Test del DNA e aspettative di vita

Test del DNA e aspettative di vita

In questi giorni ho letto un paio di notizie veramente terrificanti e che sotto un certo aspetto collego fra loro.

Negli Stati Uniti, a New York, un giudice, donna, ha tolto l’affidamento dei 2 figli ad una mamma affetta da tumore alla mammella. Il motivo? Secondo lei una mamma con queste problematiche non è in grado di crescere i suoi figli, inoltre causa rischio di minima aspettativa di vita, è meglio, sempre secondo il giudice, che i bambini vivano già con il papà. Ovviamente c’è stata insurrezione popolare. E io mi associo. Stiamo scherzando? Una mamma malata è pur sempre una mamma in grado di educare, crescere e coccolare i propri figli. Inoltre grazie alle cure, dai tumori si può guarire. Chi può sapere esattamente quanto si può vivere?

E qui mi collego alla seconda notizia riportata dal quotidiano inglese The Independent: “La data di morte sembra non essere più un mistero”. A breve infatti, un semplice esame del sangue potrà stabilire la nostra velocità di invecchiamento e stimare quanti anni ci restano da vivere. Il test del Dna verrà messo in vendita fra qualche mese in Inghilterra al costo di circa 500 euro.
Chiaramente non è in grado di predire esattamente mese ,anno di morte e la causa ma è in grado di elaborare una stima relativamente precisa di quanto velocemente si sta invecchiando e quanto tempo ancora ci rimane da vivere.
Il test infatti misura le strutture vitali dei telomeri, le regioni terminali dei cromosomi, che pare abbiano un legame con l’invecchiamento. A seconda della loro lunghezza si potrà dunque verificare la reale età biologica e confrontarla con quella anagrafica. Più è piccolo il telomero e più è vicina la nostra ultima ora..

Il primo dubbio è se questo test effettivamente funzioni e sia attendibile, perché ovviamente la certezza, a oggi, non c’è. La seconda considerazione riguarda le possibili conseguenze.

Come si potrebbero comportare le persone a cui, tramite l’analisi del DNA, venisse prevista un’aspettativa di vita molto breve? Potrebbe essere psicologicamente devastante e potrebbe anche produrre conseguenze sociali rilevanti.

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