Would you want to know when you will die?
A test that could tell you how long you have left to live is being developed by scientists. A small device – about the size of a watch – uses laser beams to analyze cells under the skin.
The Lancaster University physicists who invented the device, say that by monitoring endothelial cells they can identify those which are ageing faster than normal. They claim it should be possible in the future to tell a person how many years they have left.
As an example, a person could be told that if they do not change their lifestyle, they could die in 20 years; but would everyone want to know when they will die?
Analysis of cells in tiny blood vessels called capillaries – could also suggest whether someone has cancer or dementia.
Insurance and pension companies could also use the information to alter premiums and payouts. With enough funding the device, costing only a few hundred dollars, could be on the market within a year.
Doctors could use the device to compare a patient’s biological age with their chronological age to assess how quickly they are ageing.
Professor Aneta Stefanovska, the project’s leader, said: ” I hope we are developing something to encourage people to take care of their health.”
Fellow researcher Professor Peter McClintock, said, “We would like to see one of these in every GP’s (doctor’s) surgery. It would be an immensely valuable piece of equipment for a GP.”
He accepted that not everyone would put the information to good use, but added: “You might think that you are ageing too fast and do something about it. You might improve your lifestyle, and have fewer deep-fried Mars bars or go out for a run.”
But, even if you decide that you do what to know when you’ll die, there is such a thing as Divine Providence; you just might not see the approaching bus until it’s too late!