We’ve come a long way as a species. We’re cured diseases (maybe even HIV!), learned how to keep ourselves healthy (even when we’re on vacay) during our short time on Earth and have even increased our own life expectancies, dramatically so.
Yet despite any big ideas you may have gotten from sci-fi films like Vanilla Sky, which suggest a future of “life extension” (albeit a trippy one, to be sure!), a new study published by Nature is suggesting that there IS a limit to our mortality as a species, and, welp, we just may have hit it.
The study sees geneticists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine analyzing aging trends over four countries: the US, the UK, France and Japan.
Drawing largely upon the fact that the age of the world’s oldest person (one Jeanne Calmet, who lived to be 122!) has not changed since 1997, the researchers concluded in their report that scientific health improvements alone would not be enough to overcome “genetic variants” in coming years. In short? Humans weren’t meant to live that long (read: 125 years plus), and unless we find a way to alter our genetic makeup, they don’t see it happening.
As depressing as the thought may be, this school of thought is not without its doubters, like professor dame Linda Patridge. She told CNN that, taking into account the growth we’ve experienced in the last 100 years alone, we can’t rule out an increased expectancy in the future. “We can’t really project [the lifespan] of babies that are being born right now.”
Others, like Biogerontology Research Foundation director Alex Zhavoronkov, agree that the Einstein researchers have some valid points and stats to back them up, but says that the possibility to actually do what they imply, which would be to alter our own genetic makeup, is not outside the realm of possibility. “There is every reason to believe that with more serious interventions into the biology of aging, we can live substantially longer.”
While we can’t say we’re entirely sold on either one stance, we CAN say that for now, we’re going to continue to focus on doing what we can to stick around for the maximum period time allows us and enjoying it, to boot!
Do you think humans will one day live beyond the age of 125? Share @BritandCo!
(h/t CNN, photos via Getty)