Why I study 80-year-old smokers


“It would make life much easier if you didn’t have to exercise every day, eat well and quit smoking” (Image: Courtesy of Morgan E. Levine) What drew you to old-age smokers when investigating the genetic basis of longevity? There’s been quite a bit of animal research suggesting that those who survive the longest are simply better equipped to deal with biological stress. So I started thinking about common stressors humans deal with that might be similar. Smoking is a biologically stressful activity. And its effects on health have been well studied. So if an individual smoked from a young age, and still lived a long,
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