Following recent reports of a mammal able to regenerate after injury, science continues to imitate fiction, with a discovery in Boston that recalls the search for the philosopher’s stone. The stone, the subject of the first Harry Potter book, was long sought after by medieval alchemists, who believed it would provide the elixir of life, but scientists from Boston have succeeded where the alchemists failed. The secret to aging has been found, not in a stone, but in chromosome 4.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researcher Louis Kunkel led a team that scanned the genome of exceptionally long-lived siblings and pinpointed the location of genes that appear to be associated with living for 100 years and more.

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