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Life Spans Beyond 100 Years Getting Closer
Living to 150 years old or more may not only become possible, but could be in your lifetime
Nicholas Mercader (nicholas)     Print Article 
Published 2006-03-18 17:45 (KST)   
Peoples' natural life spans are getting longer and longer. But that's not even the good news yet, as things are about to get even better.

Better healthcare, access to medical facilities, better technology and many other factors have converged to provide people with an unprecedented chance to handle's life's limitations.

Like technology -- and perhaps with its help -- modern medicine is pushing the boundaries of old age farther and farther into the horizon, and may soon enable people to live up to 150 years of age, and maybe even beyond.

And that's only for starters.

The aging processes of animals, and -- due to research attention -- especially that of humans, are essentially pliable, and researchers had only scratched the surface in realizing its potential. Research and advances in medical technology and bioscience follows the same principles governing the rapid advance of technology. Technology begets better technology, with each generation building on the last to provide an accelerating improvement that today, so far, yields not only better resources to lead a better life, but a longer one too.

No one may take it seriously today, but humans living up to 1,000 years old may not sound so far-fetched anymore.

Gene therapy, stem cells and other techniques of bodily repair are the current weapons in combating the onset of the limitations of old age, and perfecting them could yield the answer to reaching closer to immortality. But there may be even more advances in the horizon, and better techniques, methods and tools that build on those of the past, blur the once-clear line that perpetuates the "cycle" of life through death.

Current technology may not be there yet. But it has advanced enough so that people can potentially live far longer lives and add several decades to their lifespan, enough time so they would live long enough to see more advances in technology and medicine to enable them to partake and live even more years and stay in the cycle in time for advances to arrive and put off death due to old age.

Aubrey de Grey, a biomedical gerontologist from Cambridge University even believes the first person to live to 1,000 years old may have already been born, arguing that if the normal issues of old age are addressed accordingly and each of the advances in medicine and biotechnology lasts 30 or 40 years, science will advance enough by the next "service" date that death can be put off indefinitely.

It's an idea that is currently publicly dismissed, but unlike before, is today finding more serious basis than a total flight of fancy.

The onset of a much higher life expectancy raises its own serious issues. Rising healthcare costs, pension crises and social security - already overburdened from more people taking advantage due to higher life expectancies - are sure to see even bigger problems in the coming years - the kind of which current methods of rehabilitation can't support.

But hey, if you and your family and friends were given a chance to live upwards of 150 years, these would be nice problems to have for sure.

It's also a sure boon for leisure operators. The way things are going, maybe it's time to sell those healthcare operator equities and load up on vacation and cruise line stocks.
This article has been posted on my personal
©2006 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Nicholas Mercader

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