What plastic surgery can't hide: How saliva can reveal your true age
August 24, 2011
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, say that a new test can analyze spit to determine someone's true age.
While many anti-aging techniques and cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections and facelifts can make it difficult to assess age accurately, researchers say a new test will be able to pinpoint a person's age within five years.
According to HealthDay, the saliva test focuses on a process called methylation, a chemical modification of one of the four building blocks that make up DNA. Basically, it identifies the level of decay of the DNA to approximate how old you are.
While the test won't likely be used to tell whether or not a person is "faking" his or her age often, it does have practical uses.
Experts say it will be used to evaluate a patient's risk of age-related diseases.
"Doctors could predict your medical risk for a particular disease and customize treatment based on your DNA's true biological age, as opposed to how old you are," lead researcher Dr. Eric Vilain said. "By eliminating costly and unnecessary tests, we could target those patients who really need them."
The saliva test could also be used by law enforcement. DNA samples found on a cigarette butt or coffee cup at a crime scene may now be able to help authorities determine the age of potential suspect.
Therefore, the saliva test will most likely be used in the interest of staying healthy and for identification, not in determining whether a person has had any cosmetic work done.
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