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Parkinson’s disease affects neurons in the Substantia nigra brain region – their mitochondrial activity ceases and the cells die. Researchers now show that supplying D-lactate or glycolate, two products of the gene DJ-1, can stop and even counteract this process. They also showed that the two substances rescued the toxic effects of the weed killer Paraquat. Cells that had been treated with this herbicide, which is known to cause a Parkinson’s like harm of mitochondria, recovered after the addition of the two substances.