The notion of living for 200 years or beyond that is only presented in stories from the bible, yet scientists within the field of anti-aging research believe that they are close to developing a drug that can allow humans to reach that sort of age. Everyone seems to be desperate to live longer nowadays, this is not only noticed through the thousands of anti-aging articles, but also in the rush within modern society.
Dr. Andrew Steele, a British computational biologist describes in his new book “Ageless: The New Science of Getting Older Without Getting Old” that there is no biological reason humans can’t reach the age of 200 or even beyond that. He points out that the main problem stopping humans from reaching that age is something he refers to as “zombie cells”. These are the cells responsible for causing our body to decay over time, causing the aging effect that slowly deteriorates the body.
The book itself has been praised by many media outlets for the factual reinforcement presented. At this moment in time biologists within the field of anti-aging are focusing on understanding why certain mammals can live for so long whilst having very similar characteristics to other species that have a shorter lifespan.
A group of researchers from Michigan State University is studying over 100 different species of long-living reptiles and amphibians such as crocodiles, turtles, and salamanders that live over 120 years to understand what makes them different from other species. More exactly what causes fast aging in ordinary species or from a different perspective, what causes slow aging in the studied species.
“We are committed to studying long-lived species in the wild because nature has already done the experiment of ‘how to age slowly’,” (wrote MSU researchers Anne Bronikowski and Fredric Janzen.)
The science world also has a contradicting side that says the human lifespan has a set limit and it cannot be extended. Dr. Steele argues that the scientific studies that come out are always theory that has never been proven through practice:
“Studies come out every few years that propose some kind of fundamental limit on human lifespan, but they’re always missing one crucial piece: we’ve never tried treating the ageing process before. I can’t see physical or biological reason why people couldn’t live to 200 — the challenge is whether we’ve can develop the biomedical science to make it possible.” (Quote by Dr. Andrew Steele)
There are other studies that say that the health issues encountered by humans due to a poor lifestyle limit the body's ability to regenerate at an older age, making it difficult to extend the lifespan. A study conducted by researchers at Gero made use of an instrument, called DOSI (dynamic organism state indicator), which takes into account age, illness, and lifestyle factors, to work out how resilient the body is, including its ability to recover from injury or disease.
The study concluded that if a human was not affected by drugs or any sort of health issues, he or she could easily live to 150 with very favorable living conditions such as clean air and good nutrition.
Dr. Steele believes that the most realistic way to extend the lifespan of humans is through the creation of a drug that will remove the so-called “zombie cells” within our bodies that cause early aging.