Why do some people live longer and healthier than others?

From The Scientist:

“Searching for clues to why some people live long healthy lives and some succumb to early to aging, scientists have discovered that genetic factors only contribute about 10 percent to longevity, while environmental factors contribute about 90 percent, said senior author Manel Esteller of the University of Barcelona. Knowing that epigenetic modifications, such as cytosine methylation, are responsive to environmental stimuli, Esteller and his collaborators wondered if they could be a reliable indicator of physiological aging.

The scientists first compared the DNA methylation epigenome—the genome-wide level and location of methylated cytosines located next to guanines (CpG)—in circulating T cells from a newborn and a centenarian. The general level of methylation of the centenarian’s genome (73 percent), they found, was lower than the newborn’s (80 percent). Looking at a 26-year-old’s genome, they found an intermediate level of methylation.”

Learn more and find out what this could mean for future research:



About UWF Center on Aging

The Center on Aging at the University of West Florida was established in the Fall of 2010 when the School of Psychological and Behavioral Sciences faculty along with assistance from Sponsored Research submitted a grant to the State University System Board of Governors in support of aging initiatives for Northwest Florida. Its mission is to improve the quality of life of aging adults through the application of science to address challenges associated with aging and to promote healthy aging, with an emphasis on prevention. This will be accomplished through inter-disciplinary and inter-professional efforts of basic and applied research, consultation, and partnerships with community agencies. Education and training, direct services to the aging population, and public awareness and understanding of the contributions and needs of elders will be primary objectives.
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