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Participants in that study have an average age of 87 and range up to 108, and they’ve never had diabetes, heart disease or cancer, or any neurological disease.

“Why are these people Teflon-coated?” Topol asked. “Why don’t they get disease?”

The ability to turn out lots of complete genomes is “the new-new thing” in trying to find out, he said.

“There’s been too much emphasis on disorders per se and not enough on the people who are exceptionally healthy,” to learn from their genomes, Topol said. “Now we have the powerful tools to do that.”

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Online:

X Prize competition: http://genomics.xprize.org/

Wellderly Study: http://bit.ly/pHFHDj

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Malcolm Ritter can be followed at http://twitter.com/MalcolmRitter