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A worm to understand the diseases of ageing

A short animation showing how a common worm can help us understand degenerative diseases in ageing and protein quality control in the brain.

Some diseases of the human brain – known as neurodegenerative disorders – show an increase in the production of misfolded proteins and the formation of protein aggregates.

These late-onset diseases are characterised by an overloaded and failing system of protein quality control. Why this system is gradually falling short, and how this can be prevented, needs better understanding.

In this animation, the worm Caenorhabditis elegans will be introduced as a model organism to study protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases. The outstanding features of this model were instrumental in the identification of genes that drive the aggregation of proteins involved in the diseases of Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington. Could inactivation of the human counterparts of these drivers of protein aggregation protect us from neurodegenerative diseases? In the lecture following this animation, Ellen Nollen will discuss in more depth her research on protein aggregation and toxicity using the C. elegans model.

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Why Do We Age? The Molecular Mechanisms of Ageing

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