Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Wellderly Study

NatureNews has this interesting story entitled "Genetic fact-check for ageing story". Here is a sample:

A genetic study of healthy elderly people aims to uncover the secret of living to a ripe old age — intact.

The 'Wellderly Study' is a joint initiative between the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and scientists at the J. Craig Venter Institute in Rockville, Maryland. It hopes to investigate the genomes of 2,000 people aged 80 or more who take no significant medication and have never suffered from any serious disease.

“We are looking at a cohort that we think is harbouring major secrets. They have disease susceptibility genes, but they don't get the diseases you would have expected. Something has protected them. We hope to find out what that is,” says study leader Eric Topol, who is director of genomic medicine at Scripps.

....Topol and his colleagues Robert Strausberg and Samuel Levy at the Venter Institute finalized their list of 100 candidate genes last week. It includes genes with an unknown or putative role in healthy ageing, and some that are involved in key jobs such as DNA repair and the handling of insulin.