Scientists Accurately Predict Age With Saliva Sample
New research in Public Library of Science (PLoS) ONE reveals that geneticists can use saliva to determine a person’s age. Researchers looked at a process called methylation, a chemical modification of 1 of the 4 building blocks that make up our DNA. “While genes partly shape how our body ages, environmental influences also can change our DNA as we age,” they explain. “Methylation patterns shift as we grow older and contribute to aging-related disease.” Using this data, scientists may one day be able to calculate a person’s “bio-age”—the measurement of a person’s biological age versus their chronological age. Physicians could then evaluate the risk of age-related diseases in routine medical screenings and tailor interventions based on the patient’s bio-age rather than their chronological age. The researchers are currently exploring whether people with lower bio-age live longer and suffer less disease. They also are examining whether higher bio-age is linked to a greater rate of disease and early death.
Science Daily – June 23