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The Age of Methuselah?

Scientists think they may be on the verge of slowing down the aging processor, even possibly stopping it altogether by switching off a genetic ?switch?.

Scientists now know that chemical alterations to DNA caused by environmental factors contribute to aging; and now researchers have discovered four distinct genes that decide how fast we age.

The research is based on a study of the changes in the DNA of twins aged 32 to 80. Twins share the same genes, so if the genes show different characteristics, it is most likely that the cause is environmental rather than genetic. They found 490 age-related genetic changes, all tied to four genes linked to cholesterol, lung function and maternal lifespan.?It was found that those four genes seemed to impact the rate of healthy aging and potential longevity. These genes, called ?Father Time genes? are controlled by factors like diet and other environmental and lifestyle variables and can be altered from an early age, suggesting that the changes are triggered early in life.

This research helps scientists understand the biological mechanisms associated with both healthy aging and age-related diseases. Further research may?discover how these genes are affected and modified by lifestyle. The potential for eventually developing anti-aging therapies and drugs to slow or even stop the aging process is possible.

The?assumption that?extending life indefinitely?will?lead to overpopulation, and how these issues will? be addressed, remains to be seen. The research is still in its early stages, but the potential social, political and environmental ramifications must eventually be considered.

Specialty Care Services can provide home care nursing? professionals that are capable of meeting the physical and mental?needs of their patients, which?can help to?extend as well as?improve the lives of their patients.

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