Cracking the Longevity Code

From Science:

Age_7 Living to a ripe old age takes more than a healthy lifestyle: you’ve got to have the right combination of genes. The question is, which ones? Scientists now have several promising candidates thanks to the discovery of a gene variation in humans that appears to increase lifespan and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The finding could eventually lead to the development of life-extending drugs.

Studies of worms and fruit flies show that variations, or polymorphisms, in a single gene can affect how long these creatures live. Scientists think humans carry tens or even hundreds of related polymorphisms. But they’re tough to identify –researchers have found only a few since the mid-1990s. In 2003, Nir Barzilai and Gil Atzmon, who study aging at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, discovered that people with a certain polymorphism of the cholesterol-influencing gene CETP lived longer than those without it. Now the researchers have identified another part of the longevity code.

More here.