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Rare genetic variants play important role in people who live to be 100

100 years old birthday cake and old woman

Rare genetic variants may help some people reach their hundredth birthday

Tono Balaguer/Getty Images

A close look at the DNA of centenarians – people aged over 100 years old – has identified rare genetic variants that might help explain their longevity.

“Rare variants in ageing pathways affect human lifespan and constitute a part of the genetic architecture of human longevity,” says Zhengdong Zhang at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “There is an interplay between common and rare variants. Together they affect longevity, and I think that’s also true for any complex human …

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