October 2016 saw the release of a study which caused quite a stir and brought its fair share of outrage. It did so by claiming that it had determined the maximum lifespan of humans, one set at 115 years old. Now, five new papers which offer arguments and proof against this claim are available to read.
The Maximum Lifespan Concept
Most of the buzz surrounding this controversial study arose based on its decision to set a limit to how long humans can live. As it is, the new papers try to prove that this limit, if it exists at all, has not yet been reached or, at least, it is still unknown.
The whole idea that humans can live for more or less a set period of time has come to be included in the maximum lifespan concept. This was once again brought to attention by the death or presence of supercentenarians. These are all people that live for longer than 110 years.
Jeanne Calment, a French woman, reached the record-breaking age of 122 years old. Born in 1875, she died in 1997 and holds the title of the person to have spent the most years on Earth. Emma Morano is another example of a supercentenarian. She was born in 1899 and died this year, in April, some months after reaching 117 years old. Morano is considered the fifth-oldest person in history
The five new papers, released on June 28, come to question some of the key points of the original study. From the very beginning, the scientific community questioned whether the October study was based on enough data. These new papers univocally consider that a closer look at this original data is still needed. They also state that the initial findings could be incorrect.
“Average human life span is clearly increasing continuously. The failure to identify a current limit to maximum human life span suggests that the increase in average lifespan might continue for quite a while,” said Siegfried Hekimi, one of the authors of the new research.
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