Scientists from University of Edinburg in the month of January 2015 have identified a biological clock through which they can accurately predict the lifespan of a person by analyzing the DNA.
In order to calculate a person’s biological clock, the researchers studied the chemical changes to DNA known as methylation. People whose biological age was greater than their actual age are predicted to die sooner than whose biological age and actual age were same. This process was repeated in four separate studies and included information based on 5,000 older individuals over the course of 14 years. Even after factors such as smoking, diabetes, and heart health were taken into account the results continued to be true.
Scientists from University of Edinburgh explained that the modification doesn’t alter DNA sequence but can rather influence how genes turned off and on.
The study’s principal investigator professor Ian Deary said “This new research increases our understanding of longevity and healthy ageing. It is exciting as it has identified a novel indicator of ageing, which improves the prediction of lifespan over and above the contribution of factors such as smoking, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease”.