Gene Discovered That Predicts Time of Death (But Do We Really Want to Know?)

alarm clock Early to bed, early to rise, early to ... die?! Well, maybe. While conducting research on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's patients over the age of 65, scientists made a sort of accidental discovery: Subjects who tended to be "early-risers" also tended to die just before 11 a.m.; "late-risers," on the other hand, tended to die just before 6 p.m. Coincidence? Nope. Apparently the same gene responsible for making people either early birds or night owls can also predict time of death. Um, creepy much?!

I guess this shouldn't come as any big surprise. As the lead researcher puts it, "The internal 'biological clock' regulates many aspects of human biology and behavior." But in this case, at least, is our clock telling us more than we need to know?


It's just that, collectively speaking, we're all a big bunch of control freaks these days. And of course a bit of control freakiness is okay, but when you combine our current state of control freakiness with our current, skyrocketing stress levels and rampant anxiety disorders and obsessive compulsive issues, I just don't know if we need any more fuel for the control freaky fire. It's one thing to plan your wedding to the Nth degree, but your death? That can't be healthy. At some point we're all gonna have to learn how to let go, right? 

(I'm pretty sure, traditionally, that "some point" is death.)

I mean, it's great that the researchers think their findings will "determine when patients should be monitored most closely and when they should take medication." So I'm not saying there's nothing useful about this new info. I'm just saying maybe hold off on making any exact calculations, you know?

Do you want to know what time of day you're going to die?


Image via Howard Dickins/Flickr

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