Stephen Treaster, PhD, Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School
Competition Sponsor: National Academy of Medicine
Rockfishes (Sebastes genus), with nearly twenty-fold variation in longevity, are an untapped source of natural experiments in modulating, and resisting, the deleterious effects of age. The longest-lived can maintain health and function for over two hundred years, while within the group, other species survive for only eleven. Knowledge of the genetics underlying this trait would have untold therapeutic value. After a phylogenomic mapping endeavor, I have revealed genetic variation that is associated with the evolution of longevity in Rockfish. I intersected these results with human population variants, revealing significant SNPs associated with human longevity. These genes and their architecture are a powerful insight into the evolutionary toolkit for longevity, and once validated in conventional models, could be used to delay or ameliorate aging and age-related diseases.
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