People might toss out the phrase “age is just a number” on occasion, but that number is hard to shrug off in the face of hard evidence. It’s easy enough to see at a glance in a lot of cases, but medical science has opted to make a judgement a bit more precise than eyeballing a person. A London-based team has reportedly found a way to tell how a person is aging — and in tandem, how well their bodies are doing.
The key factor is the DNA. By having the subject take a blood test, doctors can find out a person’s biological age — a number that could ring truer than the count of years lived. By examining the behavior or more than a hundred genes, it’s possible to get a read on the status or even decline of the tissues within the body. Moreover, the test can pinpoint who could be at a greater risk for health issues like Alzheimer’s and other mental maladies — which in turn could make treatment easier than before.
With all that said, there are issues that need sorting out. If the new test can effectively predict who will die when — and it has, to some extent — then it could cause future headaches thanks to insurance payments. How those systems will be handled when a biological age can tell all long beforehand remains to be seen; still, the fact that there’s such a potent test to begin with is a good step forward, at the very least.