To what extent do our genes really dictate longevity?

A long-held belief has it that some people have “better genes” than others, which predisposes them to living longer lives. A large new study, however, questions the accuracy of this idea.
Do genes really predict lifespan?

Scientists from Calico Life Sciences, a research and development company — in collaboration with colleagues from Ancestry, an online genealogy resource — have recently analyzed data from millions of people to establish whether genetic makeup really does have a crucial say in longevity.

The study’s lead author is Graham Ruby, who is affiliated with Calico Life Sciences.

Ruby and team studied the family trees of over 400 million people and found that genes have a lower impact on how long a person can expect to live than scientists had previously believed.

Their findings now appear in GENETICS, the journal of the Genetics Society of America.

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