Dating Death | New Blood Test Will Reveal Your Life Expectancy, But Do You Really Want to Know

The $650 test that tells you how long you’ll live

Steve Connor|The Independent

A blood test that can show how fast someone is aging – and offers the tantalizing possibility of estimating how long they have left to live – is to go on sale to the general public in Britain later this year.

Graphic: How the test works

The controversial test measures vital structures on the tips of a person’s chromosomes, called telomeres, which scientists believe are one of the most important and accurate indicators of the speed at which a person is aging.

Scientists behind the $650 test said it will be possible to tell whether a person’s “biological age”, as measured by the length of their telomeres, is older or younger than their actual chronological age.

Medical researchers believe that telomere testing will become widespread within the next five or 10 years, but there are already some scientists who question its value and whether there should be stronger ethical controls over its wider use. In addition to concerns about how people will react to a test for how “old” they really are, some scientists are worried that telomere testing may be hijacked by unscrupulous organizations trying to peddle unproven anti-aging remedies and other fake elixirs of life.

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