Study Genes Behind Extreme Longevity

07.02.10 | FL News Team

The secret to longevity may be in the genes.  Researchers with Boston University looked at the genomes of more than a thousand people who lived to be over 100 as part of the New England Centenarian Study.  What they found was a cluster of 150 different genetic markers that seemed to correlate with extreme longevity in more than 70-percent of those studied.

Scientists aren't sure exactly how the genes help people live longer, but they were able to identify 19 different groups of genetic signatures corresponding to different patterns of longevity, such as a delayed onset of certain age-related diseases.  The study could help explain why long life tends to run in families.  The findings are published in the online version of the journal "Science."