Clonal hematopoiesis in human aging and disease

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Science  01 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6465, eaan4673
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4673

Cryptic signs of aging in our blood

Time is not a friend to our DNA. Aging is associated with an accumulation of somatic mutations in normal dividing cells, including the hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) that give rise to all blood cells. Certain mutations in HSCs confer a fitness advantage that results in clonal expansions of mutant blood cells that sometimes—but not always—forecast the development of cancer and other age-related diseases. Jaiswal and Ebert review this process of “clonal hematopoiesis,” including the mechanisms by which it arises and the current state of knowledge regarding its effects on human health.

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