New blood test can predict how long one will live

Planning future

Telomeres are sections of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes, protecting them from damage and the loss of cell functions associated with ageing. Shorter telomeres are thought to be an indicator of faster ageing.

A Spanish firm, Life Length, has developed the new commercial “death test”, which it says will show people how long they have to live, the Telegraph reports.“Knowing whether our telomeres are a normal length or not for a given chronological age will give us an indication of our health status and of our physiological ‘age’ even before diseases appear,” said Maria Blasco, who heads telomeres research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, Madrid.

Her private firm, which is in talks to manufacture the test throughout Europe, including Britain and the US, expects strong demand from people wanting to learn when they potentially will die. Experts say it will also help people develop healthy habits, improve their diet and reduce their stress. “What is new about this test is that it is very precise,” she added. “We can detect very small differences in telomere length and it is a very simple and fast technique where many samples can be analysed at the same time,” said Blasco.

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