New York based digital health start up Titanovo has launched a new Indiegogo campaign to allow quantified selfers to understand how healthy their body’s cells are by analyzing the length of the telomeres.
Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect the chromosome and play an important role in determining how our cells age and thus how we age as individuals. Genetics play a role in the length of our telomeres but as we age they naturally shorten over the course a lifetime, and it is these shortened versions that are linked to many age-related diseases.
In short, the longer the telomeres the better chance you stand of living a long and healthy life.
Titanovo say on their Indiegogo page that they have developed the first telomere testing kit which is saliva based and direct to consumer. A product like this would be appealing to a range of audiences including health enthusiasts, quantified selfers, biohackers and potentially the medical industry.
It looks like Titanovo is taking a similar approach to personal genomics company, 23andMe, and Indiegogo success story, Ubiome, by intending to collect their user data to find health-related correlations in the telomere data set.
“Telomere Testing Kit will be delivered with a brief survey used to compare your telomere length with others who have taken our test. Thus, the more people that take our test, the more valuable the data will be for researchers and participants.”
As of writing, the campaign has raised 20 percent of its $20,000 target with 34 days remaining and looks likely to not only surpass it but hit some of the more ambitious stretch goals that have been set.
After all, who wouldn’t want to understand how healthy their telomeres are? Or better yet, how to elongate them.