Scientists have discovered the “Methuselah” genes whose lucky carriers have a much improved chance of living to 100 even if they indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle.
The genes appear to protect people against the effects of smoking and bad diet and can also delay the onset of age-related illnesses such as cancer and heart disease by up to three decades.
No single gene is a guaranteed fountain of youth. Instead, the secret of longevity probably lies in having the right “suite” of genes, according to new studies of centenarians and their families. Such combinations are extremely rare — only one person in 10,000 reaches the age of 100.
The genes found so far each appear to give a little extra protection against the diseases of old age. Centenarians appear to have a high chance of having several such genes embedded in their DNA.
“Long-lived people do not have fewer disease genes or ageing genes,” said Eline Slagboom of Leiden University, who is leading a study into 3,500 Dutch nonagenarians. “Instead they have other genes that stop those disease genes from being switched on. Longevity is strongly genetic and inherited.”
Sunday, May 16, 2010
Scientists discover gene that lets you live to 100.
No thanks. From Times Online: