A new, highly controversial blood test is soon going to be released and it is already being criticized and labeled unethical.
The blood test, which is going to start selling in United Kingdom will predict how long a person will live.
The test measures the length of the protecting telomeres, those structures found on the tips of chromosomes.
The length of telomeres apparently correlates with how fast a person is aging biologically, and hence researchers want to offer individuals some insight into just how much longer their bodies can hold up.
This highly controversial test is produced by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, and it will be marketed via the company Life Length, which is currently in talks with medical diagnostics companies across Europe.
The test can also estimate the risk to develop a certain disease and various syndromes that are associated with short telomeres, explains Maria Blasco at Life Length.
The test has been criticized by a number of researchers who believe there should be a greater ethical discussion regarding this test.
One of the fears researches have is that life insurance companies will start requiring telomere testing and using it to determine life insurance and health insurance rates.
Telomeres are located at the end of chromosomes. By measuring the length of the telomeres, scientists think they can predict how long you will live.
Another problem is that the test might also stoke peoples' fears of death--and open them up to scams and bad medicine purporting to extend their lives.
When the blood test starts to sale this year it will cost approximately $700.
Is the test really ethical? How reliable is it? What are implications for a person's physical health and how will the result's affect the employer? Are telomeres good indicator of a person's lifespan?
It seems that as the blood test is entering the market there are still many open questions that need to be resolved.