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Genetic Influence on Life Span

Scientists are starting pin down the bounds of the influence of genes on aging and life span, as demonstrated in this PubMed entry: "We study the genetic influence on human lifespan and how it varies with age using the almost extinct cohorts of Danish, Finnish and Swedish twins born between 1870 and 1910 comprising 20,502 individuals followed until 2003-2004. We first estimate mean lifespan of twins by lifespan of co-twin and then turn to the relative recurrence risk of surviving to a given age. ... While the estimated overall strength of genetic influence is compatible with previous studies, we find that genetic influences on lifespan are minimal prior to age 60 but increase thereafter. These findings provide a support for the search for genes affecting longevity in humans, especially at advanced ages." This goes nicely with the Reliability Theory of aging.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=16463022

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