Accelerating your age

“So the dog who insisted I let him out at 4 AM this morning helped accelerate my aging.”, says FuturePundit in this important post warning us how lack of sleep increases inflammation, reduces immunity and accelerates aging.

Reporting in the Sept. 6 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Archives of Internal Medicine, the research team finds that even modest sleep loss triggers cellular and genetic processes involved in the immune system’s inflammatory response to disease and injury.

New research help us understand inflammation:

Bacteria and parasites often use special toxins to perforate the membranes of target cells. These pore-forming toxins are a key weapon in the attack arsenal of some common and virulent bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, well-known for its role in hospital-acquired infections, Streptococcus pneumonie, responsible for middle ear infections and pneumonia, and Helicobacter pylori, implicated in ulcers. Pore-forming toxins compose about a quarter of all known protein toxins that increase the infectivity and severity of bacterial diseases.

Once the toxin perforates the host membrane, ions begin to leak out of the cell.

Sensing a drop in its potassium concentration, the cell reacts by forming a multi-protein complex known as an inflammasome. Scientists know that inflammasomes act like a sort of roving security force inside the cell, detecting a variety of danger signals such as bacterial RNA or bits of bacterial flagellin.

The inflammasomes join together and activate a protein, caspase-1, that in turn triggers an inflammatory response.

From New Scientist:
Snooze your way to high test scores

If you are trying to commit something to memory, take a nap – even a short daytime snooze could help you learn.