Want to Find Out When You’ll Die?

by MSO

Natural curiosity compelled Pandora and it will probably compel people to take the test too.

A new DNA test that has been developed by European researchers is possibly bringing in a new medical era, but is also opening up an ethical Pandora’s box.

This blood test shows how fast somebody is aging, and offers the possibility of estimating how long they may have left to live. Some people may want to do this test, although most people would probably not be so excited by this possibility.

Scientists behind the $700 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.

The results of the test will probably be of the most interest to life insurance companies, who may require the test within the next few years, allowing for higher premiums for less healthy people and lower for more healthy people.

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