At the heart of a feverish debate over the validity of a linkurl:recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) of centenarians; is the authors' possible misuse of gene chips in different testing groups, part of an ongoing issue affecting other GWAS research. How this variation might impact the validity of the longevity findings, however, including the 150 SNPs associated with extreme longevity, is unclear.
SNP chips are at the center of the longevity study's faults
Image: Wikimedia Commons, Magnus Manske
The initially heralded study, published in Science Express July 2, examined the genomes of about 1,000 centenarians, those rare humans that have reached the age of 100, and compared them to those of controls. However, the authors used two different gene chips to analyze their centenarian population, with one gathering about 10 percent of the data. The data from the control population was also gathered using a total of four different chips....
ScienceP. Sebastiani, et al. "Genetic signatures of exceptional longevity in humans," Science Express, July 2010

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?