Genetic influences on aging
McCormick, Mark Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, California.
- Comparison of aging between organisms hints that genes can have enormous effects on aging
- Laboratory organisms are the source of much of our genetic knowledge on aging
- Insulin signaling genes affect aging
- TOR signaling alters aging
- Telomerase can affect aging
- Many other aging-related genes have been identified
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Biological aging has long been known to have a genetically influenced component. In general, humans are especially perceptive of the cues that indicate age, such as graying hair, wrinkles, and changes in body fat distribution. This makes it easy for us to notice anecdotally that some humans appear biologically younger than their actual age, whereas others seem older. Although some of this variability is attributed often to lifestyle differences (for example, smoking activity or levels of exercise), there is also a noticeable component that appears to run in families. This illustrates, through day-to-day observation with which most of us are familiar, that aging is in part inheritable or genetic in nature.
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