C.E. Yu, J. Oshima, Y.H. Fu, E.M. Wijsman, F. Hisama, R. Alisch, S. Matthews, J. Nakura, T. Miki, S. Ouais, G.M. Martin, J. Mulligan, G.D. Schellenberg, "Positional cloning of the Werner's syndrome gene," Science, 272:258-62, 1996. (Cited in more than 175 papers since publication)

Comments by Gerard D. Schellenberg, associate director for research, Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle

Aging is a real stumper. Is it the result of natural wear and tear? Does it have a genetic cause? Some regard it as a disease to be cured. Researchers hope to get a handle on the process by studying the genetic causes behind Werner's syndrome, a recessive disorder that causes its victims to die--of old age, it appears--by their mid-20s.

"...if we can understand the function of this helicase, we can understand at least one segment of the aging process..."

--Gerard D. Schellenberg...

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