According to the journal Current Biology, people who carried a specific gene looked 2 years older than who did not carried the gene. This new study is the first time scientifically explain why some people look older than the other people in the same age, according to Manfred Kayser, a professor of forensic molecular genetics at MC University Medical Center Rotterdam.
The researchers studied nearly 2,700 older Dutch adults. In the research, the researchers showed the picture of each participants to the “judges” and asked them to estimate the ages of the people in the photos. The researchers also observed about the 8 million variations of the participants’ DNA. According to the study, it was found out that one gene variation is specifically related to people’s appearance, even though other factors such as wrinkles, skin color, gender, sun damages were included in the consideration.
In previous studies, researcher thought that the gene, MC1R, which affects the melanin synthesis, pale skin, and red hair, is closely related to the appearance of people. However, by this new study, researchers confirmed that the previous studies are wrong and a specific gene variation effects the people’s appearance.
One possibility is that this gene might affect inflammation and DNA damage repairs of our body, which eventually decides how old people look. The researchers noted, however, this gene is only a one possible factor for our appearance and there are many other factors that influences how old we look.