Researchers at U.C.L.A. have discovered a “biological clock” embedded in our genomes. This is used as a barometer for them to identify that specific parts of our bodies age more quickly than others.

“To fight aging, we first need an objective way of measuring it,” says Steve Horvath, a professor of human genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and of biostatistics at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

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Now, the word is out: Women’s breasts age fastest.

“Pinpointing a set of biomarkers that keeps time throughout the body has been a four-year challenge,”

“My goal in inventing this clock is to help scientists improve their understanding of what speeds up and slows down the human aging process.”

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After conducting tests in the lab, Professor Horvath found out that this biological clock “kept time across the human anatomy.”

Most samples matched their chronological age, but there are others that are significantly different. And, yes, the breasts are one of the them.

“If a woman has breast cancer, the healthy tissue next to the tumour is an average of 12 years older than the rest of her body,” and the scientist makes a link of this discovery to why “breast cancer is the most common cancer in women”.

The research doesn’t stop at this. Professor Horvath is now working on finding out the correlation between the clock and aging.

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He thinks that if the clock controls ageing, then “the clock will become an important biomarker for studying new therapeutic approaches to keeping us young.”