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Are we about to raise the cap on human life expectancy?

| | May 6, 2019

Ray Kurzweil, Google’s chief futurist, says that if you can just hang on until 2029, medical advances will start to “add one additional year, every year, to your life expectancy.

In 1850, the combined life expectancies of men and women stood at around 40 years in the United States, Canada, Japan and much of Europe. Since then the values have followed an impressive, almost perfectly linear increase that nearly doubled them, to almost 80 years.

There may be no specific genetically programmed limit to life-span… . But life-span is a bodily characteristic that arises from the interaction of genes with the environment. Genes may themselves introduce biophysical limits, and so can environmental effects, such as smoking.

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It is true that there are ideas on how such preservation might be achieved, among them the rejuvenation of human cells by extending their telomeres, the nucleotide sequences at the ends of a chromosome that fray with age. If it works, maybe it can lift the realistic maximum well above 125 years.

But in 2019 the best advice I can give to all but a few remarkably precocious readers of these essays is to plan ahead—but not as far ahead as the 22nd century.

Read full, original post: Is Life Expectancy Finally Topping Out?

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