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Gene Glitches May Increase Life Expectancy

Gene Glitches May Increase Life Expectancy

Genetic mutations may hold the key to longer life say scientists at the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.

A series of rare genetic mutations that can boost the human lifespan were recently discovered by the team of scientist who had been studying centenarians and their elderly children.

It is thought that the genetic glitches interfere with the growth of the cells, slowing down or even halting the aging process. Similar studies carried out on animals have also produced the same results which appear to be due to malfunction in the insulin-like growth hormone which able to extend animals’ lives dramatically.

genetic mutations Gene Glitches May Increase Life Expectancy

Dr Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Ageing Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, found the series of genetic mutations which affect insulin growth factor 1 (IGF-1) exclusively among centenarians.

The IGF-1 hormone is responsible for the development of nearly every cell in the body and is crucial for children’s growth, IGF-1 continues to influence the generation of tissue well into adulthood.

The team discovered the genetic markers after scanning the genetic codes of 384 participants whose ages ranged from 95 to 110, with an average age of 100. The results were then compared with 312 controls, who came from families with a typical life span, none of whom had lived to 95.

The results which were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that the elderly volunteers were less sensitive to IGF-1, suggesting that the mutated genes were disrupting the body’s ability to grow normally.


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