LOS ANGELES (WCCO) — Researchers have discovered a way to predict a person’s age through their saliva. That may not sound very necessary but the test could be used to zero in on a criminal suspect.

The scientists at the University of California in Los Angeles discovered the new way to estimate a person’s age with their spit.

“What we’re able to do is actually predict the age of a person within about five years of error with just a sample, without knowing the person,” said Dr. Eric Vilain with the UCLA Medical Center.

Researchers spent three years looking at saliva samples from 128 people. They found chemical changes to the DNA in saliva can accurately tell how old a person is.

Scientists hope crime scene investigators will one day put these findings to good use. Traces of saliva left behind on something like a coffee cup could help narrow the age of a suspect.

“One could imagine if there was a saliva sample left behind at a crime scene,” said Dr. Shawn McCandless with University Hospitals Case Medical Center. “Tools like this could be used to help investigators.”

Experts also hope to use this research to one day calculate a person’s DNA age. It would help doctors determine if a patient’s body is aging faster or slower.

“These are the potential targets for treating the aging process,” said McCandless.

Scientists are now testing hair and blood samples to see if they get the same results.

Researchers say saliva can also be used to test your stress. Spit tests can show abnormally low levels of a stress hormone, a clear sign that burnout may be close.


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