The £400 test that tells you how long you’ll live

May 17, 2011 | Source: The Independent Science

A new commercial telomere test that is purported 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 has been developed by researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid.

“What is new about this test is that it is very precise,” says Dr. Maria Blasco. “We can detect very small differences in telomere length and it is a very simple and fast technique where many samples can be analyzed at the same time. Most importantly, we are able to determine the presence of dangerous telomeres — those that are very short.”

There are already some scientists who question its value and whether there should be stronger ethical controls over its wider use. However, the Nobel prize last year went to telomere research, one of the most exciting areas in biomedical science.