Is there a DNA clock to predict death? Yes!

Oct 22, 2018, 8:17 AM EDT
(Source: Seika/flickr)
(Source: Seika/flickr)

When will someone die? This isn’t just a curiously nagging question for science but also for businesses such as insurance companies, whose financial health and well-being is closely knitted to the ultimate truth.

Today, predicting the time of death with accuracy isn’t exactly chasing shadows, as researchers unpick the links between the so-called epigenetic changes in human DNA and aging, notes MIT Technology Review.

Steve Horvath, a UCLA biostatistician, and his team observed that the epigenetic changes in a person’s DNA are strong indicators of their pace of aging and can be used to predict their lifespan and hence, the date of death.

In a separate effort, a team of Ottawa-based researchers is developing a simple, online tool for a narrower target group, including elderly and seriously ill people, to forecast how long they might live, reports Global News.