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Trends Biotechnol. 2007 Sep;25(9):371-5. Epub 2007 Aug 2.

Heavy isotopes to avert ageing?

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  • 1Center for Advanced Biotechnology, Boston University, 36 Cummington St., Boston, MA 02215, USA.


Oxidative modifications of cellular components by free radicals are thought to be the cause of ageing and age-associated diseases. Extensive prior research has aimed to lessen such damage by counteracting the free-radical oxidizers with antioxidants, but there have been no attempts to protect the oxidizer-targeted biomolecules by making them more stable against oxidation. A recent paper describes an original and promising method based on the use of non-radioactive heavy isotopes, which might enable living cells to resist the free-radical oxidation and consequently allow us to live a healthier, longer life.

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