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: