Department of Medicine researchers and their collaborators published a paper in Science this week. Using participants in the New England Centenarian Study, they identified 150 single nucleotide polymorphisms, or, less technically, parts of the genome, associated with long life.
As with most science stories picked up in the media, the details are less dramatic than the headlines. Senior author Thomas Perls explained to the Boston Globe that the findings do not portend a genetic test for longevity. Environmental factors play an even larger part in health.
Still, with UC Berkeley asking freshman to submit to a DNA test, the paper arrives at a time when people in the United States are curious about what our genes reveal.