For Your Entertainment (FYE)
“IN PURSUIT of a long life, expect the dismal prescriptions of clean living: exercise, moderation and a healthy diet. Indeed, such choices may help people exceed average lifespans by up to a decade. But when it comes to the oldest of the old, new research emphasises the biological rather than environmental factors behind longevity, suggesting that distinct genetic characteristics animate most centenarians.
The study by Paola Sebastiani, of the Boston University School of Public Health in Massachusetts, and her colleagues is the largest investigation conducted into the genetics of extreme old age. The team analysed DNA from more than 1,000 people aged between 95 and 119 to look for genetic markers which were not present in those who live an average span.”
“The researchers also developed a statistical model to forecast longevity. After determining which genetic markers were most strongly associated with lifespan, they applied that knowledge to DNA samples from another set of individuals. Using their model, they were able to identify 77 out of every 100 known centenarians by genetics alone. And carriers of these markers are far likelier—though still unlikely—to reach 100 than those who don’t.”
“Despite this strong genetic evidence, ceding longevity entirely to biology would be premature. Even among the very old Dr Sebastiani found 30 centenarians who possessed almost none of the expected genetic markers. Some had a family history of prodigious old age—a pattern of heritability indicating that the study may have missed rare genetic variants. The rest, however, had no such ancestry. It seems that good luck and healthy living can sometimes overcome a lacklustre pedigree.”
“Correction: We overstated the power of a genetic test. It is 77% accurate at identifying known centenarians, not predicting whether someone will live past 100. This was corrected on July 6th 2010.”
Did anyone in politics and government call them to show them the potential link to “death panels” and the “need” to make the population believe that they will exhaust US Social Security by running “too old” when, in fact, there is a “real” life expectancy at birth average worldwide of about sixty seven (67) years in 2010? About the time “regular” eligibility for US Social Security kicks in……;+) Curioser and curioser…….;+)
Maybe some people hope to save US Social Security by raising the early and full retirement ages qualifications so most people die before their retirements?…:+(
Note:”As literary phrases often do, “curiouser and curiouser” has basically become literary shorthand for feeling of wonder and disbelief. It is widely used by writers to evoke those feelings.”
“I have, for example, been known to mutter “curiouser and curiouser” in staff meetings when it becomes clear that the boss is operating in a completely different level of reality. Because of the -er on “curiouser” the phase also implies that one is being drawn further and further into some bizarre world or circumstance where one is merely an observer to the odd behavior of others.
For Your Entertainment (FYE)