Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University found that people who live to 100 or more have just as many or more harmful gene variants compared with younger people but it appears they also have favorable longevity genes that protect them from the bad genes’ harmful effects.
"We hypothesized that people living to 100 and beyond must be buffered by genes that interact with disease-causing genes to negate their effects," Dr. Aviv Bergman, a professor in the departments of pathology and neuroscience, said in a news release Monday.
The study appears in the Aug. 31 issue of PLoS Computational Biology.
Bergman and his colleagues examined individuals enrolled in Einstein’s Longevity Genes Project, which was initiated in 1998 to investigate longevity genes in Ashkenazi Jews. The study included 305 Ashkenazi Jews more than 95 years old and a control group of 408 unrelated Ashkenazi Jews.