Mitochondrial DNA in aging, and Disease

Essay by a.chet 69High School, 11th gradeA+, December 2006

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1) The significant discovery made in 1988 concerning human ailments, and genes was that young-adult blindness (leber's hereditary optic neuropathy) in several families could be traced to a small inherited mutations in a mitochondrial gene.

2) The narrator of this article is Douglas C. Wallace.

3) The research being conducted at Emory University was to find the origin of a specific form of adult blindness.

4) The total amount of energy provided to a cell by the mitochondria is aprox. 90%.

5) In 1962 Rolf Luft and his co-workers at the Karoinska reported that an impairment in mitochondrial energy production caused a debilitating disorder.

6) The interesting thing about the inheritance pattern of mitochondrial genes is Mitochondria, contain their own DNA, and contain typically from five to ten copies, all inherited from the mother.

7) A missense mutation is a type of point mutations where a nucleotide is changed which results in a different amino acid.

This in turn can render the resulting protein nonfunctional. Such mutations are responsible for diseases such as Epidermolysis bullosa and sickle-cell disease.

8) Mitochondrial DNA can be a useful forensic tool because scientists are able to perform tests by comparing sequences of base pairs in mitochondrial DNA molecules, especially in the control region, which contains no genes.

9) Some factors allowing mitochondrial energy production to decline with age are long term exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as potent toxins which inhabit mitochondria. Another factor could be the lifelong accumulation of somatic mitochondrial DNA mutations.

10) The mitochondrial theory of aging consists of the thought that we live and produce ATP, our mitochondria generate oxygen free radicals that inexorably attack our mitochondria and mutate our mitochondrial DNA.

11) The significance of genetic on-set type II diabetes is, diabetes mellitus, which afflicts millions of...