Scientists Find Genetic Mutation That Could Increase the Male Lifespan
Professor S. Jay Olshansky once told Gizmodo, “In the world of aging sciences, if you want to live a long life, choose long-lived parents.” So genetic markers linked to longevity are interesting as hell. But if you’ve got the wrong genes, then the wrong moves might do you in.
A team of researchers from universities in the United States wanted to figure out the role of genetics in human lifespan, specifically relating to growth hormone. The researchers’ work shows two main things: first, that a mutation in men’s DNA relating to growth hormone might lead to a longer lifespan. And secondly, that treating older people with growth hormone might be dangerous if they don’t have the variation.
Gil Atzmon, the study’s principal investigator from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the University of Haifa in Israel, was most excited by how a slight change in DNA could have such a big impact. Delete a few base pairs, “and you still have a functional protein that now makes people live longer,” he said. “I think this is phenomenal.”