Live long, pass it on | Science News

Be a Champion for Science

Get your subscription to

Science News when you join.


Live long, pass it on

Chemical tags outside DNA are linked to extended life span in generations of roundworms

2:07pm, October 20, 2011

Although long life can be inherited, it doesn’t necessarily happen through the genes.

A new study shows that the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of long-lived roundworms live five to six days longer than usual even though they no longer carry the genetic mutations that caused their grandparents’ longevity. Instead, the descendants’ longevity may be because they inherited epigenetic marks — chemical tags on their DNA or DNA-associated proteins called histones — that change gene activity without changing the genes themselves, researchers at Stanford and Harvard universities report online October 19 in Nature.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join the Society today or Log in.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News