The final countdown

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Science  04 Dec 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6265, pp. 1188-1190
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6265.1188

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The allure of an objective test for human aging is powerful. Such a test could, for example, aid the search for antiaging drugs and help doctors plan treatments for older patients. After decades of failed efforts to identify "biomarkers" in blood and different tissues that correspond to the aging process, however, scientists still don't agree on whether "biological age" can be measured, or even what it means. Recent advances in the molecular biology of aging have yielded a host of candidates. All rely on molecular changes linked to aging, but must still overcome confounding factors such as individual variation and disease, which may speed or slow aging.