Uncovering the mystery of age-related disease: Are small mutations accumulating in DNA the sole cause?

Age-related diseases are not caused by mutations alone

A new study exploring theories on aging found that the process of aging is not entirely caused by small mutations in DNA.

Researchers from the Wellcome-Sanger Institute, University of Birmingham and University of Edinburgh, among others, conducted a study that found human cells and tissue can accumulate far more mutations than is normal, but still retain the aging characteristics.

Nature Genetics published a new study today (30 September). It compared DNA from individuals with inherited mutations of genes involved in DNA reproduction with DNA from those who had normal versions. Researchers wanted to know the impact of defective replication on cancer risks and aging-related features. The findings suggest that the accumulation of mutations within normal cells may not be the sole factor in age-related diseases, which adds to the debate on the causes of aging.


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