To answer this question, researchers created a genetically engineered mouse that had persistently increased levels of autophagy.

The researchers made a mutation in the autophagy protein Beclin 1 that decreases its binding to another protein, Bcl-2, which normally inhibits Beclin 1's function in autophagy.

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Trials have been conducted, but reliable, safe autophagy enhancing drugs have yet to emerge at the far side.

The research here is one of many examples in which researchers identify a possible target mechanism for further development.

"Our 3D printed corneas will now have to undergo further testing and it will be several years before we could be in the position where we are using them for transplants.

However, what we have shown is that it is feasible to print corneas using coordinates taken from a patient eye and that this approach has potential to combat the world-wide shortage." The structure of the cell nucleus is determined by the nuclear lamina, protein filaments that support the nuclear membrane and anchor the important components within the nucleus.

Many older people suffer from corneal damage or degeneration of one form or another, and these patients might benefit from the cost-effective availability of corneas generated from their own cells.

Bioprinting is one approach to reducing the cost of building such patient-matched tissue sections, and as noted here, researchers have recently reported success in rapidly printing corneas in this way. The technique could be used in the future to ensure an unlimited supply of corneas.

The dimensions of the printed tissue were originally taken from an actual cornea.

By scanning a patient's eye, they could use the data to rapidly print a cornea which matched the size and shape.

This builds upon our previous work in which we kept cells alive for weeks at room temperature within a similar hydrogel.