Toni Balcean turned 101 in September. How’d she beat a century? Simple. “Clean living and good Italian wine.” Case closed! Unless, of course, you like science. A retooled Archon Genomics X PRIZE aims to help scientists better understand healthy aging by sequencing 100 healthy centenarian genomes—in a month, with an accuracy of one error per million base pairs, and for under $1,000 per genome. All this may sound eerily familiar. In fact, the Archon Genomics X PRIZE was first proposed back in 2006. Singularity Hub covered it in 2008 when the goal was to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days for less than $10,000 per genome. Grant Campany, Senior Director of the Archon Genomics X PRIZE, recently told Singularity Hub, “From 2006 to 2009, competitors registered for the Archon Genomics X PRIZE with the best of intentions, but over the past few years the industry has fragmented significantly, so we needed to restructure the competition to be more inclusive of the emerging and established sequencing platforms.” So, in October 2011, the X PRIZE announced a new set of criteria. The payout remains $10 million; however, the Foundation upped the sequencing period to 30 days and made the target cost $1,000 to reflect rapidly declining sequencing prices.
Posts Tagged ‘Longevity’
This ugly little creature may hold the key to the fountain of youth Why do humans live so long? The African naked mole rat might have the answer, reports Steve Jones. (via This ugly little creature may hold the key to the fountain of youth – Telegraph)
This is the author’s cat. This cat is not dead
As he muses about his mortality, statistician Prof David Spiegelhalter wonders if he is destined to live longer than his 20-year-old cat. Our cat is old. Old, deaf and a bit daft. But, as I steadily head that way myself, I’ve started to consider him as a role model. He’s over 20, and in the recent unseasonable sunshine has taken to lying corpse-like on the pavement. In a feeble impersonation of Schrodinger’s cat, he could be either alive or dead, and the only way to find out is to prod him, as he doesn’t respond to shouting. Last week, he took to doing his death act on top of a bin, and so it looked like he had just been thrown out with the rubbish. He got kidnapped by a concerned cat lover and carted off to the local Blue Cross, and we had to go and bail him out. Taking each cat year as seven human years makes him over 140 – twice the human three-score-years-and-10 Biblical use-by date. I recently “celebrated” my 59th birthday, which is only around eight cat years and so a relative youth. (via BBC News – Will I live longer than my cat?)
Tags: Brain, brain to body ration, Longevity, Science, size
Large-brained animals may be less likely to go extinct in a changing world, perhaps because they can use their greater intelligence to adapt their behaviour to new conditions, according to an analysis presented to a meeting of conservation biologists this week. The finding hints at a way to prioritize future conservation efforts for endangered species. Brain size relative to body size is fairly predictable across all mammals, says Eric Abelson, who studies biological sciences at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “As body size grows, brain size grows too, but at slower rate,” he says. Plotting brain size against body size creates a tidy curve. But some species have bigger or smaller brains than the curve would predict for their body size. And a bigger brain-to-body-size ratio usually means a smarter animal. (via Mostly the Big-Brained Survive: Scientific American)
Delaying fatherhood may offer survival advantages, say US scientists who have found children with older fathers and grandfathers appear to be “genetically programmed” to live longer. The genetic make-up of sperm changes as a man ages and develops DNA code that favours a longer life – a trait he then passes to his children. The team found the link after analysing the DNA of 1,779 young adults. Their work appears in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (via BBC News – Children with older fathers and grandfathers ‘live longer’)