A Test For Depression? Plus, Three Other Unexpected Things You’ll Soon Be Able To Test Yourself For.

In a few years, the following scenario could actually happen. If you’ve been feeling down, sleepy, and just generally like the color has been zapped out of the world, you can make an appointment with your doctor and say, “Hey doc, can I get a depression test?” Apparently, researchers in Japan on working on a test that would measure the concentration of phosphoric acid in the blood. It’s different from existing tests because (a) it’s fast and (b) it doesn’t require DNA testing, so could even become a part of regular checkups. Meaning, it could detect it when you’re feeling symptoms or when you’re not sure what’s going on. [Telegraph UK]

Oh, but there are so many fascinating tests like this in the works. After the jump, find out about more things you’ll be able to easily diagnose in just a few years. I feel like I’m in an episode of “The Jetsons.”

  • An electronic cancer detector? Apparently, because cancer cells reproduce so quickly, they produce a “distinct odor undetectable by humans.” But researchers are working on a new gadget—a “super-nose” that’s about the size of a phone—that would be able to smell cancer, even in very early stages. Crazy. [Utne Reader]
  • A bed bug detector you can actually afford?Yesterday, I wrote about bed bugs and explained that one of the most effective ways to see if a hotel room has them is to run a hair dryer along the headboard and head end of the mattresses. Know what would be way easier? The Bed Bug Detective, a handheld device in development that costs $200 but would be able to detect bed bugs with 98% accuracy. Doesn’t make sense for everyone, but for frequent travelers, it sure sounds like a good idea. [Popular Science]
  • A test to determine longevity? This one terrifies me. A British researcher is working on a blood test that can tell you how long your body is set to live—barring some kind of accident or change, of course. The test measures the length of telemeres, which are apparently bits of DNA on the end of chromosomes. The longer they are, the longer you’ve got. The test will cost $700 and you’ll have to make an appointment with a doc to take blood. Oh, and you’ll have to be able to handle the results. Creepy. [ABC News]

What do you think of these new tests? Is there anything you’ll like to see a quick and easy test for in the next few years?

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