How Old Are You, Really? New Tests Want to Tell You

Trevor Monteiro
Mar 3, 2023
Updated • Mar 3, 2023

You know when you ask someone’s age, and they tell you a number based on the date they were born? That’s how peasants do it, and the new startup Tally Health claims it found a better way. 

How Old Are You, Really? New Tests Want to Tell You

What’s more, according to this company, age is just a number you might be able to change (I confirm it’s possible, you just need some friends at your local driver's license authority). It’s all thanks to DNA testing. With just a blood or urine sample, you can get tested about your “real” age, that is, your biological one, which might differ from the years since you were born. Even a cheek swab might be enough.

Using DNA tests for various consumer purposes has been established for a while now, including services like Ancestry that allow you to find your ancestors, or at least where they came from. Heck, you can even use DNA to identify the breed of your dog nowadays.

You Have Two Ages, and Now You Can Know Both of Them

Biological age has its own rhythm, and it’s the speed at which cells, tissues, and organs seem to decline. Based on health and lifestyle choices, it can vary greatly from person to person. 

Tally Health is just one example. There are about a dozen companies at it. David Sinclair, Harvard biologist and Tally Health’s cofounder likes comparing it to a credit score for your health. You send your sample via mail and they send you back your biological age. 

It doesn’t end there. Sinclair claims they want to help people that get a “good” credit score, that is, those younger than the chronological age remain that way. The same goes for bad results, with the company claiming they want to help you get back on track to reducing your biological age.

What contributes to older biological age, you might wonder? Both genetics and lifestyle have a huge influence, but epigenetics too. You see, certain bad habits might contribute to how your genes work, and that’s called “epigenetics”. Unlike information stored in your DNA, these changes can be reverted.

When it comes to lifestyle, drinking alcohol, diet, exercise, smoking, stress, and even pollution can cause epigenetic changes. According to Sinclair, these factors are more important than genetics when determining someone’s “real” biological age. He proudly mentions that his chronological age is 53 but the test claims he’s 43. 

Sinclair is no stranger to controversy. He gained a lot of attention because of his promotion of resveratrol. This compound is found in red grapes, and he claims it’s a miracle molecule when it comes to antiaging. In other research, it was found that the compound offered mixed results in animal models.

That didn’t deter Sinclair from taking resveratrol supplements daily, and he even keeps researching this compound at Harvard. He’s a well-known personality in the field of antiaging, having written several books and founded other companies.

Melanie Goldey, Tally Health’s CEO explains that the company’s ultimate goal is to “change the way we age”. She’s no Sinclair, however, with her biological age being just six months less than her chronological one.

True to its end goal, the company sends you an action plan with lifestyle recommendations such as getting more sleep, eating habits, and other rather obvious things that would benefit anyone. You can get a test for $229 or a membership with tests every three months so you can check your progress.

This is the best deal according to Goldey, because it allows you to check whether your changes worked or not, and make necessary adjustments with the new results. Memberships have different tiers and range from $129 to $199 a month. 

This sounds very nice, but how exactly do they do it? The company checks DNA methylation patterns. These are chemical tags on your DNA, which affect your genes’ activity. DNA methylation has been established as critically related to aging since the 1970s. 

However, only in 2013 the first epigenetic “clock” was published by Horvath, a UCLA geneticist and biostatistician. This is a predictive test that is supported by data from thousands of samples of 51 healthy tissues and cell types. Using them, it measures the DNA methylation patterns related to aging and calculates your age algorithmically.

There have been several epigenetic clocks since then, offering various modifications based on new research, which ultimately led to Tally Health’s proposal. In this case, they measure your DNA methylation patterns by comparing them from 8,000 people they have samples of. 

Even if you don’t care about your biological age, the proposed lifestyle changes are a good way to keep healthy, even though there are some doubts about certain habits. One of them is adopting a reduced-calorie diet.

You Have Two Ages, and Now You Can Know Both of Them

In a study by Columbia University’s Daniel Belsky, associate professor of epidemiology, it was tested whether the aforementioned diet influenced people’s age. The researchers used three different epigenetic clocks to assess the results. Two of them showed this diet did not influence age, while the third one concluded it had a minor improvement over biological age.

The anti-aging industry is currently booming, with more companies than ever offering tests and researching for the ultimate solution, that is, reversing your age chemically. Charles Dupras, a bioethicist at the University of Montreal, claims for caution.

He considers that the healthy habits encouraged by these companies are a source of inspiration for anyone wanting to improve their physical state, but you should be wary of grandiose claims. Besides, in a twisted irony, the tests aren’t old enough yet to know if they helped people, according to him.

Be as it may, a lot of people simply take things for granted. This includes age, social status, your role in life, and many other things. If anything, these tests can help you question what you think it’s true, and that alone can change your life. And who knows, you may be getting younger in the process, too.


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  1. Seeprime said on September 8, 2023 at 4:12 pm

    Missing from the “story”: Ukraine’s agreement to never use Starlink for military purposes. This is why.

    Ghacks quality is AI driven and very poor these days since AI is really artificial stupidity.

    1. Karl said on September 12, 2023 at 9:10 pm

      “Elon Musk biographer Walter Isaacson forced to ‘clarify’ book’s account of Starlink incident in Ukraine War

      “To clarify on the Starlink issue: the Ukrainians THOUGHT coverage was enabled all the way to Crimea, but it was not. They asked Musk to enable it for their drone sub attack on the Russian fleet. Musk did not enable it, because he thought, probably correctly, that would cause a major war.”

      1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:58 pm

        I posted above comment to:

        Not to the following article about Geforce where I currently also can see it published:

  2. Anonymous said on September 11, 2023 at 10:09 pm

    Well, using Brave, I can see Llama 2 being decent, but it is still not great?
    All these AI stuff seems more like a ‘toy’ than anything special, I mean, it is good for some stuff like translations or asking quick questions but not for asking anything important.

    The problem is Brave made it mostly for summarizing websites and all that, but all these Big tech controlled stuff, won’t summarize articles it doesn’t agree with, so it is also useless in many situations where you just want it to give you a quick summarization, and then it starts throwing you little ‘speeches’ about how it doesn’t agree with it and then it never summarizes anything, but give you all the 30 paragraphs reasons why the article is wrong, like if I am asking it what it thinks.

    SO all this AI is mostly a toy, but Facebook with all the power they have will be able to get so much data from people, it can ‘train’ or better say, write algorithms that will get better with time.

    But It is not intelligence, it is really not intelligence all these AI technology.

  3. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 2:11 pm

    Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
    Article URL: []

    The eternal problematic of regulating, here applied to AI. Should regulations (interventionism) have interfered in the course of mankind ever since Adam and Eve where would we be now? Should spirituality, morality, ethics never have interfered where would we be now? I truly have always believed that the only possible consensus between ethics and freedom is that of individuals’ own consciousness.

    Off-topic : Musk’s beard looks like a wound, AI-Human hand-shake is a quite nice pic :)

    1. Karl said on September 14, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Haha, oh dear, Tom.
      I thought that the comments system issue where comments shows up under a totally different article was fixed. But seeing your comment here, the “error” is clearly still active. Hopefully it is sorted as soon as possible.

      1. Tom Hawack said on September 14, 2023 at 6:40 pm

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        Hi Karl :) Well, let’s remain positive and see the good sides : one’s comment appearing within different articles (the one it was written form and for, another unrelated one) brings ubiquity to that comment : say it once and it’s published twice, double your pleasure and double your fun (“with double-mint, double-mint gum” and old ad!). Let’s forget the complications and inherited misunderstandings it leads to. Not sure the fun is worth the complications though. Which is why, with a few others here, I include Article Title & URL with comment, to ease a bit the pain.

        This said, I’m trying to find a logic key which would explain the mic-mac. One thing is sure : comments appearing twice keep the same comment number.

        For instance my comment to which you replied just above is originally :


        It then got duplicated to :


        Same comment number, which let’s me imagine comments are defined by their number as before but now dissociated in a way from their full path : that’s where something is broken, as i see it.

        First amused me, then bothered, annoyed (I took some holidays to lower the pressure), then triggered curiosity.
        I’m putting our best detectives on the affair, stay tuned.

      2. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 8:58 am

        Hehe, yes indeed, staying positive is what we should do. Good comes for those who wait, as the old saying goes. Hopefully true for this as well.

        Interesting that the comments number stays the same, I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.

        Not useful for us, but hopefully for the developers (if there are any?), that perhaps will be able to sort this comments error out. Or our detectives, I hope they work hard on this as we speak ;).

        Cheers and have a great weekend!

      3. Karl said on September 16, 2023 at 9:18 am

        Whoops, my bad. I just now realized that the error I saw in your example URL (error-code-0x0003) was part of the linked article title and generated by Geforce! Oh dear! Why did I try to make it more confusing than it already is lol!

        Original comment:


      4. Tom Hawack said on September 16, 2023 at 9:20 am

        Article Title: Tech leaders meet to discuss regulation of AI
        Article URL: []

        @Karl, you write,

        “I noted that one thing is added to the duplicated comment in the URL, an error code, the following: “error-code-0x0003”.”

        I haven’t noticed that up to now but indeed brings an element to those who are actually trying to resolve the issue.
        I do hope that Softonic engineers are working on fixing this issue, which may be more complicated than we can imagine. Anything to do with databases can become a nightmare, especially when the database remains accessed while being repaired, so to say.

        P.S. My comment about remaining positive was, in this context, sarcastic. Your literal interpretation could mean you are, factually, more inclined to positiveness than I am myself : maybe a lesson of life for me :)

        Have a nice, happy, sunny weekend as well :)

      5. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm

        Correct: AI is certainly overhyped, it’s also advertised by some shady individuals. It’s can also be misused to write poor quality articles or fake your homework.

        16 September 2023, this website is still experiencing issues with posts erroneously appearing in the wrong threads. There are even duplicates of the exact same post ID within the same page in some places.

      6. 💾 said on September 16, 2023 at 8:41 pm

        Clerical error “[It] can also be misused …” you just can’t get the staff nowadays.

        Obviously [#comment-4573795] was originally posted within [/2023/09/14/artificial-intelligence-regulation-tech-leaders/]. However, it has appeared misplaced within several threads.

        Including the following:

  4. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    “How much radiation is dangerous?
    Ionizing radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, is more energetic and potentially harmful. Exposure to doses greater than 1,000 millisieverts (mSv) in a short period can increase the risk of immediate health effects.
    Above about 100 mSv, the risk of long-term health effects, such as cancer, increases with the dose.”

    This ban is about NON-ionizing radiation limits, because there is too much radio wave power from the iphone. This has nothing to do with the much more dangerous ionizing radiations like X-rays, that are obviously not emitted at all by mobile phones. I invite you to correct your article.

  5. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    “ makes history as the first official UFO website”

    I wonder if it’s just smelly crowdsourcing for the spotting of chinese balloons or whatever paranoia they’re trying to instigate, or if they are also intentionally trying to look stupid enough to look for alien spaceships, for whatever reason. Maybe trying to look cute, instead of among the worst butchers of history ?

  6. Anonymous said on September 17, 2023 at 9:12 pm

    “The tech titan’s defense”
    “Whether he provides a clear explanation or justifies his actions”
    “the moral compass”

    You take it for granted that this company should agree being a military communications provider on a war zone, and so directly so that his network would be used to control armed drones charged with explosives rushing to their targets.

    You don’t need to repeat here everything you read in the mainstream press without thinking twice about it. You’re not just pointing interestingly that his company is more involved in the war that one may think at first and that this power is worrying, you’re also declaring your own support for a side in an imperialist killfest, blaming him for not participating enough in the bloodshed.

    Now your article is unclear on how this company could be aware that its network is used for such military actions at a given time, which has implications of its own.

    Reading other sources on that quickly, it seems that the company was: explicitly asked ; to extend its network geographically ; for a military attack ; at a time when there was no war but with the purpose of triggering it, if I understood well. You have to be joking if you’re crying about that not happening at that time. But today you have your war, be happy.

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