What to Read Next

Some Parts Of Your Body Age Faster Than Others

By Kelly Dickerson and Jennifer Welsh | Business Insider
Yahoo Lifestyle Entertainment
5 November 2013


New research shows that not all of our body's tissues age at the same rate. Steve Horvath, a geneticist at UCLA's medical school, has discovered a new way to measure the biological age of human tissue, according to a study published last week in the journal Genome Biology.

To create the measurement, Horvath looked at data from 8,000 samples of 51 different cells and tissues. He studied methylation — a process that changes the structure of DNA and turns genes on and off. Newborn cells are turned into specialized tissues this way.

But once tissue-specific cells are created, they also get exposed to things that age them and add methyltations and other modifications to their DNA. For example, heart cells have gone through different changes to their DNA than skin cells have.

"My goal in inventing this clock is to help scientists improve their understanding of what speeds up and slows down the human aging process,"Horvath said in a press release.

 

The ticking rate of our biological clock does not stay the same throughout our life. Horvath discovered that the clock moves much faster when we're first born and our bodies are growing rapidly. The clock slows down and adopts a more constant rate by the time we turn 20.

He also found that different tissues from the same person age at different rates, breasts being some of the "oldest" tissues in the body. Horvath found that healthy breast tissue is about two to three years older than the rest of a woman's body, but healthy tissue near cancerous tissue is on average 12 years older than a woman's body.

Most of the breast tissue samples in his study were cancerous tissues, and there is a possibility that cancer made the DNA age older than healthy breast tissue would normally be. This might be the reason the woman's breast tissue in the diagram below is so much older than the rest of her tissues. To test this further, Horvath said more healthy breast tissue samples will need to be collected and measured from all different stages of a woman's life: before puberty, after puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.

Horvath measured the age of cancer cells too. The biological clock showed that tumor tissue is on average 36 years older than normal, healthy human tissue. This might explain why cancer becomes a bigger risk the older we get. The study also showed that a woman's breast tissue ages several years faster than the rest of her body and may explain why breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women.

These DNA ages of tissues are different for men and women. In the future, the clock will become more accurate as more data samples are analyzed, but for now here's a body snapshot of how our different tissues fare over time based on one woman and one man.

More From Business Insider
Here's Why 'The Internet Of Things' Will Be Huge, And Drive Tremendous Value For People And Businesses
22 Depressing Photos That Show How Kmart Is Dying
Photos Of Identical Twins Shows How Smoking Destroys The Face


Attn Home Owners Who Never Miss a Payment.

Home Owners who have not missed a payment in 3 years or more need to read this. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home there is a solution.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Your second chance to enroll in Medicare & Medigap

Never heard of the Medicre General Enrollment Period? Read this to find out how it could benefit you.

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Names Are Searched 2M Times A Day. Is Yours One?

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

How Older Men Tighten Their Skin

Men, reduce the look of wrinkles, sagging skin and fine lines with this affordable and effective skin tightening treatment without leaving your home.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Heartburn Facts

Read About Heartburn Facts From TUMS. Check Out Heartburn History, Who Gets Heartburn and More.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage?

More Americans are accessing their home equity to support their retirement years. Speak with a professional and see what you may qualify for today.

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!