25/10/2013 07:46 BST | Updated 25/10/2013 07:58 BST

Women's Breasts Age Faster Than Rest Of The Body, But At Least It's Good News For Our Face


Switch on the TV or open a magazine and it's pretty clear that our society values youth. Especially in women.

While male television presenters are allowed to grow old like a fine wine, older women are seemingly sneaked out the back door while younger replacements file in to smile sweetly into the camera.

But, ladies, before we succumb to the pressures of society and cower at the thought of another passing year - bathing in anti-wrinkle cream, dyeing our grey thinning hair and fretting over weight gain - spare a thought for your breasts.

Once bouncy and fancy free, they are the fastest ageing part of our bodies - heading south for the winter of our lives.

According to geneticist Steve Horvath,who has pioneered a technique to identify the biological age of human tissue, not all body parts age at the same rate.

"Healthy breast tissue is about two to three years older than the rest of a woman's body," he reveals.

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By analysing the DNA methylation, a chemical alteration of genes thought to show a cell's age, Horvath successfully paired the biological age of tissue with the their actual age of the individual concerned.

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Looking at 8,000 healthy samples of 51 different types of cells and tissues and 6,000 cancerous samples, he found not only that some tissues age faster than others but that cancerous cells accelerate ageing process by 36 years.

Writing in Genome Biology he suggests that his findings can be used "to address a host of questions in developmental biology, cancer and aging research".