Epigenetics in Ageing
The DNA sequence is the code containing all necessary information for life. It is made up of four bases (A, T, G, and C) and is the same in every cell in your body.
Epigenetics influences how our DNA is used by cells. Epigenetic tags are chemical tags that are added to the DNA sequence. Each cell contains epigenetic tags that are added onto stretches of DNA to switch them on or off, resulting in specific cell functions.
For example a DNA methylation tag (a CH3 molecule) is added to a C-base within the DNA sequence, which switches off that part of the DNA.

As we age, our epigenetic information is changed – C-bases that weren’t methylated become methylated and vice versa – the pattern changes.
methylation change
The Epigenetic Ageing Clock
At the Babraham Institute, researchers have developed a computer model which allows
them to study the mechanisms of ageing. This model is called the Epigenetic Ageing Clock.
It looks at the DNA methylation at 329 points in the DNA – that’s only 0.0014% of all the possible points!

Changes in DNA methylation occur naturally with age. The Epigenetic Clock model looks at the changes in DNA methylation at these specific points and can accurately predict the biological age of a mouse.
Whereas chronological age is the time since the date of birth, the biological age measures the extent of wear and tear in the body over time.

This means that researchers can study whether lifestyle factors or therapeutics can influence ageing.
aging clock
Are you able to race the clock, rewind the ageing process and keep the DNA young?
Undo the methylation changes in the Ageing DNA Strand by comparing it to the Young DNA strand. Tap the numbers to learn how to play the Race Against the Ageing Clock game…
This is the “Young DNA Strand”. No changes to methylation happen here.
During the ageing process the methylation pattern changes and variations to the original pattern occurs. Some C-bases will become methylated or demethylated.
When each C-base of the Ageing DNA Strand reached the action line you must compare the ageing strand to the young strand and ensure that the methylation matches by using the buttons to the right.
The chronological age will start at 0 and count up to 100 weeks. At 100 weeks, the game will be calculated based on how well you played.
Press the methylate button to add methylation to the C-base or the demethylate button to remove methylation, to undo the changes caused by ageing
Play Game!
Your Results
Researchers are studying the possibility to slow down or reverse methylation changes in DNA.
In the future, this research could lead to therapies to support healthier ageing.
Play Again