UK scientists have identifi ed a genetic variant that may infl uence the rate at which a person will age. The fi nding, published recently in the journal Nature Genetics, could help identify which individuals are most susceptible to common age-related conditions, such as heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. The research team found that individuals with variants located near a gene known as TERC (telomerase RNA component) tended to have cells with shorter telomeres, a trait previously shown to make them age faster.