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Thursday, 22 August 2013

Blame your mum!

There are a lot of things we know you can do in an attempt to fight off the ravages of time:

Don't smoke

Keep fit

Don't be obese

Eat healthily

Don't fight alligators

Don't let yourself get sunburned

...but that said, a new paper published this week in Nature shows that at least some of your ageing is not your fault, but your mum's! Feel better?

Now the science bit... Everyone knows that we inherit loads of features about ourselves from our DNA. This is of course kept safely inside our cells' control centres (nucleus).... However, each of the cells in our body also contains mitochondria. These are the tiny structures which produce the energy necessary to keep cells working. However, it's increasingly become known that they also have their own supply of DNA. It was quite surprising when that was discovered, but we are now quite certain this is the case. Amazingly, you don't inherit your mitochondria from both parents.... you inherit them only from your mum.

It turns out that this mitochondrial DNA confers some of the differences between ageing rate in people.

Ergo.... Some of your propensity to ageing is inherited directly from your mum!


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