How long will humans live in the future? Modern medicine redefines the boundaries of age and could soon allow humans to go beyond the limit of 120 years!
Until now, it was believed that the lifespan of humans had a given threshold, but scientists who participated in a recent conference at Oxford University refuted this theory.
Paul Hodge, the head of the Harvard Generations Policy Program, stressed that governments around the world who are facing the crisis concerning the retirement of the aging workforce and increased health care costs should prepare to handle this challenge.
So, how long will humans live in the future and how quickly will our life expectancy increase?
These issues are still open to debate, but the direction and acceleration of this tendency are clear.
Richard Miller of the Medical Faculty of the University of Michigan says that experiments on mice – genetically similar organisms to humans – showed that lifespan could be extended by 40% if people simply limited their calorie intake. This could mean that the average lifespan in rich countries could be increased from 80 to 112 years.
Aubrey de Grey, a gerontologist at the University of Cambridge, sees even farther. He believes that the first man who will live until the age of 1000 has already been born.
As argued at the Oxford conference, periodic “corrections” in the human body with stem cells, gene therapies, and other methods could stop the whole process of aging.
De Grey believes that if the results of each “correction” last for 30 to 40 years, the scientific accomplishments till the next “corrective” appointment will lead to the indefinite postponement of death.
The revolutionary ideas of De Grey were rejected by other scientists of the kind, such as Tom Kirkwood, director of the Center on Aging and Nutrition, University of Newcastle.
Kirkwood argues that the process of human aging is inherently malleable and life expectancy is not completely stable, but researchers have not yet managed to understand how it works. The real goal is not only to live longer but to stay healthy for more years.
Jay Olshansky from the University of Illinois at Chicago is convinced that longevity and health are connected to each other, thus, the aging delay will lead to diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s, and heart disease.
However, the full understanding of the biology of aging will require major investments by governments in projects and experiments.
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