Want to know when you are going to die ? It’s not some fortune telling or other stuffs that takes money from you and leave you in blind, It’s pure science.
And that’s what German scientist Steve Horvath is currently working on.
Isn’t it awkward that someone is working to find out the time when he is going to die ? Well, I am not interested in finding out time of my death. The fear that I am having is enough. But most insurance companies are actually investing in projects such as this to calculate if a person is really suited to be provided with life insurance.
Steve Horvath does not look into the future or stuffs like that to calculate when you are going to die. What he does is to look into your DNA to find out how much faster you are aging. Some people age slower than others and tend to live longer than others. While other may age faster and that may lead to complications such as Alzheimer’s or cancer or heart diseases that may occur sooner in your life. It is kind of acutally helpful actually, if you can predict the chances of heart attack by looking at your age.
DNA is a chemical makeup of genes that makes you actually you. One of the major chemical component in your gene is “Cytosine”, one of the four bases of DNA. It either activates or deactivates a gene. That activation and deactivation is helpful to calculate your life clock.
As we age, the cytosine at hundreds of thousand of spots in our DNA either gains or loses methyl chemical groups (CH3). Horvath’s insight was to measure these increases and decreases in methylation, find the 300 to 500 changes that matter most, and use those to make his clocks. His findings suggest that the speed of the clock is strongly influenced by underlying genes. He estimates that about 40% of the ticking rate is determined by genetic inheritance, and the rest by lifestyle and luck.
“At this point, we don’t have any evidence that it’s clinically useful, because there are big error bars,” Horvath says. Besides, there’s no pill to reverse the effects. But though it will never be perfectly accurate, Horvath and his clock are getting closer than anyone else ever has to answering the question that hangs over us all—and determining whether there is anything we can do to change the answer.