Biologists have learned to predict death with an accuracy of up to one year

This noise limits the usefulness of the epigenetic clock, especially for longitudinal studies.

tracking changes in these indicators over time.

However, the new approach of Dr. Morgan's laboratoryLevine, formerly of the Yale School of Medicine, has reduced this discrepancy almost completely. Albert Higgins-Chen, MD, assistant professor of psychiatry and first author of the paper, said the new computational approach could be used to isolate and remove "technical noise" from biochemical tests designed to predict aging and mortality.

“Relatively little attention has previously been paid toreliability of the epigenetic clock when retested,” said Higgins-Chen. - The epigenetic clock could first show that you are 50 years old in one test, and then 59 years old in the next. We started with an existing, widely used clock and found that the only change—the addition of a technique called Principal Component Analysis—will help preserve aging signals while significantly reducing noise. Now, for most tests, two measurements taken at the same time will differ by less than a year. This also means that the longitudinal change in a person's clock is much more likely to reflect true biological aging. not technical noise.

The results obtained are of great importance forpractical testing: from epidemiological studies to clinical trials. The newly developed epigenetic clock predicts disease and aging outcomes similar to traditional clocks, but it also shows more stable trajectories when tracked longitudinally. The team has demonstrated that the use of new versions of the epigenetic clock can drastically reduce the need for sample size in intervention testing and clinical trials when the epigenetic clock is used as a clinical endpoint.

Morgan Levin, Ph.D., supervisingYale University's Laboratory for Aging in Living Systems, cautions that "although the epigenetic clock uses promising biomarkers of aging, we need to continually work to make these measurements more reliable and valid if we are ever to use them to test interventions in the aging process." and diseases."

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