Recent Blog Articles
Is blood sugar monitoring without diabetes worthwhile?
Large review study finds low risk of erectile dysfunction after prostate biopsy
Does exercise help protect against severe COVID-19?
A new Alzheimer’s drug has been approved. But should you take it?
Need physical therapy? 3 key questions your PT will ask
COVID-19 vaccines: Safe and effective for American Indian and Alaskan Native communities
Should we track all breakthrough cases of COVID-19?
Period equity: What is it, why does it matter?
Common questions about medical cannabis
Mouth-watering summer fruits and vegetables to fill your plate
Can this DNA test help predict your longevity?
Telomeres — made of your DNA — are biomarkers of aging.
Image: © Dr_Microbe/Getty Images
There's no crystal ball in medicine that can predict how fast you're aging or how long you'll live. But the latest trend in private screening tests claims to provide a tantalizing clue. The tests offer a snapshot of the length of your telomeres — the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes in your cells.
"The concept is very attractive. There's this visual idea of something acting like a clock counting down to the end, and that's why it's powerful. The problem is that just because it's appealing it doesn't mean it's true," says Dr. William Hahn, a Harvard Medical School professor and chief research strategy officer at Harvard-affiliated Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.