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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

How long will you live? Potentially, it's forever
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

How long will you live? Potentially, it's forever image

How long can you hope to live? Current estimates reckon a lucky few of us could live until we're 115, but new research suggests there is no discernible upper limit. In other words, you could live forever—in theory, at least.

Researchers from McGill University have analysed the lifespans of the oldest people in the US, the UK, France and Japan for each year since 1968, and say that nobody knows how long a human might live.

And if there is an age beyond which no human can live, nobody has reached it yet, they say. "We just don't know what the age limit might be. In fact, by extending trend lines, we can show that maximum and average lifespans could continue to increase far into the foreseeable future," said Siegfried Hekimi, one of the researchers.

But it's anybody's guess what that might be. Certainly, life expectancy has been increasing with every generation, and current estimates of the upper limits of human longevity stand at around 115 years. Last April, Emma Morano passed away at the age of 117, while French woman Jeanne Calment died when she was 122 in 1997.


References

(Source: Nature, 2017; 546 (7660): E8; doi: 10.1038/nature22786)

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