Long-Life Secrets From The 115-Year-Old Woman

She was 115 years old, cognitively healthy -no signs of dementia- and mostly healthy for her age. Dutch researchers who sequenced her genome suggest that “perhaps we should consider stem cells one of the secrets to a longer life.”

TIME

The secret to a longer life may be discovered in the body of one of the world’s oldest humans.

When Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper donated her body to science, she gave longevity researchers a truly special gift. She was the oldest person in the world when she died at age 115, and her body, in the hands of a team of Dutch researchers, launched a slew of breakthrough investigations into why some people live longer than others. In 2010, scientists led by Dr. Henne Holstege at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam sequenced Andel-Schipper’s genome with the hope they would uncover something about the secrerts of longevity from her genes.

In Holstege’s latest study, published in the journal Genome Research, the researchers looked for gene mutations in Andel-Schipper’s blood. When stem cells divide, they generate different types of blood cells, like white blood cells. But these divisions can also…

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