(From EurekAlert). Mitochondria are a hot topic in aging research these days. "Growing old, according to the new study, occurs, in part, as mutations build up in the DNA of energy-generating mitochondria, triggering the death of critical cells that lead to such things as hair and weight loss, hearing and vision impairment, loss of muscle mass, weakened bones and fewer circulating red blood cells. ... We think that the key to what is happening in aging is that as (genetic) mutations or DNA damage accumulates, critical cells die. These experiments favor a major role for programmed cell death in aging." Keep an eye on mitochondrial research - it offers intriguing possibilities for healthy life extension medicine over the next decade.