Lifespan predicting DNA test to go on sale
A revolutionary DNA blood test that can predict how long you will live is due to go on sale in Europe and possibly in America.
The blood test will be available in over-the-counter settings and will cost $700 (£435) when it first goes on sale in Britain later this year.
The test identifies the length of a person’s telomeres which are bits of DNA at the end of the chromosomes.
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Scientists believe that telomeres indicate the speed at which someone ages and those with shorter telomeres tend to die younger than those with long telomeres.
However, critics are branding it controversial and are saying it will open a ‘Pandora’s box’ in which insurance companies will demand a blood test before offering a policy.
Some scientists are also concerned about how people will react if the test delivers bad news, while others are worried it could be used to market fake ‘elixirs of life’.
A Madrid-based company Life Length has manufactured the test and in an interview Life Length CEO Steve Matlin said the company does not claim the test can predict length of life, it merely just alerts people to high concentrations of short telomeres.
As yet the test is unable to predict the exact amount of months or years a person has left to live although scientists believe telomere testing will become widespread within the next ten years.
Life Length itself is also predicting the demand for the test will be high once they can bring down the price of the test.
Although Life Length is not the only company offering telomere blood tests, they are the only company to be making them available to the public over-the-counter.