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It's in our genes: Why women outlive men

Posted: August 2, 2012 |   Comments

Published August 2 in Current Biology, research led by Monash University, describes how mutations to the DNA of the mitochondria can account for differences in the life expectancy of males and females. Mitochondria, which exist in almost all animal cells, are vital for life because they convert our food into the energy that powers the body.

Dr Damian Dowling and PhD student, Florencia Camus, both from the Monash School of Biological Sciences, worked with Dr David Clancy from Lancaster University to uncover differences in longevity and biological aging across male and female fruit flies that carried mitochondria of different origins. They found that genetic variation across these mitochondria were reliable predictors of life expectancy in males, but not in females.

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