There is definitely a relationship between telomere length and human longevity; it remains to definitively and fully describe the mechanisms involved. Is this sufficiently close to the biochemical roots of aging - is it an independent form of accumulated damage - that the many research groups working to lengthen telomeres are onto something? This paper demonstrates the relationship once more: "Many studies have demonstrated the association between telomere length in mitotic cells and carcinogenesis and mortality, but little attention has been focused on post-mitotic cells and human life expectancy. We assessed the relationship between telomere length in cerebral gray and white matter and longevity in 72 autopsied Japanese patients aged 0-100 years ... the 90-100-year age group possessed significantly longer telomeres than the 70s ... Autopsy protocols showed a decrease in the rate of cancer death in individuals in their [80s and 90s] versus those in their 60s, and in their 80s the mean telomere length in the gray matter from cancer death patients was significantly shorter than that of patients who died of other diseases ... These data suggest that innate telomere lengths are maintained very well in the cerebrum, and are associated with longevity."