How does age, and lifestyle factors such as drugs, hormones, smoking, and nutrition, affect our DNA?

In his contribution to the HEAP symposium highlights series, Martin Widschwendter, Director of the European Translational Oncology Prevention and Screening (EUTOPS) Institute, University of Innsbruck, Austria, presents his research into DNA markers that are changed by both genetic and lifestyle factors. These markers, or DNA methylation signatures called epigenetic ‘clocks’, can be used to measure the ageing process of cells, and have been found to accurately predict chronological age or how many divisions a cell has undergone.

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