While finding a way to stop the clock has yet to happen, life extension methods are looking to prolong human life.
What is Life Extension?
Life extension is extending the average human lifespan. This is something humans have been practicing since the beginning of time. In the early 1900s, American only lived to be 49 years of age on average. Now that number has risen to 78.5 years of age. Life extension has already extended life by nearly 30 years, in the last 100 years! Birth rates are falling and average population ages are rising. Humans are living to be older as technology and modern medicine advances.
How can we extend life?
Medical research is trying to find a treatment to slow the aging process. Anti-aging is already a massive market worldwide. Global industry analysts predict that the Anti-Aging Industry will make $291.9 billion USD by 2015.
While people are living longer than ever before, they are feeling their age. Healthy lifestyles are a natural way to extend life, but life extension hopes to take this a step further. There are some vitamins available that claim to extend life, but nothing has been found that is directly linked to preventing aging. Living to be 120 years old is not very appealing if it means feeling 120 years old. Science is hoping to find a way to slow or possibly even reverse aging.
What are the most recent advances?
Lobsters are actually being closely examined as the animal lives to be 50 years of age and ages little throughout its lifetime. Vaccines and medicine that treat illnesses are commonplace. Science is looking at aging in the same light – seeing it as a process that could be treated through medicines just as a disease or illness.
Science isn’t looking to extend life but rather extend youth. There currently aren’t any treatments or magical cures for aging. The fountain of youth has not yet been discovered.
How will life extension affect the world?
Arguments against life extension claim that extending life is against evolution and puts too much stress on the working force to support the retired population. By 2050, the US Census Bureau predicts that 1 in 5 Americans will be over 65 years of age. With an even more drastic life extension in the near future, many countries will have to reconsider their social structure.
Many methods of life extension are costly and won’t be reasonable for the general population to purchase. Those against life extension worry this will widen the gap between the rich and the poor. It’s unknown how many people would want to use life extension methods and live a longer life.
We’ve already added 30 years on to the average human lifespan – what’s another 40 years more?Google+