The topic of study moves from genes to stem cells: "Scientists at Cornell Medical College in New York are due to begin to study the stem cells of almost a dozen Ashkenazi Jews, who were a heavily persecuted group which originated from Russia. Experts believe that years of intermarriage - and the sharing of genetic traits - might have helped the group live for so long. In an attempt to find out how they live such long lives, research will be performed on the heart, lung, liver and other cells. .. The reason they live so long is not because they live healthy lives. Interbreeding can have a negative impact, but, in this case, some families had the opposite effect. They don't get cardiovascular disease, cancer, neurodegeneration or diabetes or very low rates. And we believe that one aspect to their resistance to disease has a stem-cell base. ... will extract stem cells from the elderly Jews' blood before transforming them into the cells of some vital organs ... The cells which have been engineered will then undergo stress tests, and then they will be assessed to see how they fared."