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on the agenda

By Mário Sérgio Lorenzetto | 06/15/2022 08:00

There is already a company that has the blood of half the inhabitants of your country stored in its laboratory. More than 20 years ago, they had an ambitious idea: to use this unique nation, a volcanic island close to the arctic, as a gigantic laboratory to reveal the essence of the human being. More than half of the population, around 180,000 volunteers, responded to the company’s call. “deCODE” analyzed everyone’s DNA, revealing thousands of genetic variants linked to common diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s. Very famous in Europe, “deCODE” was nicknamed “The language of God” in the United States.

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10,000 Vikings and British women kidnapped.

Amazingly, all Icelanders are related. And this is not an exaggeration. Some 10,000 people – mostly Viking men from what is now Norway and women kidnapped from the British Isles – came to live on this island in just six decades, after 874 AD. All Icelanders today started their family tree from one of these pioneers. They just mixed with each other. This scarce genetic diversity facilitates the search in the DNA of future diseases.

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The method for dating the death.

One of the latest advances in “deCODE” is a method for dating the death of those who will die within five years. Scientists followed 23,000 Icelanders for 14 years. The new tool was able to classify people in their sixties and seventies according to their proximity to death. In the group they marked as high risk, 88% of the participants died – only 12% were wrong. In those classified as having the lowest risk, the success was gigantic – 99%. It is necessary to recognize that the possibility of dating a person’s death is chilling. But it’s simple. For those who have the courage, just take a flight to London, and from the British capital another, to Reikjavic, the Icelandic capital. Tests are cheap, travel is expensive.

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