Scientists at Boston University have created a blood test that they say will predict when a person will die.
Right now clinicians have the ability to determine the likelihood of cancer using genetic testing, which looks for markers indicating mutations that could have a grave impact on your future health. Angelina Jolie famously discovered her predisposition for breast cancer, which she remedied by undergoing a double mastectomy.
Now researchers have found a way to discern how well a seemingly healthy person will age, and what health issues could crop up in their later years.
Published in the journal ‘Aging Cell’, the study analysed data from 5,000 samples of a donor’s blood over eight years, paying close attention to the progression of health over that time.
According to Live Science, they found 26 different predictive biomarker signatures, meaning there were mutations in the cellular makeup of the donor they were able to identify. This indicated both good and bad possibilities for the future: “Specifically, their chances of getting age-related diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.”
Using this data, the donor is now able to alter aspects of their lifestyle that may have shortened their life.
Lead authors commented on this discovery in the study, stating: “We are taking another step by showing that particular patterns of groups of markers can indicate how well a person is ageing and his or her risk for specific age-related syndromes and diseases.”
No word yet on when the public will be able to access the breakthrough medical technology, the researchers are planning further testing on a wider range of subjects, but said they hope the study will be used in drug trials eventually to ‘detect the effects, or absence of effects [of a drug], that they are looking for much earlier than current trials of drugs do’.