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Longevity

Scientists Identify Longevity Genes

21 years, 8 months ago

9274  0
Posted on Oct 14, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

US researchers believe they have identified a group of genes that determine an individual's lifespan. Scientists examining the genetic code of 308 siblings of people who had lived until they were at least 90-years-old discovered that many of the siblings had inherited a specific set of genes on chromosome 4.

US researchers believe they have identified a group of genes that determine an individual's lifespan. Scientists examining the genetic code of 308 siblings of people who had lived until they were at least 90-years-old discovered that many of the siblings had inherited a specific set of genes on chromosome 4. The region that the scientists have identified contains approximately 500 genes, thus the team are now trying to pinpoint the gene that grants longevity. Although anyone has yet to attempt to alter human lifespan by genetic modification, scientists have already extended the lifespan of lower-organisms such as nematode worms and fruit flies using genetic techniques. The researchers believe that people who live to a ripe old age have had the fortune to inherit genes that extend the lifespan but possibly more importantly, have also managed to avoid inheriting genes that are associated with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Study leader Professor Louis Kunkel, said: "It is clear to us that longevity has a genetic component."

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.bbc.co.uk on the 27th August 2001

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