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Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

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Journal Critique Max Harris Period 3 The article explained how scientists have discovered a segment of human DNA that they say provides an explanation to longevity in an individual's life, and why people live almost a century- a third longer than the average person. Scientists have been studying families in which family members have lived to age 90 and older. These researchers have indentified why this happens in a family. They pinpointed a region of chromosome 4 containing one or more genes that seems to increase an individuals life span to a rare age. This discovery is likely to provide a pill that could extend lives. The article also stated that it's widely assumed that lifestyle habits play a significant role in one's life span. However, the research suggests that longevity in a human's life is closer related to a gene or genes that give some people a greater resistance to diseases or illnesses that slow the aging process.

Over 1,000 genes influence aging in a human body. Researchers performed an study called a "linkage study" which involed 137 sets of siblings which had a life span of 90 years or older. The researchers looked at regions of chromosomes that are indentical in the sibling sets. The results of the study show a specific region in chromosome 4 which contains genetic material that allows the certain individuals to live almost a century.

The article was interesting and provided an explanation for why people live to such an old age. I thought that longevity in a human's life was closely related to his or her's diet or lifestyle habits, but it is related closer to the human's DNA.

I agree with the article because they seemed to conduct good experiments and came out with good and explainable results.

If I could change anything about the article, I would have explained how the genes affect the lifespan of an individual and how they could use this research to provide a drug to the public.

I also thought that they could have talked about genes, if any, that maybe reduce a human's lifespan. It seems if there are genes that increase one's lifespan, there would be an opposite, genes that reduce one's lifespan. This research would have been closely related to the article.