A gene that appeared in the Amish religious group seems to make community members live ten years longer and be less susceptible to diabetes.
The gene is called SERPINE1, which is known to generate an aging protein called PAI-1. However, a variant of this gene that occurred six generations ago in an Amish group led to a half-protein production. Researchers have questioned whether this mutation can indeed be associated with a greater life expectancy for those who carry it.
177 members of a community in Indiana were studied. Of these, 43 had at least one copy of the gene variant.
In addition to analyzing DNA, scientists have found other signs of aging, such as insulin resistance, which is associated with diabetes and the length of chromosome ends. They also saw which of the 221 dead relatives were wearing this gene and analyzed how much they lived.
Scientists have found that those who carried the mutation lived on average 10 years longer with a life expectancy of 85 years. Moreover, they had a 30% lower insulin level. None of the carriers had diabetes, while 7% of those without a mutation developed this disease.