This Blood Test Can Predicts How Long You Will Live
May 19, 2011 12:05
A new test is set to hit Britain next year and it aims to tell patients just how long more they have to live. Surely, this will cause some form of controversy. The test measures a person's telemeres, structures found on the tips of chromosomes. The length of the telemores apparently correlates with how fast a person is aging biologically, so it make sense that researchers wanted to offer individuals some insight into just how much longer their bodies can hold up.
The test is developed at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and will be marketed via the company Life Length which is in talks with medical diagnostics companies across Europe. The test will cost roughly $700.
The test works by providing a blood sample, and the test checks the length of your telomeres. Researchers show that those with shorter than normal telomeres have a shorter average life span than those with longer telomeres.
Could insurance companies start requiring telemeres testing and using it to determine life insurance and health insurance rates? That could be a problem. Also, what's the point of living if you know exactly when you're going to die? For $700, I'd rather take my chances and live. [Medical Express; Image credit: NASA]
Wired has published a very nice feature on Kip Thorne and the science behind Chris Nolan's Interstellar. Kip Thorne is one of the world's most celebrated theoretical physicists. He and Nolan worked together to ensure depictions of scientific happenings in the film are as accurate as possible. Read more