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 in Britain later this year.

The controversial test ($690 Can.) measure 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.

Medical researchers believe that telomere testing will become widespread within the next five to 10 years.  There are other scientists who question the test’s value and whether or not there should be stronger ethical controls over its wider use.

Would you like to know how long you will live?

Ergo would you test this new test for the speed of your aging?

Should there be ethical restrictions on this kind of test?

Do you see any downside to this kind of aging test?


  1. 1

    Ah, the life insurance industry is gonna love this.

    Life underwriters will be able to more accurately determine when a person will die and, thus, determine more accurately premiums to be paid.

    Of course, they won’t be able to determine “accidental” death and this will still be an open question.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Or suicide.

  3. 3

    Suicide is usually exempted from getting a death benefit. But the policy will say so. Some policies always exclude pay-offs for suicide; others allow; others after a certain number of years.

    If you’ve ever seen the excellent documentary “Capturing the Friedmans”, the father and son are both sentenced to long prison sentences for child molestation (evidence largely shows that both were probably innocent). Well, the father had a policy that exempted suicide for, I think, the first 2 years of the policy. And the father wanted his son to get the proceeds so once the date was passed, he committed suicide so that his son could benefit ’cause he knew that he was innocent and wanted him to have something once he got out of prison.

RSS Feed for this entry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: