It makes sense that people who live longer have a stronger immune system and as a result would be more resistant to diseases. Now scientists in Britain appear to have genetic proof that this is true.
They point to a gene called DAF-16 that is present in worms and most animals, including humans.
Part of the study included observing the activity of this gene in four different species of worms. Although they were related to one another, there were observable differences in its activity between the different species. And these differences in activity correlated to differences in life span, how they handled stress, and immunity.
One reason for this research is that the human population is aging rapidly and will require many years of care. This is a major concern for health care systems and social programs all over the world.
The ultimate goal of this study is to ensure that people remain healthy for as long as possible. This may also provide researchers with more insight into the aging processes, in terms of changes in physiology and how that may affect an individual’s health and day-to-day activities. By understanding this, they might be able to develop drugs that keep people healthy as they age. [Yahoo! Reuters]