October 5, 2016
(Nature) – An analysis of global demographic data published in Nature suggests that humans have a fixed shelf life, and that the odds of someone beating Calment’s record are low — although some scientists question this interpretation. They say that the data used in the analysis is not unequivocal, and that the paper doesn’t account for future advances in medicine. Human life expectancy has steadily increased since the nineteenth century. Reports of supercentenarians — people such as Calment who live to older than 110 — together with observations of model animals whose lifespans can be extended through genetic or dietary modifications, have prompted some to suggest that there is no upper limit on human lifespan. Others say that the steady increase in life expectancy and maximum human lifespan seen during the last century will eventually stop.
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