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What do we need to live to be 100 years old? DNA research reveals it
Written by SOT.COM.AL 24 Nëntor 2023
Scientists may have found the key to living to 100 and beyond. Only 0.27% of Americans were 100 or older in 2021, but the rate of people in the U.S. turning centenarians has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, according to data from the United Nations. As more people reach this milestone, researchers at Boston University and Tufts Medical Center analyzed the DNA and lifestyle of seven centenarians to search for the fountain of youth.
The scientists studied their peripheral blood mononuclear cells, a broad category of immune cells found in the blood, and determined that these centenarians have highly functional immune systems that successfully fought and recovered from many diseases. The study was published last week in the journal eBioMedicine.
We collected and analyzed what is, to our knowledge, the largest single-cell data set of centenarian subjects that allowed us to determine the unique features of this population. A person's ability to adapt and respond to new infections usually declines with age, as their immune system weakens. This study found that centenarian subjects have a special composition of immune cells. The immune profiles we observed in centenarians confirm a long history of exposure to and ability to recover from infections and provide support for the hypothesis that centenarians are enriched for protective factors that enhance their ability to recover from infections.
Their findings show that the proportion of lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell, in the PBMCs of centenarians decreases compared to younger people, but a significant change in composition also occurs. The researchers also noticed changes in myeloid cells, which originate in the bone marrow. Centenarians and their extraordinary longevity provide a blueprint for how we can live more productive and healthy lives.
We hope to continue to learn all we can about resilience to disease and extending the span of health.
While some scientists research natural longevity, others are turning to advanced technology to identify ways to extend lives.
Futurist Ray Kurzweil has claimed that humans will achieve immortality by 2030. The 75-year-old computer scientist and former Google engineer made this shocking prediction and many others in recent years. Kurzweil, a National Medal of Technology recipient and inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, believes that microscopic robots will repair damaged cells and tissues to stave off aging and disease.