An ingenious but slightly ominous 'laser death test' has been developed by scientists that can tell you how long you have left to live.

A simple and painless laser pulse applied to the skin analyses endothelial cell that lines the capillaries, reports the Sunday Times.

Oscillations in these cells are used to determine the a person's time of imminent death as well as testing for diseases such as cancer and dementia.

The research has been conducted by Aneta Stefanovska and Peter McClintock, physics professors from Lancaster University and is funded by government grants.

The laser is applied through a wristwatch-style device and a working version is expected to be in use within three years.

There have been a number of advances in predicting ageing in recent years.

A blood test has already bee developed that can determine how quickly you will age and help stave off diseases associated with older life.

Professor Tim Spector, from King's College London, told the Daily Mail: "Scientists have known for a long time that a person's weight at the time of birth is an important determinant of health in middle and old age, and that people with low birth weight are more susceptible to age related diseases.

"So far the molecular mechanisms that link low birth weight to health or disease in old age had remained elusive, but this discovery has revealed one of the molecular pathways involved."

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