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PLOS Science Wednesdays: Hi, I’m Stuart Kim here to talk about gene sequencing the world’s oldest people to unlock the secrets of human longevity, AMA!
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Hi Reddit, My name is Dr. Stuart Kim and I am professor at Stanford University. My research focuses on genes that contribute to extreme longevity, such as supercentenarians that live to be over 110 years. I recently published a study titled “Whole Genome Sequencing of the World’s Oldest People” in PLOS ONE. Supercentenarians are the world’s oldest people, with just 17 or so alive in the United States at any time. Supercentenarians often show a remarkable delay in aging, such as one that worked as a physician in Georgia until age 103 and another that worked as a stockbroker on Wall Street until age 109. In order to begin to find the genetic basis for extreme longevity, we sequenced the genomes of 17 supercentenarians. The full genome sequences of the supercentenarians are available as supplemental data from the paper, and we hope that our data contributes to future research to unlock the secret for extreme longevity. Thank you everyone for your questions, it was a pleasure to answer your questions. I think trying to understand the biology of aging is really interesting and I hope you find it interesting too. I’ve signed off for now. Best wishes, Stuart Kim