4 Genes found that could switch off aging

4 Genes found that could switch off aging

Medical research is so memorizing.  I love my job and the relationships it builds with others, but I envy the skills and discoveries that researchers unveil.  A team of researchers from King’s College London, along with Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have actually identified the ‘aging’ genes.  The group of genes that can switch on and off aging are called epigenetic factors.  These epigenetic changes could be used as markers of biological aging and are being suggested as a key consideration for future anti-aging therapies.

One of the researchers and co-leader of the team, Dr. Jordana Bell explains that this discovery is a result of studying 172 twins.  After they revealed that there are 490 age related epigenetic changes, 4 genes that correlate to a healthier aging process were identified.   “These results can help understand the biological mechanisms underlying healthy aging and age-related disease, and future work will explore how environmental effects can affect these epigenetic changes,” says Dr. Bell

Content for this write up came from Sciencedaily.com who covered a study done at King’s College London.

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  • Clicking through, and also based on my admittedly poor understanding of genetics from NOVA, it seems a lot more complicated than portrayed here.

    In essence, though, it seems to deal with genetic triggers, i.e. RNA, rather than the genes itself (which reminded me of NOVA, since one show was about why a gene creates a hand in some species but only a stub in others, such as whales).

    They also said "The study also suggests these epigenetic processes -- that can be caused by external factors such as diet, lifestyle and environment -- are likely to be initiated from an early age and continue through a person's life." So, since saying that one ate a cheeseburger at age 8 is going to doom you isn't going to work, unless they come up with the "genetic therapies," i.e., in this case to switch on genes that were turned off, as opposed to inherited genetic deficiencies, it is going to be a long time before this research has practical application.

    There is also a certain ambivalence in the article between "switch off aging" and "healthier aging."

  • In reply to jack:

    I caught that too - the vahue mention of "switch off aging" factors. Epigenetics I think is a general reference of something that has a very specific and detailed name. I think what is marvelous is the progress being made in understanding what factors (non environmental) impact aging.

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