Longevity gene identified in Amish community

ANOTHER characteristic can be added to the white bonnets, horse, carriages and beards associated with the American Amish community - a genetic mutation.

Research scientists from the Northwestern University (USA) scientists report they have discovered a genetic mutation in Amish families living in Indiana that not only protects against type 2 diabetes, but also appears to boost longevity. Following this, they say an experimental longevity drug that mimics the genetic effect is now being tested in humans.

History shows the genetic mutation was introduced to this particular community through Swiss Farmers. It is not shared with other communities.

"This is the only kindred on the planet that has this mutation," Cardiologist and Chairman of Medicine at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine Dr Douglas Vaughan said.

Scientists studied 177 members of the Old Order Amish in the town of Berne and identified 43 people who had inherited one normal and one mutated version of a gene called Serpine1. Those with the mutated version of the gene typically lived to 85 years old, a full 10 years longer than those who did not carry the mutated form.

The studies show that people who typically lived to 85 were also healthier.

The findings were published November 15, in the journal Science Advances.

Story sourced from Health News

  • THE Amish ( Pennsylvania German: Amisch, German: Amische) are a group of traditionalist Christian church fellowships with Swiss Anabaptist origins. They are closely related to, but distinct from, Mennonite churches. The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress, and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern technology. The history of the Amish church began with a schism in Switzerland within a group of Swiss and Alsatian Anabaptists in 1693 led by Jakob Ammann. Those who followed Ammann became known as Amish. In the early 18th century, many Amish and Mennonites emigrated to Pennsylvania for a variety of reasons. Today, the most traditional descendants of the Amish continue to speak Pennsylvania German, also known as "Pennsylvania Dutch", although a dialect of Swiss German is used by Old Order Amish in the Adams County, Indiana area. As of 2000, over 165,000 Old Order Amish lived in the United States and about 1,500 lived in Canada. A 2008 study suggested their numbers had increased to 227,000,and in 2010 a study suggested their population had grown by 10 percent in the past two years to 249,000, with increasing movement to the West. Most of the Amish continue to have 6-7 children while benefitting from the major decrease in infant and maternal mortality in the 20th century. Wikipedia

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