For most people, grandparents are treasured, loved, they have a special position in the families, often a closer one than parents. Humans, researchers tell us, is one of the very few species that live long after their reproductive age. In most species on earth, when the reproductive organs stop working, they soon stop living at all. Humans are the exception and researchers are close to a very specific explanation for this.
Grandparents are beneficiary to their communities, as a source of wisdom, as people trustworthy and dependent for the raising for children and grandchildren, and in many other ways. For this reason, researchers have been searching for a genetic mechanism that allows the body and mind to stay healthy, in order for the elderly to keep being able to offer in their communities.
Research on this matter is being carried out by the University of California, San Diego, and has resulted in very interesting results. In human brains, researchers have discovered variants that protect them against genes related to neurodegenerative diseases. Such variants have not been discovered in our closest relatives, like chimpanzees. This suggests that our evolution worked in order for our species to age healthy, and continue being a vital part of our communities. Lucky us, this way we can still have our favorite people close to us.