Aging: Have scientists identified an RNA ‘smoking gun’?

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Aging is a key risk factor for a variety of devastating, chronic diseases, yet the biological factors that influence when and how rapidly cells deteriorate over time remain largely unknown.

Now, for the first time, a research team led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has linked the function of a core component of cells’ machinery—which cuts and rejoins RNA molecules in a process known as “RNA splicing”—with longevity…

In order for bodies—and cells—to maintain youthfulness, they must also maintain proper homeostasis. At the cellular level, that means keeping the flow of biological information, from genes to RNA to proteins, running smoothly and with the right balance.

While a considerable amount is known about how dysfunction at the two ends of this process—genes and proteins—can accelerate aging, strikingly little is known about how the middle part, which includes RNA , influences aging.

“These are fascinating results, and suggest that variability in RNA splicing might be one of the smoking guns of the aging process,” [said William Mair, assistant professor of genetics and complex diseases at Harvard Chan School].

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: For the first time, researchers reveal a causal link between RNA splicing and aging

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