A high-profile research paper released in 2016 concluded that the maximum human lifespan appears to be stuck around 115 years of age, due to a by-product of genetic programmes that control processes such as growth and development.
The paper received significant media attention, so five separate teams of researchers decided to further examine the data. The five teams have since presented a compelling case that there is no evidence to suggest that we are approaching our upper limit on mortality, and that such a limit may even be considerably higher than 115 years.
“The evidence points towards no looming limit. At present the balance of the evidence suggests that if there is a limit it is above 120, perhaps much above – and perhaps there is not a limit at all,” said Max Planck from the Institute for Demographic Research in Germany.
“It’s the worst piece of research I’ve ever read in Nature magazine,” said Prof James Vaupel from the Institute for Demographic Research in Germany. “I was outraged that a journal I highly respect would publish such a travesty.”
The oldest human who ever lived, according to official records, was 122-year-old Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in 1997. The current oldest living person is 117 year-old Violet Brown from Jamaica.
Longevity looks a little brighter for females than males, with the top 15 longest living people ever all being female. The longest living male was 16th ranked Japanese Jiroemon Kimura, who lived to 116.
If you had the choice, would you choose to live until 120 years of age? Do you believe we will reach a longevity limit? Or will technology combined with our bodies do away with such issues?
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