Friday, May 29, 2009

Of Pomegranate Juice and Longevity (and PLOS Genetics)

Bioengineering professor Trey Ideker is the senior author on a paper out today in PLOS Genetics that provides an explanation for the seemingly paradoxical finding that small exposure to oxidative conditions may actually offer protection from acute doses. (Full press release here, written by Debra Kain from the UC San Diego School of Medicine).

Remember that oxidative stress has been linked to aging, cancer and other diseases in humans.
“We may drink pomegranate juice to protect our bodies from so-called ‘free radicals’ or look at restricting calorie intake to extend our lifespan,” said Trey Ideker, PhD, professor of bioengineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering and chief of the Division of Genetics in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego’s School of Medicine. “But our study suggests why humans may actually be able to
prolong the aging process by regularly exposing our bodies to minimal amounts of

The paper is published in an open access journal (PLOS Genetics), so anyone can go directly to the paper and dig in (be sure to enjoy figure 3, which I find quite pleasing to look at.)
The first author is Ryan Kelley, who completed the Bioinformatics program at UC San Diego and is now working at Illumina.

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