New Blood Test Measures True Age of One’s Body

November 14, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. characterize / ˈkær ɪk təˌraɪz / (v.) – to describe or illustrate
Example: Her sickness is characterized by abnormally high body temperature.

2. cognition / kɒgˈnɪʃ ən / (n.) – mental activities related to knowledge, comprehension, and memory
Example: Experts are trying to find ways to improve a person’s cognition.

3. longevity / lɒnˈdʒɛv ɪ ti / (n.) – the length of time that a person lives
Example: Having a healthy lifestyle can improve one’s longevity.

4. interactive / ˌɪn tərˈæk tɪv / (adj.) – describing anything that requires people to communicate and do something together
Example: Kids usually enjoy interactive games online.

5. demographics / ˌdɛməˈgræfɪks /  (n.) – the characteristics of a particular group of people, like their age, sex, etc.
Example: The survey asks for the participants’ demographics.


Read the text below.
Scientists have developed a blood test that can measure how one’s body is aging.

In developing the test, a team of scientists from King's College London collaborated with scientists from Duke University in the United States and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden. The scientists analyzed the genes of healthy 65-year-olds and found 150 genes that can measure a person’s healthy age gene score, which depends on how well those genes work. They then used the same method in a group of 70-year-old participants to compare the results. 

Results of the study revealed that a higher gene score implies that a person is aging well, which is characterized by a lower risk of developing diseases. Also, a person with a higher gene score has better health and cognition. This was proven true because participants with Alzheimer's disease were found to have lower gene scores. The study also revealed that the healthy age gene score is not associated with lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

This blood test can be useful when it comes to identifying one’s longevity and his or her risk of developing cognitive diseases. Once further developed, this study may play a major role in identifying treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

Aside from this blood test, a group of medical experts from Canada also developed an interactive test that can measure one’s life expectancy. The test computes a person’s life expectancy by getting information about his or her demographics, health behaviors, existing health condition, physical activity, and stress levels.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you like to know your own life expectancy? Why or why not?
·         Do you think scientists should further research on how to know a person’s longevity? Why?

Discussion B

·         How can people ensure a long life?
·         What factors do you think negatively affect one’s longevity?

November 14, 2015