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Timmers et al. used genetic data from UK Biobank and other European cohorts alongside information on their parents lifespans to pinpoint DNA regions that influence how long people live. They identified 12 such regions, of which five were new and had not been linked to lifespan before. Across the twelve as a whole several were known to be involved in Alzheimer s disease, smoking-related cancer or heart disease. Looking at the entire genome, Timmers et al. could then predict a lifespan score for each individual, and when they sorted participants into ten groups based on these scores, they found that top group lived five years longer than the bottom, on average.
Genetics of human lifespan: heritability, association and prediction
The broad intention is to look at similarities and differences in the genetic basis of cognition and lifespan, through GWAS of each trait and bivariate anaysis.
The proposed research is to - a) Assess the degree to which lifespan is genetic, using new methods designed for unrelated people. (b) Search across the genome for regions that are associated with longer or shorter survival. (c) Use the DNA sharing between individuals to try to predict lifespan in UK Biobank and compare to how this works in other populations available to us where individuals area all related and so share more DNA. (d) Assess the contribution of environmental factors and biomarkers such as albumin to lifespan.
Peter K. Joshi, et al. 2016 Variants near CHRNA3/5 and APOE have age- and sex-related effects on human lifespan. Nature Communications