Get the copper you need

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A new research suggests that human beings would not be born if
their bodies did not know how to use copper. According to Dennis
Thiele, chemistry...

A new research suggests that human beings would not be born if their bodies did not know how to use copper. According to Dennis Thiele, chemistry professor at the University of Michigan and co-author of a new study on foetal development, mammals that cannot acquire copper, such as humans, will not thrive and make it through birth, reports HealthScoutNews​. The research may help scientists figure out why some miscarriages occur and could possibly provide a clue to the causes of brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Thiele says. Copper is one of the nutrients like iron and zinc that are essential to normal body functions. Without copper, the body cannot even metabolise iron, Thiele says. And iron is a major factor in blood production. Using genetic engineering techniques, researchers designed mice that did not have genes that create copper "gatekeepers"​ in cells. The gatekeepers let copper into cells, where other proteins distribute it to where it is needed, reports Thiele. Mice that lack the gateway die in the mother's womb, he says. "Although we cannot say for sure that a human who lacks this gateway would die, it's highly likely that there would be a miscarriage."​ According to Dr. Thiele, if a mouse has just one gatekeeper gene instead of the normal two, its brain will develop a copper imbalance; and there are several studies suggesting copper imbalances in the brain may be responsible for diseases like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease. Copper imbalances are known to cause some diseases in humans, including one inherited disorder that affects boys and causes death by the age of 2 or 3, Thiele says. Source: HealthScout News

Related topics: Science

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