Sunday, January 15, 2006

supergenes

Dr. Roy Walford of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine believes that he has identified a single supergene that controls much of the aging process. Since 1970, he has been studying a small segment of the sixth chromosome in humans called the major histocompatibility complex. This is the master genetic control center for the body's immune system and is a logical suspect in the aging process.
Tests with mice show that those who lived longest had a high rate of DNA repair and "good" genes. It is believed if DNA repair rates could be boosted, the human life span would be extended.
See also AGING, BIOLOGICAL THEORY OF.
Coniff, R. "Living Longer," in Aging, Goldstein, E. C., ed. Vol. I, Art. 8. Boca Raton, Fl.: Social Issues Resource Series, Inc., 1981.

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