9 responses to Amish Gene Mutation May Extend Lifespan By 10 Years
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    Comment on Gene Research? (November 16th, 2017 at 09:40)

    Gene Research?

    I had relatives in Adams County, Indiana since the early 1800’s and wouldn’t mind participating in gene research/studies.

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    Alice Mary
    Comment on Potentially miraculous! (November 16th, 2017 at 11:49)

    Potentially miraculous!

    I heard about this on the radio this morning, and was excited to see it featured here, too!

    As a diabetic (also with HBP), this could be very important, if not for me in 2017, maybe for my grandkids and their progeny someday. Research is so important, looking for a cure to this progressive disease that affects me, and affected others in my family over the years—my father, sister, uncles, aunts. I wish I could take part in any research that evolves from this finding. And to think it happened at Northwestern (a cousin is an alumnus there)–in my own “backyard.”

    I am interested in any other health-related studies involving various Amish communities and hope you could post links to them here, Erik, if possible.

    I sincerely thank all the Amish who help by participating in these types of studies. I hope you (and anyone else with Amish friends & acquaintances) can pass that along.

    Alice Mary

    • I hope so Alice Mary. When I read there is a positive effect regarding diabetes, I thought it would be about a lower incidence, so I was surprised when in the video Dr. Vaughan basically said it was nonexistent in the group with the mutation.

      Sounds pretty exciting overall and looking forward to hearing about any good benefits this research might bring, especially since a drug is already being tested. Overall it’s great that there is this cooperation between Amish communities and researchers, albeit it is often in trying to solve some of the rare genetic issues Amish and related communities suffer from.

      I’ll share other interesting studies that come up, this one was one of the most potentially consequential I have ever seen involving the Amish.

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    Comment on ? (November 16th, 2017 at 17:30)


    “… relatives in Adams County, Indiana since the early 1800’s …”

    How is that possible since the first white settlers in Adams County arrived in 1835?

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    Comment on Genetic linked conditions (November 17th, 2017 at 07:57)

    Genetic linked conditions

    Many people are aware of genetic disorders in the Amish and other semi-closed populations due to starting with a very narrow genetic base. As closely, or at least closer, related (closer than in the mainstream population)individuals produce offspring with certain traits that tend to be concentrated and magnified, the genetic disorders become more frequently manifested than in the general population.

    The negative aspects of this have been identified for centuries, BUT people tend to under recognize that if there are POSITIVE genetic traits in such a population; they too will be concentrated and magnified.

    When my children were of the 4-H and FFA age, they showed Californian meat pen rabbits at our county fair and other livestock shows in our general area; Houston, San Antonio, Austin, etc. In the earlier years they could produce bunnies that were middle of the road on the show table, but nothing special. We sold all of our breeding stock, purchased new breeders (after Dad knew what to look for) and started a line breeding program.

    Look at the results of just our county fair and see if you can figure out when we made the change: 1st year – 9th place, 2nd year – 9th place, 3rd year – 10th place, 4th year – daughter’s pen 9th place, son’s pen 11th place. 5th year – son’s pen Grand Champion, daughter’s pen Reserve Grand Champion, 6th year – son’s pen Grand Champion, daughter’s pen Reserve Grand Champion, 7th year – son’s pen Grand Champion, daughter’s pen 3rd place, 8th year – daughter’s pen 3rd place, son did not participate.

    So, it is not really a surprise to me to find out that there can be positive (as well as negative) traits in any given closely related population, that stand out from what is seen in the mainstream population.

    • Good point Oldkat. After hearing a lot about the sometimes horrible effects of mutations in Amish and Mennonite communities, great to see this positive discovery.

      In answer to your question, I would guess about a year or two before year 5 (not sure how long it takes bunnies to mature to “show levels”. Either way, that’s a dramatic change in results 🙂

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    Robert phillips
    Comment on Gene Mutation (November 19th, 2017 at 13:59)

    Gene Mutation

    What is Gene Mutation, and how does it work.

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      Comment on Gene mutation explanation (November 23rd, 2017 at 08:19)

      Gene mutation explanation

      This looks like a good concise explanation:


      “A gene mutation is a permanent alteration in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene, such that the sequence differs from what is found in most people. Mutations range in size; they can affect anywhere from a single DNA building block (base pair) to a large segment of a chromosome that includes multiple genes.”

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    Dan Gadd
    Comment on Excellant! (November 20th, 2017 at 16:21)



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