So you are doing everything "right" – sorting your landfill trash from recyclables, composting and switching to biodegradable plastic! Yet the question remains as to how long your trash may stay around. Click the button below to link to an experiment by Science Buddies that you can use to test which product really is best. How big a trash heap will build up if you add a new lunch container every day before the first one disappears?
Brain cells can live more than 100 years without being "reborn" through cell division. Thus, they have to be efficient in recycling their trash. Two weeks ago, we discussed how the brain cell knows when it needs to to "eat" damaged power plants (mitochondria) before they can leak harmful substances. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncb2837
In Alzheimer's disease, even after the cellular trash has been picked up by autophagosomes (recycling trucks of the cell), something goes wrong and the trash is not broken down in the lysosome. Lysosomes are cellular bags that contain digestive enzymes to break down cellular trash, just as the microorganisms break down biodegradable waste in the Science Buddies Experiment.
For a lot more details, click above for a review by a top Alzheimer's researcher
Scientist, Mother, Physician, Educator. My first paper was on neural programs that control fish feeding, later wandering through macrophage antigen "nibbling", to my current interests in brain autophagy (cellular eating of damaged or unneeded parts).