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Subtract waste, add health

By 17 de March de 2011No Comments
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Subtract waste, add health

The Institute of Catalan Studies will be hosting the Barcelona Biomed Conference titled "Mitochondrial Autophagy" on March 21, 22 and 23, which will draw 150 national and international experts who will discuss the latest advances in the field of mitochondrial autophagy. The meeting will offer an interdisciplinary forum where 20 internationally renowned speakers will describe their latest advances in the field. The conference, promoted by the IRB Barcelona –based at the Barcelona Science Park- and the BBVA Foundation, is organized by Antonio Zorbano of the IRB Barcelona and Luca Sorrano from the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Autophagy is a phenomenon in charge of the degradation of aberrant material in the cell in order to facilitate its destruction or recycling. This cleaning process can affect any cell component that has been damaged, such as mitochondria, which are very important cell organelles that generate the energy needed for cells to function. The specific autophagy mechanism of mitochondria is called mitochondrial autophagy or mitophagy.

Although we have known of the existence of mitochondria for 150 years, it was not until a few years ago that these cells motors were linked to programmed death processes or apoptosis, which regulate the life and death of cells.

One of the current challenges is to gain deeper insight into the molecular mechanisms within mitophagy in order to better understand the basis of many diseases and to transfer this knowledge to clinical practice in order to fight these diseases better.