7 September 2009
Today I first started research on oxygen radicals and their role in the development of cancer and other benign substances. I first started by completing a general search on Google for any related topics and background information on the subject. After discovering that a very limited amount of information was available, I went on to use the science resource center database provided by the Glenelg library. I first searched “oxygen radical research” and found several background articles related to ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbance capacity), and oxygen’s role in cancer and aging. I soon discovered that the method involving ORAC testing uses both the degree of inhibition in biological samples and the time in which the agent continues to actively absorb radicals to rate the effectiveness of the antioxidant. I then continued on and read in the article “Oxygen's radical role in cancer and aging. (Oxidant molecules).” By Janet Raloff that as the body ages, natural degradation of biological substances and oxygen defense mechanisms, increased levels of respiration, lead to increased oxygen radical levels and increased risks of genetic mutation and the development of cancer. In another study, Extension of murine life span by overexpression of catalase targeted to mitochondria.(Reports), mice were generated that “overexpressed human catalase localized to the peroxisome, the nucleus, or mitochondria (MCAT)”. It was found that the average lifespan increased with the addition of this enzyme and once again proves that the mitochondria are a important source of free oxygen radicals. Overall, through my research today, I gained a basic understanding of oxygen radical involvement in the development of cancer and its relationship to longevity.