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Genetic 'lifespan' test called flawed

Nov. 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 19 (UPI) -- A Boston University genetic test that supposedly could indicate if someone would live to age 100 may be flawed, scientists say.

Researchers at the school had said they discovered "genetic signatures of exceptional longevity" by studying more than 1,000 people who had lived beyond 100.

But other scientists conducting similar studies where human genomes are scanned by "gene chips" say one of the chips used can produce "skewed data," Britain's Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The journal Science, which published the study earlier this year, has published a rare "editorial expression of concern."

Although the study will probably not be retracted, some of its findings may be revised as other researchers analyze the results.

Authors of the original study said preliminary data suggested exceptional longevity might be the result of "defensive genes" that counter the effect of age-related damage to the body.

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