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Discovering genetic variants associated with aging »  Union Health

Discovering genetic variants associated with aging » Union Health

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Discovering genetic variants associated with aging

A team of British researchers, led by Professor Nilesh Samani, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester, conducted an analysis of more than 500,000 genetic variations in the human genome in 2917 participants and then tested their findings in another 9,492 participants.

In the words of the study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, variants, all based around the same gene, the third-, cause people who carry them have shorter telomeres. Telomeres are part of the chromosomes and its length is considered a marker of biological age. Shorter, more ‘old’ do to our body.

Scientists say that telomeres have a strong genetic determination (40% to 80%) and although we are all born with a certain length of these structures, then is changing as a birthday, and cells are dividing.

“What we have done is identify a genetic variant that telomeres shorten and make them biologically older” Samani said.

“Given the association that science has been established between telomere shortening and the risk for certain diseases, including heart or some tumors, our study throws the question of whether individuals carrying this variant are also more likely to get sick” , added.

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