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Scientists race to find the key to long life

Scientists race to find the key to long life
25th July 2012

Scientists are locked in a race to find the key to long life and receive a substantial cash prize.

Some £6.5 million is up for grabs for the team that unlocks the genetic code for living up to 100 years of age.

The first team to formerly enter the race is from Life Technologies Corporation, led by Dr Jonathan Rothberg.

The California-based researchers will now compete in the Archon Genomics X Prise, which will commence in September 2013.

Participants will have 30 days to work out the full DNA code of 100 centenarians, who have agreed to be included in the project.

However, teams must not spend more than $1,000 (£695) per genome, placing all participants on a level playing field.

Speaking to BBC News, Dr Rothberg explained collecting the DNA of 100 centenarians is a positive first step to finding "the fountain of youth".

During the investigations, a better understanding of the risk factors for mortality will also be gained, helping the researchers in other fields find treatments for diseases.

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