Sunday, January 20, 2013


Do you know any supercentenarians? Individuals whose age is greater than 110 years? There are some! Researchers identified the complete genomic sequences of a male and a female supercentenarian, both age 114. They found, for example, that the DNA sequences were largely comparable to existing non-supercentenarian genomes. But they also identified approximately 1% of the variants these individuals possess as being "novel," which may point to new genes involved in exceptional longevity. Researchers hope that continued analysis of the genomes of these and other rare individuals who have survived to extremely old ages should provide insight into the processes that contribute to the maintenance of health during extreme aging. Aging in humans is impacted by lifestyle and environmental factors as well as genes. Some estimate that genes typically explain up to 25% of the variability of human survival into the mid-eighties. However, genetic factors may have greater impact on exceptional longevity. Biological mechanisms for these supercentenarians may differ from those involved in typical human aging.


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