UNIVERSITY scientists say they have made a significant discovery about genetic mutations which could pave the way for better treatments.
Dr Rhiannon Lloyd and Dr John McGeehan, of the University of Portsmouth, have created the first 3D map of mitochondrial proteins – miniature machines that power the human body.
Their map will allow doctors and researchers to make better diagnoses and develop better treatments for patients affected by mitochondrial disease.
Dr Lloyd said: ‘Our bodies contain many thousand miniature energy-producing ‘batteries’ known as mitochondria.
‘Defective mitochondria are associated with a range of serious human diseases, including cancer.
‘The UK government has backed the use of three-parent IVF technologies to help those parents who are carriers to have healthy children, but research is urgently required to identify how these diseases occur in the first place.
‘This 3D map paves the way for scientists and drug developers to be given for the first time a window to what is happening at molecular level in some diseases.’