rinse with cool clear water

Detox Bath

Fill the tub with water

* 1/2 cup sea salt
* 1/2 cup of baking soda
* 1/2 cup of Epsom salt
* 1/2 cup of peroxide
* 1 cup of apple cider vinegar
* 1 -3 drops of essential oil ( or any essential oil that you prefer)

Add to bath water, stir until dissolved.Bathin water for at least 20 minutes

 

 

 

Vinegar Power

Apple Cider Vinegar—Remedy and Making

Here within this link will give you insight on a simple but effective  element that can impact you and your health maintaining  health or combating pathogens—there is a list of remedies as well at the script of the show link at http://augmentinforce.50webs.com–

enjoy the info

Independz

Calorie Restriction & Remedies

Calorie Restricted Diet Prevents Pancreatic Inflammation And Cancer

http://augmentinforce.50webs.com/Show%20of%20the%20Week%20 January%203%202011.htm#Show of the Week  January 17 2011

Will be in the Script of the show for January 21-2010 for full details

ScienceDaily (Apr. 17, 2008) — Prevention of weight gain with a restricted calorie diet sharply reduced the development of pancreatic lesions that lead to cancer in preclinical research reported April 15 by researchers from The University of Texas at Austin and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting.—The research sheds light on the connection between obesity, calorie intake and pancreatic cancer by comparing a calorie restricted diet, an overweight diet and an obesity-inducing diet in a strain of mice that spontaneously develops pancreatic lesions that lead to cancer.—“Obesity is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer, but the mechanism underlying that relationship is unknown,” said senior author Stephen D. Hursting, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis and Chair of the Division of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Texas. “Our findings indicate that calorie restriction hinders development of pancreatic cancer, which could have implications for prevention and treatment of pancreatic tumors caused by chronic inflammation and obesity.”–The group’s analysis points to a connection between calorie intake and a protein called Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) -1, with obesity increasing and calorie restriction decreasing levels of IGF-1. IGF-1 is an important growth factor known to stimulate the growth of many types of cancer cells. Inflammatory signaling proteins also were found to be reduced in the blood of the calorie-restricted mice.—“Mice on the heavier diets had significantly more lesions and larger lesions than those on the restricted calorie diet,” said first author Laura Lashinger, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in Hursting’s laboratory. The strain of mice, developed by Susan Fischer, professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis, spontaneously develops lesions associated with pancreatitis – inflammation of the pancreas. These lesions develop into pancreatic cancer and virtually all of these mice die within six to eight months.-The researchers fed the calorie restricted group a diet that was 30 percent lower in calories than that consumed by the overweight group and 50 percent lower than the obese group. Only 7.5 percent of mice on the calorie-restricted diet developed pancreatic lesions at the end of the experiment, and these lesions were so small that none exhibited symptoms of illness. For mice on the overweight diet, 45 percent developed lesions, as did 57.5 percent of those on the obesity-inducing diet. Lesions were also much larger in the overweight and obese mice than the calorie restricted mice.—While calorie restriction has been shown to have an anti-cancer effect in multiple species and for a variety of tumor types, its impact had not been well-studied in a model of pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death and remains mostly intractable to existing treatments.

The decline in blood levels of inflammatory proteins in the calorie restricted mice makes sense, Lashinger notes, because fat tissue is a major source of inflammatory factors such as cytokines.–The research was funded by grants from the National Institute of Health and the University of Texas, and is a collaboration between M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis, based at the The Virginia Harris Cockrell Cancer Research Center at M. D. Anderson’s Science Park – Research Division in Smithville, Texas, and the University of Texas at Austin Department of Nutritional Sciences.–Co-authors with Lashinger, Hursting and Fischer are Lauren Malone, Elizabeth Daniels, Nicole Smith, and Susan Perkins of the UT Department of Nutritional Sciences and Amy Pavone of M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis.–Story Source–The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center

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