People Who Live Beyond 105 Have Better DNA Repair

People who live beyond 105 years are more efficient at repairing DNA, according to a study published today in eLife.

Paolo Garagnani and colleagues, in collaboration with several research groups in Italy and a research team led by Patrick Descombes at Nestlé Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, recruited 81 semi-supercentenarians (those aged 105 years or older) and supercentenarians (those aged 110 years or older) from across the Italian peninsula. They compared these with 36 healthy people matched from the same region who were an average age of 68 years old.

They took blood samples from all the participants and conducted whole-genome sequencing to look for differences in the genes between the older and younger group. They then cross-checked their new results with genetic data from another previously published study which analyzed 333 Italian people aged over 100 years old and 358 people aged around 60 years old.

They identified five common genetic changes that were more frequent in the 105+/110+ age groups, between two genes called COA1 and STK17A. When they cross-checked this against the published data, they found the same variants in the people aged over 100. Data acquired from computational analyses predicted that this genetic variability likely modulates the expression of three different genes.

eLife – Whole-genome sequencing analysis of semi-supercentenarians

Written by Brian Wang,

13 thoughts on “People Who Live Beyond 105 Have Better DNA Repair”

  1. need to move beyond simple whole-genome sequencing… all the cool kids are doing proteomics and transcriptomic data sets

  2. so many population surveys and data hordes: Long Life Family Study (LLFS) and the UK bioBank and various EU/ northern europe cohort reviews — too few pre-clinicals rising beyond animal studies and secondary effect trials. Who was that venture capitalist who took her researchers and medical tourists down to Central America to do therapies otherwise forbidden in the 'civilized' north? – do that. Offsite volunteer therapies. Also, parabiosis needs more research – wasn't there a west coast company ambrosia that dabbled on the fringes of 'guerilla medical testing' with 'young' blood elements? Volunteers aplenty i would guess.

  3. agreed. hundreds of start-up companies and population surveys, many focussed on geriatrics and genetics – too late and too vague. The PhDs and post-Docs need to use their grants and labs and undergrads to further existing specific lines of repair or augmentation study. Focus and extend. Otherwise, we have indifferent and self-absorbed cats flailing about in varying directions of new inquiry. Perhaps a Cathie Wood to 'umbrella' over in a way Church and Thiel and the Bearded-One cannot.

  4. Not convinced that the 'effect' of these genes being well-expressed is more important than lifestyle choices, localized environmental considerations, and the circumstances of a 'good life' however defined. Further inquiry indicates that the siblings of such persons have an increased chance of living beyond 90. Overall, a small effect, unlikely to be commercialized or lead to therapies which increase 'health span' rather than just 'time before death'. Upgraded replacement organs and eventual, possible metabolic therapies may push us to running a marathon or lifting twice+ our mass past 120, but otherwise these little research 'inklings' provide minimal value. Life span research 'missions' require focus and dedicated funding/ research objectives not this research 'buckshot' (whatever sticks) approach.

  5. judging by the rate of progress and the fact that it's accelerating each month, we should be able to do it before 2030

  6. So, then does all of this suppose that we could give people the ability to repair DNA so well that they could turn back their biological clocks? Not to say that incredibly efficient DNA repair could turn back that clock (and I use thr word "clock" loosely, since it's a huge oversimplification). Unless it could, which would also be nice. But it would be very interesting to be able to put a cap on aging or engineer ourselves to make sure aging begins to drastically slow when we reach a certain age.

  7. "We really need that in vivo genetic engineering. Something better than Crispr"

    Another proof that progress is exponential, it's not just my delusion 🙂
    All those advances seem like coming in last year or so

    You're thinking about something like this?

  8. This requires a good means of in vivo genetic engineering to apply, I think.  But, yes, it's promising.

    An interesting point is that they were careful to do the analysis on people from the same ethnic group, on the theory that reducing genetic variation would allow them to home in on the genes responsible for aging variations. It seems to have helped.

    We really need that in vivo genetic engineering. Something better than Crispr, which seems to have (Unsurprising!) issues with doing edits in the wrong place. Maybe putting all the new genes on an artificial chromosome.

  9. See Brett? Another important insight, breakthrough in aging research. We will solve it quickly, progress is accelerating


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