Credit: U.S. Census Bureau, Public Information Office (PIO)
By Francie Diep
Is the secret to long life in a gene? We don’t know, for now. A recent project to read the entire DNA sequence of 17 people aged 110 or older has found… there’s nothing particularly different from ordinary folks.
It is known that super-longevity is inheritable. It runs in families. An analysis of twins suggests human lifespan is 20 to 30 percent genetic. In super-long-lived people, that proportion is higher. Supercentenarians, or those that live past 110, don’t have different smoking, drinking, eating, or exercising habits than the rest of us. It’s in their genes. But where?
One team of geneticists from California and Washington State tried to find out by seeking a single gene variant in their 17 supercentenarians. They wanted a variant that would appear in all the supercentenarians, but not in other folks. That’s when they didn’t find anything.
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