The genetic secret to a life longer than the average population lies in the natural increased ability to fix DNA.
A team of scientists in Italy noticed a strange phenomenon. In the vicinity of the University of Bologna, where they normally work, there is a group of people who not only reach 105 years of age, but what achieve without getting sick almost never. It could be that the key is in a genetic secret, never before explored by contemporary science.
What characteristic do the longest-lived people in Italy share?
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The organism of the longest-lived people in the world it shares a common factor. It seems that, at the genome level, they hide the genetic secret to have a longer life than the rest of the planet, according to a recent study published in the scientific journal eLife.
Is ‘extreme longevity ‘ it is encoded at the genetic level. The team of scientists involved in the research managed to decode it in such detail that they got clues about why these people live so long. Not only that: they also managed to see why do they get sick less than the bulk of the world’s population.
Paolo Garagnani, associate professor at the Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialized Medicine at the University of Bologna, assures that aging is a risk factor for certain chronic diseases:
“We chose to study the genetics of a group of people who lived more than 105 years and compare them with a group of younger adults from the same area in Italy, since people in this younger age group tend to avoid many diseases related to age and therefore represent the best example of healthy aging ”.
Together with Swiss scientists, Garagnani and his colleagues recruited 81 semi-supercentenarians and supercentenarians. This means that they were people of 105 years or more, throughout all of Italy. Took genetic samples of each and the compared with those of younger people from the same country, who were 68 years old on average.
In this way, they obtained the sequencing of the entire genome, to look for differences in the genes between the older and younger groups. Thus, they identified five common genetic changes that were more frequent, among two genes called COA1 and STK17A.
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OA1 and STK17A: the genetic secret to live longer and better?
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From the results of the study, the Italian scientists realized that this genetic variability “probably modulates the expression of three different genes,” according to the Science Daily coverage.
The most notable changes were observed in the activity of the STK17A gene, with respect to some fabrics. This is responsible for modulating three areas in the health of cells, according to the findings:
Coordinate the cell’s response to DNA damage. Encourage damaged cells to undergo programmed cell death. Control the amount of dangerous reactive oxygen species inside it.
In a natural way, these processes prevent diseases such as cancer, as well as its growth and spread in the body. Also, genetic changes involve COA1, which is noticeably less active in some body tissues.
People over 105 years of age in Italy have this double capacity to a much greater extent than the rest of the elderly in the world. For this reason, they can live longer without serious complications, such as diseases in old age or chronic conditions that prevent normal functioning.
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