The limits to human lifespan

a-limit-to-human-lifespanFor the past decades, scientist have been extending human life by treating diseases, improving people health… Today life expectancy is between 65 and 85 years old in our modern society.

It represents a raise of 30 years during the past century, but a limit has been shown by recent studies. Indeed scientists carried out a study in several countries with a large number of people over 110 years old. They made an average age at death for this group and they found out that this average had not increased since 1968[1]. It shows indeed that there is a limit of our lifespan expansion, a biological limit which we have to understand if we hope to break it one day.



Some solutions for extanding human lifespan?

a-limit-to-human-lifespan-some-solutions-for-extanding-our-lifespanThe expansion of life is today due to the improvement of public health, by fighting cancer, juvenile disease (which increase the age average of death) but not by studying the aging phenomenon. Scientists explain this biological clock by comparing different species : a mouse lives 1 000 days, a dog 5 000 days and a human 29 000 days. These differences are biological, and understanding them is a way to extend our lifespan.

So extending life over 110 years old will require new form science, and knowing how much time we could gain through medical technology is interesting but for the moment answerless question. However some causes of biological aging have already been found like telomere shortening or depletion of NAD+ which are intracellular causes of aging. These causes could permit science to repel the age of death further than 110 years if we are able to act on these causes.



[1] Xiao Dong, Brandon Milholland, and Jan Vijg, “Evidence for a Limit to Human Lifespan,” Nature 538, no. 7624 (October 13, 2016): 257–59, doi:10.1038/nature19793.

Dr Guilhem Velvé Casquillas



Researcher in Physics and Cell Biology, CEO of ELVESYS Microfluidic Innovation Center

More about the Long Long Life team

Chercheur en physique et en biologie cellulaire, PDG d’ELVESYS Microfluidic Innovation Center.

En savoir plus sur l’équipe de Long Long Life