From a study of samples collected from 500 people:
The human body is a complex mosaic made up of clusters of cells with different genomes — and many of these clusters bear mutations that could contribute to cancer, according to a sweeping survey of 29 different types of tissue…
Overall, the study found fewer examples of mosaicism in some types of tissue than would be expected on the basis of previous research. But the key, says Martincorena, is that the latest analysis demonstrated that mosaicism is present across a wide array of tissues.
Tissues with a high rate of cell division, such as those that make up the skin and oesophagus, tended to have more mosaicism than tissues with lower rates of cell division. Mosaicism also increased with age, and was particularly prevalent in the lungs and skin — tissues that are exposed to environmental factors that can damage DNA.Heidi Ledford, “The human body is a mosaic of different genomes” at Nature
Remember the Selfish Gene? Aw, he was just playin’ you guys. You didn’t fall for that, did you?
See also: Researchers’ new find: Liver, pancreas cells are generally as old as the brain If the vast majority of liver cells are as old as the animal, being kind to the liver may be a key to longevity. It will be interesting to see whether epigenetic changes affect new cells or old cells more.
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