The Betterhumans Supercentenarian Research Study
The object of the Betterhumans Supercentenarian Research Study study is to compare genomic and molecular data from extremely long-lived individuals among themselves (seeing what’s similar) and with “normal” individuals, especially those who died having known illnesses, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s, stroke, diabetes, etc. (seeing what’s different).
The collection process involves either obtaining spit, blood, or (if deceased) tissue, from the Subject. The spit collection kit takes about 10 to 20 mins. for the Subject to spit about a teaspoon of saliva into one or two tubes. Betterhumans works with third-party researchers to analyze the genomic data it has developed.
Please contact us by email if you would like to obtain a copy of our data for research purposes.
Once the sample is taken, it is anonymized (assigned a proprietary number and all other identifying marks are removed, so as to preserve the privacy of the Subject) and then overnighted to a laboratory where the sample is processed. After a number of samples are accumulated, they are sent to another laboratory for sequencing. Betterhumans currently uses Illumina for its whole-genome sequencing of Supercentenarian samples. It takes approximately three months for the samples to be sequenced and for the biological samples to be turned into data for the Betterhumans team to begin analyzing.
Betterhumans uses both proprietary and public-domain software to analyze the genomic data it collects. For this study, genomic data from the Supercentenarians are compared with data from non-supercentenarians, especially those whose cause of death was known.
1. Herskind, Anne. McGue, Matthew. Holm, Niels. Sørensen, Thorkild. Harvald, Bent. Vaupel, James, (1996) The heritability of human longevity: A population-based study of 2872 Danish twin pairs born 1870–1900. Human Genetics. Volume 97, Number 3 (1996), 319-323. doi:10.1007/BF02185763.
2. Matt McGue. James W. Vaupel. Niels Holm. Bent Harvald. (1993) Longevity Is Moderately Heritable in a Sample of Danish Twins Born 1870–1880. J Gerontol. (1993) 48(6): B237-B244. doi:10.1093/geronj/48.6.B237.
3. Hitt R, Young-Xu Y, Perls T. (1999) Centenarians: The older you get, the healthier you’ve been. Lancet, 1999;354 (9179):652.
We are actively seeking participants at least 105 years old and their family members.