It’s also harder to eat well and get enough exercise when you’re balancing a full-time job with parenting. As I was adoringly brushing my four-year-old’s hair the other day, she commented: “Mummy, you’ve got loads of lines on your face.” Thanks, sweetie.
My test result arrived a few weeks ago. Apparently, my biological age is 35—the same as my chronological age when I took the test. In theory, this means that I’m aging at a typical rate—no better or worse than the other 35-year-olds we have data for, on average. I couldn’t help feeling a bit annoyed. Yes, I have two small children and am chronically sleep deprived, but I also eat a largely plant-based diet and do yoga three times a week. Surely that should put me at least a little above average?
I’m clinging on to the fact that there’s only so much any of us can take away from a biological clock score, no matter how alluring it might be. Despite lots of promising studies, we still don’t really know how accurate these tools are, or how much they can tell us about our health and longevity. Plenty of scientists are trying to figure this out, and working to develop clocks that better reflect what’s going on inside our bodies.
“It [comes across as] a one true number for your health, and people really want that,” says Martin Borch Jensen, chief science officer at Gordian Biotechnology, a company that aims to discover new treatments for age-related diseases. “We need to keep doing the work to find out if we actually have that or if it’s just a mirage.”
I covered aging clocks in more detail in this piece, published in April. And Karen Weintraub has explored how insurance companies and hospitals might make use of them.
At the end of September, I attended a super-fancy longevity conference for the mega-rich in the Swiss Alps—and discovered a fascinating world of hope, hype, and self-experimentation.
Both Morgan Levine and Steve Horvath have now joined Altos Labs, a company exploring ways to rejuvenate cells that my colleague Antonio Regalado described as “Silicon Valley’s latest wild bet on living forever.”
Antonio covered the technology, known as cellular reprogramming, in more detail in this recent feature.
There are loads of fantastic stories about aging, life, and death in the latest issue of our magazine, which is all about mortality.
From around the web
Lab-grown meat has been given its first stamp of approval by the US Food and Drug Administration. Upside Foods should soon be able to start selling cultivated chicken in the US, once a couple more small regulatory hurdles are cleared. (Wired)
We don’t really know what’s in tampons—and how chemicals from them might affect our bodies. (Undark)
Video footage reveals just how stringent China’s zero-covid policy is, as evidence surfaces of children being locked into boarding schools and others being denied medical care. (New York Times)
Flu season started early this year in the US, and we don’t really know why. (Scientific American)
A new tick-borne disease is killing cattle in the US—and the tick responsible is predicted to spread across the country in the coming years. (MIT Technology Review)