In Search of the Secrets of Aging A report from the U.S. National Institute on Aging. Long lives always make us wonder: What is the secret? Does it lie in the genes? Is it where people live or the way they live — something they do or do not do? Eat or do not eat? Most of the scientists who study aging, gerontologists, say the secret probably lies in all of the above — heredity, environment, and lifestyle.