Chinese scientists have begun a major search for longevity genes by collecting blood samples from people in an area known for long lives.

People’s Daily has reported that the Xinjiang Academy of Agricultural Science, which is leading the project, has already collected about 150 blood samples from people aged 90 and up, including 30 samples from centenarians.

The work focuses on an area called the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Xinjiang is in northwest China, bordering eight countries.

Xinjiang had 1,450 centenarians in 2000, up by 435 from 1990 and accounting for 8% of China’s total.

More here.