Age has a lot more to it than the number of years you’ve been alive. Factors such as stress, diet, illness, sleep, and a whole host of other aspects, all influence your health, and inevitably how long you’re around for.
It’s All In The DNA
The basic idea behind aging clocks is that, because the DNA contains the entirety of person’s genetic information, it can be used to analyse, track, and predict age. It can also be used to detect external factors that damage or alter cells and DNA and contribute to aging.
With the help of AI, predictions can then be made about potential outcomes, as well as the factors leading to them, and perhaps even suggesting possible interventions.
Otherwise, the general aim of the clocks are to act as a sort of speedometer, giving people a much better idea of their ‘biological youth’.
Tracking Time & Age
Generally, aging clocks estimate a person’s biological age based on patterns in certain chemical tags, called methyl groups, layered onto DNA. Known as ‘epigenetic markers’, these patterns change as we age, and with the help of computers and AI, their progress can be accurately mapped and predicted.
Predicting Organ Failure
Though predicting a person’s overall age can be tricky, what aging clocks have proved highly accurate and useful for already, is predicting organ age. When it comes to the health and deterioration of tissue and cells, epigenetic markers and patterns generally tend to be very consistent and predictable. Scientists have successfully applied aging clocks to accurately predict the organ age of both human and animal subjects in wide range of studies and experiments.
A Decade Of Experiment
The first epigenetic aging clock was developed in 2011 by Steve Horvath at the University of California. In 2013 he developed the Horvath clock, which is still amongst the best-known clocks today. Since then, Horvath, and his colleagues, have developed several other aging clocks for specific uses.
Daniel Belsky of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health has developed a different type of clock that involves blood samples.
Working Out The Bugs
Although the idea of aging clocks has been around for some time, practically implementing it, however, has not been an easy task. Only now, with the help of AI, and computers with faster and more powerful processing, are scientists and engineers able to make the idea a viable reality. However, while aging clocks are getting closer by the day, accurately predicting a person’s eventual lifespan is yet to be achieved.
For the time being, the clinical markers supplied by a person’s medical history remains the most reliable means of prediction. Soon though, aging clocks will likely be used to significantly enhance clinical data.
The Tick Tock Don’t Stop
Over time, technology has changed everything for the online casinos in Canada to the way we think about time. Now, tech is steadily being produced that helps predict and protect us from a growing number of risks and hazards in daily life. Though much of what contributes to aging, and death, is unavoidable, technology such as aging clocks could lead to many people living longer, healthier, and happier lives.