Discoveries
Metabolism
Metabolism
We are working to understand human metabolism and what happens when this biological system breaks down. The problem is more important than ever, given the increasing burden that diabetes and other metabolic dysfunctions have on human health and society.

Metabolism

Nature Comm
07/23/2018

Depleting microbiome with antibiotics can affect glucose metabolism

Panda, along with Salk Professor Alan Saghatelian and collaborators from UC San Diego, found that mice with microbiomes depleted by antibiotics had decreased levels of glucose in their blood and better insulin sensitivity. The research has implications for understanding the role of the microbiome in diabetes. It also may lead to better insight into the side effects of being treated with high levels of antibiotics.

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Cell Metabolism
08/16/2018

Cells agree: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Research led by Professor Gerald Shadel suggests why, at a cellular level, the expression “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” might be true. His team reported that brief exposures to stressors can be beneficial by prompting the cell to trigger sustained production of antioxidants, molecules that help get rid of toxic cellular buildup related to normal cell metabolism.

In addition, Shadel, along with collaborators from Yale, Appalachian State University and other institutions, found that a protein called ATM (short for ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) can sense in normal cells the presence of harmful products called reactive oxygen species and responds by sounding the alarm to trigger the production of antioxidants. The work could have implications for a disease in which ATM is dysfunctional—and could also help reveal ways to boost cellular health overall.

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Cell Metabolism
08/30/2018

Periods of fasting may protect against obesity and diabetes

Professor Satchin Panda, first author Amandine Chaix and colleagues found that mice lacking the biological clocks thought to be necessary for healthy metabolism could still be protected against obesity and metabolic diseases by having their daily access to food restricted to a 10-hour window. The work suggests that the health problems associated with disruptions to animals’ 24-hour rhythms of activity and rest can be corrected by eating all calories within a 10-hour window.

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