Monday, October 17, 2011

Genetic Code of World's Oldest Person May Reveal Recipe for Long Life

In 2004, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper died at the age of 115. She is one of the few people who managed to live such a long life, but she is also one of the few hundred people that had her entire genome sequenced.
Hendrikje is a medical wonder because she managed to stay so healthy until very late in life. She was mentally still very present and test showed that her mental clarity was still above average for 65-70 year olds when she was way above 100 years old. When she was 100, she also managed to survive breast cancer. She claims this all has to do with eating herring every day, but researchers are convinced that there is more to this story. Thankfully, Hendrikje doneated her body to science when she was 85 year old.
Researchers, lead by Henne Holstege, at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam are conducting studies on her genome. The studies are still in their infancy and no/few results have been published. But they are hoping that this study will lead to more understanding about aging. Furthermore, they hope to find which genes trigger longevity and which ones decrease expected length of life. This could lead to medication enabling longer life expectancy.
While there is not much news yet, this is definitely a story worth following.

No comments:

Post a Comment