Research News from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)
Does Chromosome 4 Hold the Secret to Human Longevity?
After comparing the DNA of siblings who are extremely long-lived, HHMI
researchers believe they have found a region on chromosome 4 that may hold
an important clue to understanding human longevity. According to the
researchers, their finding is "highly suggestive" that somewhere in the
hundreds of genes in that region of chromosome 4 is a gene or genes whose
subtle modifications can give a person a better chance of living well beyond
the average life expectancy.
The researchers believe that additional genetic analyses of nonagenarians
and centenarians will lead to the identification of a few genes that confer
longevity in humans. They also believe that their studies may turn up "good"
versions of a multitude of genes that enable people to avoid age-associated
diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Research published in the August 28, 2001, issue of Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences.
For the full story, go to http://www.hhmi.org/news/kunkel.html
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