Biological tipping point: At some point in life, environmental factors and age are more important than DNA for disease risk
In 1952 Nobel laureate Dr. Peter Medawar have hypothesized that aging processes may be the result of the fact that natural evolutionary selection has little to say about people past their childbearing years.
The study suggests that our genes have less influence as we age.
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Principal author of the study Dr. Peter Sudmantassistant professor in integrative biology at the University of California at Berkeley tells Berkeley News“Almost all common human diseases are diseases of aging: Alzheimer’s, cancers, heart disease, diabetes.”
“Massive amounts of public resources have been devoted to identifying the genetic variants that predispose you to these diseases. What our study shows is that in fact, as you age, genes have less importance for the expression of your genes,” says Sudmant.
“Genes that are activated when we are young are more evolutionarily limited because they are essential for our survival and reproduction, while genes expressed after reaching reproductive age are under less evolutionary pressure.”