HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Lighting up the heart

A major breakthrough in research could lead to improved recovery of the heart when it is re-started after a heart attack or cardiac surgery.

For the first time ever, researchers at the University of Bristol have been able to directly measure energy levels inside living heart cells, in real time, using the chemical that causes fireflies to light up.

Dr Elinor Griffiths said: "Being able to see exactly what's going on in heart cells will be of great benefit to understanding heart disease."

The research is published today (22nd September, 2006) in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The 'power stations' within heart cells that make energy are called mitochondria. They convert energy from food into chemical energy called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP.

Under normal conditions, mitochondria are able to make ATP extremely rapidly when the heart is stressed, such as during exercise or in "fight-or-flight" mode.

However, if the cells are made to beat suddenly from rest, a situation that happens when the heart is re-started after cardiac surgery or a heart attack, the team found there is a lag phase where the supply of ATP drops before mitochondrial production starts again, potentially preventing the heart from beating properly.

The researchers made use of a protein called luciferase, which is normally found in the tails of firefly and is what causes them to light up. Using molecular biological techniques, they transferred modified forms of the luciferase DNA into heart cells the cells could then make their own luciferase, and the modifications enabled the luciferase to be produced inside the mitochondria.

Since luciferase lights up in the presence of ATP, the amount of light, and hence the amount of ATP, could be detected using a microscope and a highly sensitive camera.

Dr Griffiths explained: "The breakthrough presented by this technique could be of benefit in heart diseases where mi
'"/>

Contact: Cherry Lewis
cherry.lewis@bristol.ac.uk
44-117-928-8086
University of Bristol
21-Sep-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Lighting up life: Cold Spring Harbor Protocols presents tips for creating glowing plants
2. High blood pressure, low energy -- a recipe for heart failure
3. Abnormal fat metabolism underlies heart problems in diabetic patients
4. Cardio exercise benefits in male vs. female hearts
5. Using stem cells to help heart attack victims
6. System to analyze beating heart stem cells could lead to heart attack treatments
7. Cardiac patches stimulate regeneration, improve function after heart attack
8. Specific type of cell death may accelerate decompensated heart failure
9. Faulty cell membrane repair causes heart disease
10. Link between obesity and enlarged heart discovered by University of Arizona researchers
11. Genetic defect links respiratory disease and congenital heart disease

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:11/20/2018)... OTTAWA, Ontario (PRWEB) , ... November 20, 2018 , ... ... Track-Kit system to track all newborn screening (NBS) specimens across the state. ... shipment from hospitals and delivery to the state newborn screening laboratory in Salt Lake ...
(Date:11/15/2018)... ... November 15, 2018 , ... Superior ... and IT solutions with 140 employees on both the east and west coasts, ... (CSIA) Certification. CSIA Certified control system integrators must pass an intensive audit ...
(Date:11/15/2018)... ... 14, 2018 , ... Researchers from Ambry Genetics (Ambry) ... gene-disease relationships and how it supports medical management decisions at the National Society ... , Ambry has been selected by NSGC to lead a platform presentation ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/5/2018)... ... November 05, 2018 , ... USARAD ... by Siemens Healthineers and several healthcare VC firms announces at Distributed Health 2018 ... a history by purchasing tokens and obtaining its first radiology interpretations, one of ...
(Date:11/3/2018)... ... November 01, 2018 , ... ... Summit. Dr. Jean Mulinde, Senior Advisor, Division of Clinical Compliance Evaluation, CDER, FDA ... and ensure data reliability. , What should clinical research industry stakeholders keep in ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... (PRWEB) , ... October 30, 2018 , ... ... its randomized, controlled trial at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee. This ... system to the standard of care for managing pain after total knee replacement ...
(Date:10/31/2018)... ... October 30, 2018 , ... Today, the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) announced ... competition is to find new and innovative uses of field corn. NineSigma is serving ... billion bushels of corn and are on pace to produce the second largest crop ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: