|“Aged stem cells conserve circadian rhythm but now perform another set of functions to tackle the problems that arise with age,” explains ICREA researcher Salvador Aznar Benitah, leader of two studies published in Cell Press by scientists at IRB Barcelona, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra and the University of California, Irvine (US). Rejecting the scientific dogma associating ageing with the loss of stem cell circadian rhythm, the researchers show that, with age, stem cells promote a greater functional decline in tissues due to an alteration of their rhythmic activity. The study also demonstrates that a low-calorie diet keeps the circadian rhythm young. Read the press release, and an interview with first authors of the two studies, research associate Guiomar Solanas and “la Caixa” PhD student Francisca Oliveira Peixoto, both at IRB Barcelona.
The 108th Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has recently been awarded to American scientists Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young for their discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling circadian rhythms—work that they performed in the fruit fly as a model organism.