Longevity test may be flawed, study showsBy IANS
Sunday, November 21, 2010
LONDON - A scientific test used to check whether someone will reach the age of 100 or not may be flawed, researchers say.
Earlier, scientists had claimed that by studying genomes, it was possible to predict a person’s lifespan with 77 percent accuracy. They said people carrying certain ‘longevity genes’ were likely to live beyond 100, regardless of their lifestyle, according to the journal Science.
The study opened up the possibility of screening people for life threatening diseases, reports the Telegraph.
But now, scientists have expressed doubts about the way the researchers arrived at their conclusions.
Researchers involved in similar studies, where entire genomes are scanned by sophisticated ‘gene chips’, said one of the chips could produce skewed data under certain conditions.
It is unlikely that the study will be retracted, but some of the results may be revised.
When the initial study was published, one of the authors, Thomas Perls from Boston University, said: “These genetic signatures are a new advance towards personalised genomics and predictive medicine, where this analytic method may prove to be generally useful in prevention and screening of numerous diseases.”