Genes that protect yeast DNA from free radicals may pave the way for new drugs that will be effective in treating cancer and ageing, according to scientists at the University of California, San Diego.
Free radicals are produced by the body and have a tendency to damage DNA, making some people take supplements to mop them up.
However, this is not feasible as small doses of free radicals trigger changes in most cells that stop more from entering.
Now, the UCSD researchers, led by Trey Ideker, have found genes that control this response in yeast, reports New Scientist.
If similar genes are found in people, drugs that mimic their protective effects could be a better strategy against cancer, and ageing than simply mopping up all free radicals The study has been published in a recent edition of PLoS Genetics.