About This Project
Protein misfolding and aggregation are involved (but not fully understood) in multiple major neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Nevertheless, similar but minor patterns have been observed in the normal biological aging process without pathological implications. Are those diseases “intensified” versions of this “normal” event? Can this event be adjusted to improve the health conditions of the victims of the diseases, or help the old to raise the quality of their elder life?
We study the mechanisms between aging and progressive protein aggregation in Caenorhabditis elegans. This small worm has transparent body and relatively short life span, making it a suitable model for our purpose. We manipulate aging-related cellular activities and observe consequent changes in the protein aggregation pattern. Through our exploration of the correlations among all these alterations, the mysteries behind protein aggregation will be gradually revealed.
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