July 9th, 2010
12:12 PM ET

Longevity study may have flaws

Last week CNN reported that scientists had identified 150 genes involved in living a very long life, and that researchers could predict with 77 predict accuracy who could live to 100.

But now some experts are saying that the researchers used a flawed DNA chip to get their results. Newsweek reports that this flaw could be addressed with follow-up research, using a different chip, but that the study authors should have done that before publication.

The study compared DNA of centenarians against DNA of people younger than 100 to look at which genes might be involved in long life. Critics say that the researchers should have gotten an additional, third-party analysis of participants' genes using a single DNA chip for everyone - both the centenarians and the younger people.

Newsweek notes that this flaw is an anomaly in an otherwise carefully designed study. It's possible that the results are correct - but they should be replicated, critics say.

The authors of the study released the following statement after word spread about this potential error, according to Newsweek:

“We have been made aware that there is a technical error in the lab test used on approximately 10% of the centenarian sample that involved the two of the 150 variants. Our preliminary analysis of this issue suggests that the apparent error would not effect the overall accuracy of the model. Because the issue has been raised since the publication of the paper, we are now closely re-examining the analysis. Another question that was raised concerns the criteria used to determine if an association between a genetic variant and exceptional longevity was statistically significant. We used standard criteria for the analysis, and we are confident that the appropriate threshold was used.”

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Dr Bill Toth

    even with it's flaws we're still more enlightened than before. Exciting stuff!!
    Live With Intention,

    July 27, 2010 at 22:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. ContinueMe

    There are a number of really hopeful developments on preserving and extending human life, including organ regeneration, and mapping and recording thought with MRI. Progress on artificial limbs, livers, eyes is moving forward. Translating new technologies into real physical immortality will take time, and apparently will not happen within the next 10-20 years. That is why its important to record and store as much important information about yourself (read Total Recall), in anticipation of the day when you or your descendents can employ life-extending technologies, and perhaps return your stored DNA, your body cells, and your imaging data into some semblance of a functioning you. A few visionary companies are looking at these areas now, including http://www.ContinueMe.com

    December 10, 2010 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. 10vina

    It's awesome to visit this site and reading the views of all friends about this paragraph, while I am also zealous of getting experience.


    February 19, 2021 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.