Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Difference Between Genes of the Elderly and Young

The article "Elderly Chromosomes Activate Genes Differently Than in the Young" explains how not only does the appearance of an elderly person wrinkle and sag as they age, their genes also go through the same changes.  As the genes grow older, they tend to wrinkle and curl up.  This coiling that they do makes the DNA within them harder to access.  Our genes get damaged over the course of our lives.  We age because our genes work less and less sufficiently as we get older. UConn Health and JAX-GM did a study on how the immune system cells change as someone gets older. It ended up showing that the genes that help differentiate the T-Cells in our bodies (the genes that defend us from viruses like the flu) are more open in the younger ages so the genes are accessible.
I have heard about this concept before, but was not sure how it all made sense. After reading this article, it is clear that genes do in fact age with us, leaving problems with our immune system and our whole body in general.



  1. This is pretty interesting! It makes sense that as a person ages, their DNA does too. This would also make it more understandable as to why older people are much more likely to get sick compared to someone in the age range of 20-40. If their genes are curled up and inaccessible, then there is nothing available to fight off the viruses. Pretty neat!

  2. I had no idea genes differentiated as we age. It does make sense; however, that the elderly are more susceptible to illnesses than younger people. This was an interesting read.

  3. I never knew that the genes gets wrinkled and curled up with age. I guess it makes sense why everything in the body works slower as one gets older. Interesting article!