2022

"Real age versus biological age: the startups revealing how old we really are"


The Guardian interviewed Dr. Steven Horvath about the concept of “biological age” and the possibilities of new life-lengthening interventions.

Timelapse comparison of aging woman

At the end of last year, Jay Chan, a 30-year-old marine engineer, bought his mother a biological age test from Elysium, a New York-based biotech and health supplements start-up founded in 2014. The test was simple – it required only a saliva sample – and it helped that it was being offered for half off the usual $499 (£400) price.

For fans of the self-described “longevity movement” like Chan, the concept of biological age is liberating. Rather than simply measure the passage of time, biological age aims to quantify the ageing of our body’s functions and even predict mortality. Many scientists and longevity advocates believe this information can not only help us understand our own ageing process, but can give us the power to change it.

Chan felt his mother, Ivy, who is 59 years old, would benefit from knowing her biological age because she was anxious about getting older. “She always talked about entering her 60s and how it’s a big step, and this is the start of fading away,” Chan told me. But with her youthful looks, she still felt healthy. “She looks like a 40-year-old!” he said.

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Faculty Referenced by this Article

Dr. Weng Kee Wong
Weng Kee Wong
Biostatistics
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Dr. Christina Ramirez
Christina Ramirez
Biostatistics
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Sean Darling-Hammond
Sean Darling-Hammond
Biostatistics Community Health Sciences
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Dr. Robert Erin Weiss
Robert Erin Weiss
Biostatistics
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Catherine M. Crespi headshot
Catherine M. Crespi
Biostatistics
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Thomas Belin
Thomas R. Belin
Biostatistics
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Honghu Liu
Biostatistics
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Dr. Donatello Telesca
Donatello Telesca
Biostatistics
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Martin L. Lee
Martin L. Lee
Biostatistics
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Dr. Gang Li
Gang Li
Biostatistics
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Li, Jingyi Jessica
Jingyi Jessica Li
Biostatistics
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Dr. Michele Guindani
Michele Guindani
Biostatistics
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David Elashoff
Biostatistics
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Dr. Hilary Aralis
Hilary Aralis
Biostatistics
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Abdelmonem Afifi
Abdelmonem A. Afifi
Biostatistics
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Dr. Dorota Dabrowska
Dorota M. Dabrowska
Biostatistics
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Hyun J. Grace Kim
Biostatistics
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Xiaowu Dai headshot
Xiaowu Dai
Biostatistics
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Dr. Zhe Fei
Zhe Fei
Biostatistics
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Ron Brookmeyer
Ron Brookmeyer
Biostatistics
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Catherine Ann Sugar
Catherine Ann Sugar
Biostatistics
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Damla Senturk
Biostatistics
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Andrew Holbrook
Andrew Holbrook
Biostatistics
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Dr. Marc Suchard
Marc Suchard
Biostatistics
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Brunilda Balliu headshot
Brunilda Balliu
Biostatistics
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Hua Zhou
Hua Zhou
Biostatistics
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Sudipto Banerjee
Sudipto Banerjee
Biostatistics
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David Gjertson
Biostatistics
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Jason H. Moore, Ph.D.
Jason H. Moore

Automated and accessible artificial intelligence methods and software for biomedical data science.

Biostatistics
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William G. Cumberland
Biostatistics
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Dr. Jin Zhou
Jin Zhou
Biostatistics
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