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DNA Modifications Change As We Age

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the activate-the-gene-sequence dept.

Medicine 62

sciencehabit writes "As we age, the core of our biological being — the sequence of our DNA, which makes up our genes — remains the same. Yet recent research suggests that more subtle chemical changes to our DNA occur as we age. Now, a comparison of the DNA of a newborn baby with that of a centenarian shows that the scope of these changes can be dramatic, and they may help explain why our risk of cancer and other diseases increases as we get older."

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Autodoc and boosterspice (0)

Spy Handler (822350) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292843)

can change them back

Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

arisvega (1414195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292865)

he core of our biological being — the sequence of our DNA, which makes up our genes — remains the same

I was under the impression that it was known that it doesn't: when the molecule replicates, there could be chunks that failed to replicate perfectly, propagating an error: obviously there are redundancies in place, but eventually (and statistically) the error builds up. I vaguely remember the explanation relying on arguments on physics, as to how the molecule may "snap" incorrectly at the end (or some other point). Can someone more adept in biology verify (or dismiss) this?

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (2)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292919)

No more adept at biology, but I read that the replication is most susceptible to errors at the ends, which is why there are chunks of non-coding DNA (telomeres) there which get shorter with each replication.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293217)

So what you're saying is that our DNA has split ends?
So we need DNA's version of Head and Shoulders then?

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40295411)

It does exist. I take one every day. It fixes mitochondria errors.

That's all I'm saying.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (5, Informative)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292943)

What the article is discussing is how methylation differs between very young and very old people. The abstract of the original paper may be more instructive:

Human aging cannot be fully understood in terms of the constrained genetic setting. Epigenetic drift is an alternative means of explaining age-associated alterations. To address this issue, we performed whole-genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) of newborn and centenarian genomes. The centenarian DNA had a lower DNA methylation content and a reduced correlation in the methylation status of neighboring cytosine—phosphate—guanine (CpGs) throughout the genome in comparison with the more homogeneously methylated newborn DNA. The more hypomethylated CpGs observed in the centenarian DNA compared with the neonate covered all genomic compartments, such as promoters, exonic, intronic, and intergenic regions. For regulatory regions, the most hypomethylated sequences in the centenarian DNA were present mainly at CpG-poor promoters and in tissue-specific genes, whereas a greater level of DNA methylation was observed in CpG island promoters. We extended the study to a larger cohort of newborn and nonagenarian samples using a 450,000 CpG-site DNA methylation microarray that reinforced the observation of more hypomethylated DNA sequences in the advanced age group. WGBS and 450,000 analyses of middle-age individuals demonstrated DNA methylomes in the crossroad between the newborn and the nonagenarian/centenarian groups. Our study constitutes a unique DNA methylation analysis of the extreme points of human life at a single-nucleotide resolution level.

what I understand from that wall of text is this: The paper puts forward is another factor that contributes to errors cropping up causing diseases associated with old age, like cancer. Methylation controls (or should that be retards?) transcriptional activity, so a change in methylation patterns, or a drop in the occurence of methylation, would change the types of activities the DNA undergoes, and change the probability (probably upwards) of things going wrong.

I am but a lowly undergrad who doesn't pay as much attention is lectures as he should, so please someone correct me if I am wrong.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293001)

A lowly undergrad who bothered to read and think about the article.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294185)

A lowly undergrad who bothered to read and think about the article.

BURN HIM!

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293049)

Over time the different cells of your body become more genetically different. In a creature that has very specialized and very dependent organs, how does your body especially the immune system (which is also made of cells) know which cells aren't part of you and can be killed? It might be too aggressive- then you have autoimmune diseases, or it might be too lax then you are more susceptible to cancer or parasites.

In organisms that are not so specialized and not so dependent, it doesn't matter so much - one part of a tree could drift from another part and it's not a big deal - it doesn't stop the leaves and roots in different areas from working and keeping things going. Whereas a tumour in your lung or brain can stop things from working.

I suspect the methylation stuff is probably one of the workarounds the body uses- switch stuff off. Stuff that is switched off doesn't actively kill stuff - you eventually die when too much stuff is switched off, but you do live longer.

One solution is to start over with one or a few cells (aka have children). Then everything is similar to the "originals" again.

Calorie restriction does work, and perhaps methionine restriction too, but I bet most people don't want those sort of solutions.

The other "solutions" are likely to just give you more problems. When it comes to aging, a lot of stuff that works on rats is unlikely to be helpful for humans - since rats only live 2-3 years, humans have systems and mechanisms that already address the different problems that prevent rats from living longer.

To me what is promising is investigation into how the whales do it- if the whales are as susceptible to cancer as we are they wouldn't be able to grow so huge and still live so long.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293103)

Epigeneric drift is not changes of the sequence of genes just their expression. In their example genes are surpressed by the presence of methyl groups attached to some parts of the DNA molecule.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293169)

I am sorry if I was not clear enough, but I certainly realize what epigenetic drift is and that's what I was alluding to with my vague "things going wrong" statement.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293133)

Look up epigenitics in the dictionary. In has nothing to do with changes in the underlying DNA. Just the expression of genes via other mechanisms. They may or may not be inherritable.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293161)

Look up my comment. It doesn't mention changes in the underlying DNA, but talks about the expression of the genes via other methods like transcription.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

tancque (925227) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293373)

I concur with your understanding of the text.

In reference thereof: I know that methylation is part of the regulation of gene expression. I just keep wondering if the increased methylation is normal for changed expression-patterns of genes as we switch from growing to maturity. If so, methylation should not be coupled to aging, but to maturing.

Sorry if my english is not up to scratch.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293021)

What exactly should stay the same? The "DNA/genes", "the changes (which themselves modify with age) - thus the DNA/genes are actually expected to change, but always in a given way" or the "modification of the changes"?

Errr... what!!!? Exactly my point: what the hell means "DNA modifications change with age" in the context of "the sequence of our DNA, which makes up our genes, remains the same"?

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (4, Informative)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293089)

It means that although the DNA will remain the same, how it is transcripted into proteins (and how often, and in reaction to what stimuli) changes. That is the purview of epigenetic study (the epi- prefix meaning over or above). Here's a useful link [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293137)

It means that although the DNA will remain the same, how it is transcripted into proteins (and how often, and in reaction to what stimuli) changes. That is the purview of epigenetic study (the epi- prefix meaning over or above). Here's a useful link [wikipedia.org] .

Thanks. So the correct title should be: "The DNA transcription into proteins changes with age"?

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293239)

Not necessarily. Headlines are a bitch to write, even when you know all about the topic (and I most certainly don't). From what I have hastily read in order to answer your question (Where's Samantha Wright, biologist and purveyor of car analogies extraordinaire, when you need her?), methylation's function in retarding transcription is just one factor. Another one is that methylation leads to the formation of heterochromatin, which is a lot more important in ways that I really should know if I want to pass my genetics final. I'm off to do some reading, have a nice day.

Changing while staying the same (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293883)

A major factor in what changes the transcription is methylation, which adds a methyl group to cytosine, "turning off" the gene it's attached to. The sequence itself is not changed, as cytosine becomes methyl cytosine (or whatever it's called) and not some other base, but the DNA has still been modified with the methyl group.

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293555)

But it seems if we reproduce at a later age, we make better fathers. http://m.timesofindia.com/life-style/health-fitness/health/Offspring-of-older-fathers-may-live-longer/articleshow/14057473.cms [timesofindia.com]

Re:Does it "stay the same" ? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40298539)

The one I read didn't exactly say that. It said that if your father was older you would likely live longer because you weren't stillborn. Older fathers tend to have weaker sperm and greater chance that the fetus will not survive, becoming a father at an older age means that your cells are "younger" than other people your age, including your sperm cells. If all your great gransparents lived to be a hundred, chances are you will, too. People age at different rates; I know folks twenty years younger than me who look older than me. And yes, both my parents are in their eighties and healthy. When she was 95 my grandmother told me "I don't know why folks want to live to be a hundred, it ain't no fun bein' old".

does this affect offspring? (1)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40292977)

I haven't read the actual original paper because i'm guessing I don't have the appropriate background to understand it. But based on the summary, I'm curious... If there are changes with age, would these differences be passed on to offspring? I assume that some of these aging effects are similar from person to person, so if they are passed on, I imagine that would mean there are statistically significant differences in certain traits based on the age of the parents?

Is anyone more knowledgeable in the field able to comment?

Re:does this affect offspring? (3, Informative)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293321)

Biology is by far my weakest science and I'm not qualified at all to comment, but I just read two articles today which suggests that older fathers have longer lived children...

Here [sciencenews.org] and here [bbc.co.uk] .

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293733)

I haven't read them and won't but I've read articles that older fathers have children with more health problems. Apparently non-fatal ones :)

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

Coisiche (2000870) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294541)

Well, it could be a case of longer duration not necessarily being better.

Kinda like in the same way that Prometheus is longer than many other films...

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294637)

The reason for this is obvious... older fathers have better genes than younger ones, if you average over the complete population, because they survived for a longer period of time, plus perhaps the fact that they were considered sufficiently attractive at their old age to produce offspring.

It doesn't mean that you should wait until you're older to have children, unless, of course, you want to serve the greater interest of humanity.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

onemorechip (816444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40300709)

You didn't rtfa, did you? It's known that telomeres lengthen with age, and that longer telomeres are known to protect genes from damage. What the study found was
that the longer telomeres (from the father) get passed on to the children. So it has nothing to do with survival, in this case.

At any rate, you could eliminate that factor by comparing lifespans of older vs. younger siblings. I don't know if that was done here, but a follow-up study could do that.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40303099)

I thought telomeres shorten as you age with each cell division. It's why alcohol and tobacco users biologically age faster than non substance abusers. I've personally seen a 36yrl women look like she's in her 60s. The thick leathery skin, bags under the eyes, and excessive skin wrinkles are proof of that. To my knowledge, such damage can't be reversed.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

onemorechip (816444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40319511)

Yeah, I was wondering about that...The article seemed to contradict my recollection, but I assumed my memory was at fault (what with my shortened telomeres). So I looked on wikipedia and found that, while most cells get shorter telomeres with age, sperm is different. Telomeres in sperm lengthen. What a weird world we live in.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40321695)

That's real interesting! It's almost natures way of honing in on the optimal age limit an animal should live. As a species, it might be more of a benefit to live fast and die young (while reproducing along the way) than to live longer and have fewer children. An optimal turnover rate that can change back and forth depending on environmental stresses.

Not to be racist here (because we're all human after all), but that might explain why black Africans are at one end of the life spectrum compared to say the Japanese. Just a thought.

I'm 36yr myself and about to be a father for the first time. I too was conceived when my father was in his 30s as well. I also have a long family history of grand parents living long and having children late in life. So who knows. Maybe my child will live well into his/her 100s. And that's aside from any further advances in medical research.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#40296297)

... or maybe it's just that older children have more fathers. :)

Re:does this affect offspring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293447)

For females, not entirely sure. It is supposedly worse the older, getting worse from 40-45~ onwards, but I haven't seen full-on evidence.

For males, apparently better the older as telomeres lengthen with age in sperm.
Probably some sort of survival technique for successful "protectors" of the family, or happy accident.
It's almost like... reinforced natural selection. IT'S TOO SMART KILL IT!
I also wonder if masturbation kills off this advantage, or if it is just sperm production in general that benefits from it.

Perhaps they should do a similar test for female eggs and see how they stack up. (or don't)

Re:does this affect offspring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294227)

So 40 year old man with 20 year old girl is in fact the optimum arrangement? Being on the man side of that equation I'm inclined to accept these findings.

Re:does this affect offspring? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 2 years ago | (#40296345)

Being on the man side of that equation...

...all depends on your point of view. As H.H. Munro famously said, "I hate children. They're so human."

Re:does this affect offspring? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293505)

Most epigenetic(methylation, etc.) changes are removed early in development in a process called reprogramming. During reprogramming, most of the existing epigenetic marks(including methylation) are removed, and then the genome is remethylated later. So while it might be a minor contributor to age-associated genetic inheritance, I don't think it would likely be a major contributor.

The linked articles seem to suggest that loss of function due to aging may be, in part, explained by the difference in methylation. So decreased efficiency and functioning of individual cells associated with aging might be caused by this phenomenon. This is pretty far from my field of expertise, but it seems to me that methylation might be more predominant in children because development is a finely controlled process, and methylation can act as an operator.

Re:does this affect offspring? (2)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294661)

The changes outlined refer to methylation, not to actual dna change. The sequence is the same as when you were born (for most part), but methyl groups attach to certain genes to turn them off and detach from other ones to turn them on. This stuff isn't passed to offsprings, they're just switches that are placed on the dna. So, it turns out the old people have the genes that increase chance of cancer/diabetes turned on while babies with the same genes have them turned off, and a middle aged adult is in between.

This is fairly interesting discovery. I guess the next step is to figure out what's controlling the methyl groups. The whole field of biology is enormously complex, there are so many variables and they are all somehow interrelated. Programming analogy: It's like spaghetti code and the program is running exclusively on global variables where each variable controls multiple functions. It runs very efficiently and fast, but debugging is a nightmare. To make matters worse you can't even see these molecular structures in action even under a microscope because they're way too small, so it's like trying to debug the executable of the aforementioned program without a disassembler... the only tool biology has: is the ability to modify the executable and run it again to see what it does. It's amazing that we came to understand this much with our primitive tools.

DNA evidence! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40292995)

My God! All those deathrow prisoners who've been waiting for years for their execution only to be released due to new DNA evidence. Their DNA had changed over the years and thus resulted in DNA test results not matching any more. They all really were guilty! And now they're walking free, laughing it off while looking for more victims for their depraved needs.

frist DNA error (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293011)

the most common mechanism for DNA mutation is Spontaneous Cysteine Deamination

the complementary bases exist in complements, G~C, and A~T .... when a C turns into a U, the body keeps track of the difference between an original T and a C that has turned into a U because of the methyl in the 5 position of a T.

Then it performs BaseExcisionRepair, if too many of these occur it leads to a DoubleStrandBreak and this can lead to cell death.

Also UV causes two or more T's ... ie TT to bend, then an enzyme is required to straighten this kink out, otherwise it may lead to a DSB and melanoma.

Halogens can substitute in the 5 position of Uracil which results in a 10x radiosensitisation because the enzyme which unkinks the UV kinked TT cannot perform its job, so the problem is not really UV its halogens.. some halogens cause different effects too such as inhibiting the Thymidine Synthase needed to maintain the correct ratio of dUTP / dTTP and hence regulate the cell cycle.

Re:frist DNA error (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293601)

Also UV causes two or more T's ... ie TT to bend, then an enzyme is required to straighten this kink out, otherwise it may lead to a DSB and melanoma.

Why is melanoma so named? Is it because of a black nucleus, or is it related to melanin?

In 2004 (I think), I saw a short blurb that said that cancer nuclei were black. I have since waded through a meter of paper vainly trying to find the reference.

Re:frist DNA error (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293777)

From the pictures (e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer [wikipedia.org] ) and what I can discern from textual references they are red-purple.

Re:frist DNA error (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293937)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Melanoma [lmgtfy.com]

-oma = tumor or swelling
melano- = melanocyte, a melanin-producing cell in your skin (melas = dark, cyte = cell)

Do you not have a basic education?

DNS modifications? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293231)

I read that as "DNS Modifications Change As We Age" and briefly started thinking probably true - I'm now more careful with my TTLs than I was a youngster...

Probably because I'm in the middle of a datacentre move for a client and have DNS on the brain....

Ok, bogosity detector alert! (3, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293253)

As we age, the core of our biological being — the sequence of our DNA, which makes up our genes — remains the same.

This was falsified several years ago when it was shown that retrotranspons alter the sequence of DNA in each cell dynamically continuously. Not only that, but cells are altered differently, so a person's cells diverge as they age. The paper is usually paywalled but I have a copy thanks to the generosity of the authors, if anyone wants a copy.

Sorry, but as a matter of principle I automatically reject any claim that has as its central tenant a theory that has already been falsified. Keep up or keep the hell out.

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (5, Informative)

samoanbiscuit (1273176) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293271)

TFA is a news fluff piece. The abstract of the actual paper [pnas.org] they are referring to does not include that bit of dogma

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (2)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294951)

Sorry, but as a matter of principle I automatically reject any claim that has as its central tenant a theory that has already been falsified.

Furthermore, our understanding of epigenetics makes rubbish of the claim that our DNA is "the core of our biological being." Biology does not have a "core" in the relevant reductionist sense. It has a number of important sub-systems that operate together. DNA is not a blueprint, the cell is not a factory. Claims that we can safely ignore everything except our coding regions are just nonsense, based on decades-old ignorance.

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (2)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299439)

I would absolutely agree. It's not made any simpler when you consider that a given human cell has two distinct types of DNA (and maybe once had many more), that nucleic DNA contains retroviruses and other non-human DNA components, and that there's something like 5,000 non-human species in the body, comprising 10x as many cells as there are human cells.

When you start examining thousands of distinct forms of DNA, any of which may have epigenetic components, you're looking at a system of mindblowing proportions. I can sympathize with the "core" folks to a degree -- von Neumann constructed a brilliant model in the form of the Universal Constructor, where it would require only one machine and one blueprint to be able to build absolutely anything, and a lot of early DNA work essentially looked at DNA as just such a machine. It's just not easy to extend the von Neumann model, though, to clusters of tightly-coupled-but-distinct Universal Constructors that are sometimes symbiotic (but not always), where the epigenetics mean your code is data-driven and where the retrotranspons mean your actual instructions are self-modifying.

It was a serviceable first approximation. Ok, second since the pea study was quite a bit earlier! :) But it's time to move on. Rejecting the same thing repeatedly gets old. I want to know what biochemical function the self-modifications serve. Brains seem to be the area with the most changes, so are the proteins that encode memory on the synapses themselves being coded into the neurons? Or is it a specialization technique, since different regions have to have different performance characteristics. How does all this alter what we know about the biochemical pathways of the human body, since epigenetics not only controls those pathways but is also controlled by them? Why is a mouse when it spins?

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40298471)

Could you please share the title of that article/author name? That would be of great help as I probably can access it through our library. Thanks,

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299067)

Journal: Nature
Title: Somatic retrotransposition alters the genetic landscape of the human brain
Published: 30 October 2011
Authors: J. Kenneth Baille, et al

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40302513)

Thank you, the information is much appreciated!

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (1)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40302539)

NP. I'd have preferred to have given a proper reference, but Slashdot doesn't import BibTeX. :)

Re:Ok, bogosity detector alert! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40302749)

No problem, I already downloaded the paper. Also, I am no very well versed with BibTeX anyway!

Not only that, but . . . . (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 2 years ago | (#40298685)

If true, it would fall into the "Duuuuuh category" --- anyone who has been existing for awhile is sure to experience mutations through the normal course of life, solar rads, etc., etc., ad infinitum.

Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293265)

Eating fetuses will allow you to live forever with their pristine DNA. It is sort of like drinking unicorn blood.

Round-Up Ready Stomach (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40293289)

GMO, it's not just food, it's death, it's dna change faster than aging.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rml_k005tsU&feature=player_embedded

Reminds me of Larry Niven characters (2)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293407)

It sounds like Pak Protectors. In his version of reality the age based changes originally had a purpose. The fact there's a genetic change matches with his scenario. Just interesting how science fiction and reality often converge.

GMO (1)

pr0nbot (313417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293517)

This article isn't about GMO, but stuff like this is one of the reasons I think we should hold off GMO for the moment. It seems to me we keep discovering things that surprise us -- epigenetics, and the unexpected extent of horizontal gene transfer, to name two recent ones -- which would suggest to me that we ought to limit ourselves to more research rather than large scale exploitation, for a while at least. (There are larger, non-scientific concerns that are the main reason I'm wary of GMO, but this is one.)

We don't change? Oh yes we do (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293619)

FTA:

"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed," wrote the late novelist Doris Lessing. "Your body changes, but you don't change at all."

I'm sorry to say thats BS. I'm in my 40s now and I'm a rather different person to the arrogant know-it-all teenager I used to be - different attitude to life, different musical tastes , different temperament, a lot more worldy wise etc. And in another 40 years - if i live that long - I'm sure I'll be different to what I am now. Its not just the body that changes , the mind changes too.

Re:We don't change? Oh yes we do (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | more than 2 years ago | (#40293725)

Over 20 years ago some study on the male brain came out. They took mri's of the male brain at different ages and found that there was an an actual physical change to the brain at around the age of forty. The brain actually 'changed'! Most men I've spoke with agreed that around age 40 is when they stopped acting like kids and began to take their lives more seriously. Of course, some guys still stayed the jerks they always were, but mostly guys begin to start to question their behavior around this time. So it seems to me if you can avoid dying before 40 from some youthful mis-adventure, you have a decent chance of living a long and possibly happier life.

Re:We don't change? Oh yes we do (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40299257)

"The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed," wrote the late novelist Doris Lessing. "Your body changes, but you don't change at all."

I'm sorry to say thats BS

I'm 60, and I agree with you. Lessig was wrong. I'm not even the same man I was when I was 40.

Its not just the body that changes , the mind changes too.

Of course it does. The brain changes, just like every other organ, and the mind resides within the brain.

The late Doris Lessing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40294493)

FTA: "The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed," wrote the late novelist Doris Lessing

Clearly a well-researched piece.. the only problem - Doris Lessing isn't dead.

Doris Lessing isn't dead (1)

ferrisoxide.com (1935296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40294569)

Yes.. a dupe of an AC post.. frigging Safari keeps logging out of Slash on every page click. Grr.. And on something I care about (Doris Lessing, one of my fave authors).

FTA: "The great secret that all old people share is that you really haven't changed," wrote the late novelist Doris Lessing

Clearly a well-researched piece.. the only problem - Doris Lessing isn't dead.

GMO (1)

kiep (1821612) | more than 2 years ago | (#40382827)

its because we eat shit that morphs our bodies
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