Study Shows That Shorter Genes Cause Faster Aging and Shorter Lifespan

In Education

Northwestern conducted a study that found people with shorter genes are likely to die sooner and age faster than those with longer genes.

According to Dr. Thomas Stoeger, a lead study author from the university, they found this after examining multiple genes. Dr. Stoeger states that this principle might explain all the changes with age.

How researchers conducted the study

The research analyzed tissue from killifish, humans, rats, and mice using artificial intelligence. As a result, they realized that the length of genes explained how some aged faster or died sooner. Moreover, those with long genes had longer lifespans than those with shorter genes.

Researchers found that aging resulted in shifting toward short genes making the cellular activity more unstable. Furthermore, they found this trend across various animal species. They also found that it affected organs, muscles, bones, and blood. Organs that had the most impact were the intestines, liver, lungs, Brian, and heart.

The research team investigated changes in the human gene in people aged 70 and older, 50-69, and 30-49. They realized that gene length changes were measurable in the middle age group.

Another study author, Professor Luis Amaral, explains that humans had stronger results as the team had more human samples than other animals. He adds that he found the study interesting as the humans they studied were different, while the mice were of the same sex and genetically identical. Moreover, they raised the mice in similar lab conditions. Humans also died at different ages from varying causes. Additionally, the team analyzed samples from men and women and found a similar pattern.

Gene length determines protein size

The number of nucleotides in a gene determines its length. The nucleotides then translate to an amino acid which forms a protein. A long gene will create a large protein, while a short gene will include a small protein. Humans require a healthy combination of large and small proteins to be healthy. However, they can have various health problems when there is no balance.

Since cells out of sync have fewer reserves, it could explain why older people have more difficulty healing after an injury. For this reason, people struggle to adapt to environmental changes as they age.

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