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May 18th, 2011
06:00 PM ET

Would you want to know how long you will live?

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(PHOTO CREDIT: THINKSTOCK)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, the only certain things in life are death and taxes. Of course, one has always been a little easier to calculate than the other… until now perhaps.

A Spanish company has developed a blood test that it claims can give you a pretty good idea of how long you'll live.

The test, called Life Length, can allegedly convert your life expectancy to numbers, and will reportedly be available in Britain later this year according to the UK paper The Independent.

The simple blood test measures something on your chromosomes called telomeres which scientists say can help determine your biological age rather than chronological age. The shorter the telomeres are, the closer you are to death.

Researchers say the test can provide valuable information including a person's risk of illnesses such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer.

Some scientists and medical ethicists have raised concerns that people who take the test will take on a fatalistic attitude and stray from healthy practices like eating right, exercising and quitting smoking. Critics also worry the information could be used by insurance companies as well as companies that could make and market fake anti-aging drugs and treatments.

But you can bet people will line up for the Life Length test as soon as it comes out. It will be sold over-the-counter in Britain for the equivalent of $700 U.S. dollars

Here’s my question to you: Would you want to know how long you will live?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Longevity • On Jack's radar
May 18th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

Should tenure for teachers be done away with?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Teacher tenure, the union-backed safety net that protects teachers from being fired after a certain number of years of service, is coming under fire in states from New York to Tennessee and Illinois.

Tenure provides experienced teachers job security in a tight labor market, at a time when cash-strapped states and municipalities are trying to make cuts everywhere they possibly can. Critics say the policy can harm students more than it protects teachers because new teachers with fresh ideas often lose their jobs while older teachers - some of whom are just going through the motions until their pensions kick in - can't be touched.

That's because when a district announces layoffs, the "last in, first out" union rule generally takes over. That often means the least-experienced teachers with fewer years of service must lose their jobs before older, more senior teachers do, no matter how well they do their job, or how well their students perform.

But change is coming. States such as Arizona, Georgia, Colorado and Utah have passed bills to end "last-in, first-out" layoff policies in the past year. Now a handful of other states are trying to make changes to tenure, too. But supporters are up in arms and say tenure is an important policy that attracts talent to a profession that offers relatively low starting pay.

Here’s my question to you: Should tenure for teachers be done away with?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Education