Living forever may never be possible, study says

An elderly man rests on a seat in Weijian village, in China's Henan province on July 30, 2014

Is there a limit to how old humans could one day become?

French researchers trying to answer the age-old question said they found evidence in two categories of people who lived long lives of a "biological barrier" to living forever.

The team used the recorded deaths of 1,205 "supercentenarians" who died between 1899 and 2013 aged 110 or older, and of 19,012 athletes who had competed in the Olympics from 1896 to 2012.

The athletes are considered among the longest-living people.

For the , the researchers found longevity had steadily increased until 1997, when the rate levelled out. A similar ceiling was observed among the athlete group.

These trends "provide no signs of a recent increased longevity pattern among the longest-lived," which is not good news for people with average life expectancies, the authors wrote in the Journal of Gerontology.

Had there been a non-stop upward trend, they would have expected to find evidence of more people living ever longer, the team said.

Instead, their results support theories of an "invisible barrier" to a non-stop increase in longevity.

The team conceded the number of people they studied was "relatively small" and the observation period restricted, meaning the trend they observed could be merely a temporary anomaly.

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tadchem
3.6 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2014
Now that the possible existence of a putative biological barrier has been raised, we can begin the search for the cause(s) and scapegoats.
I predict that the barrier will be attibuted to various 'factors' such as dietary salt, dietary sugar, dietary trans-fats, dietary animal protein, fructose, food coloring, preservatives, and atmospheric CO2 levels.
Carbon-14 will not get mentioned, despite the fact that its natural radioactive decay damages DNA and all other carbon-based cellular structures in the body, which can only aggravate aging.
PacRim Jim
3.6 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2014
Forever is a long time.
Do you mean beyond the life of the universe?
Doug_Huffman
3.4 / 5 (5) Aug 22, 2014
Potassium 40, Carbon 14, Rubidium 87, Lead 210, Tritium, Uranium 238, Radium 226 & 228 are common radioactive constituents of the human body contributing to about 8x10^3 cps.

Live forever? Boring! We're supposed to skid into the grave with a drink in one hand and a bimbo's breast in the other, shot by her jealous boyfriend.
SoylentGrin
3.1 / 5 (8) Aug 22, 2014
Hybrid approach.
Print out organs as they fail, providing enough time to gradually replace dead neurons with artificial ones.
Over time, the brain and nervous system is replaced with upgraded hardware, the person's identity has time to adapt to the new matrix. Once the brain is gradually replaced, the sky's the limit. Plug it into a collective network. Add on to it. Plug it into new vehicles than the Bone Mech we currently pilot.

As for living beyond the life of the universe, with expanded brain capability and a few millenia, maybe we could figure out how to pass ourselves into neighboring parallel systems in universes that have a longer lifespan.
baudrunner
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 22, 2014
Potassium 40, Carbon 14, Rubidium 87, Lead 210, Tritium, Uranium 238, Radium 226 & 228 are common radioactive constituents of the human body contributing to about 8x10^3 cps.
Not to mention Phosphorous, mildly radioactive and present in every cell in our bodies.

Creation Myths from Ancient Mesopotamia tell us that mankind was created when the gods combined their DNA with that of suitable donors already existing on Earth. The process did not produce a viable product until elements from the Earth were mixed into the recipe. (God made man out of the clay of the earth). That legend and the bible tell us that mankind's longevity was deliberately limited to a maximum of 120 years.
DingleBerry
1.3 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2014
Hybrid approach.
Print out organs as they fail, providing enough time to gradually replace dead neurons with artificial ones.
Over time, the brain and nervous system is replaced with upgraded hardware, the person's identity has time to adapt to the new matrix. Once the brain is gradually replaced, the sky's the limit. Plug it into a collective network. Add on to it. Plug it into new vehicles than the Bone Mech we currently pilot.


I wish you would have mentioned something about "Mind Uploading." Scan you mind or upload bits, and pieces over a period of time, and what do you get - immortality.

Don't tell those ISIL fools I said this, but if they wish to terrorize the universes with their stupidity, then they will be disappointed when they are eventually stopped by those way ahead of us all once we reach a point in technology that threatens them!
eachus
1.7 / 5 (3) Aug 22, 2014
Sigh! Statistics doubly abused again. First, we have no evidence, none, about the life expectancy of those born since about 1985. Why? Vaccines for major childhood diseases may have drastically changed life expectancies for the elderly. In particular, the chicken pox virus causes shingles in the elderly. Will having been vaccinated against chicken pox prevent shingles? Or will the elderly vaccinated as children, who did not catch chicken pox, be more susceptible? Totally unknown, and no way to really research it before those people reach old age.

Second, immortality and statistics don't even belong in the same room, let alone the same article. If none of the sample population dies, this does not prove that any members of the population are immortal. If some die, others may be immortal.

Statisticians prefer to talk about NBU "new better than used." If a sample fails that test, like the light bulbs we can no longer buy, any light bulb has the same remaining life expectancy.
11791
2 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2014
Living forever is a really exciting prospect. I'm glad since life is so boring now.
arieh_shishirin
2 / 5 (4) Aug 22, 2014
I have one word for you : SENS.

Have the people who published that paper actually stopped to consider how moronic are their methods? ofcource with present technology people age and die , ofcource given a long enough time with a nonzero probability to die it will happen. (and the inverse too) , its simple logic.

This is why we develop better technology to remove the damage being done. its not a difficult concept.
Sinister1812
3 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2014
Who wants to live forever anyway? Work for longer etc.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2014
The 2 Goals of Science - to give us unlimited lifespans and unlimited room in which to live them.

Humans perceive death as a cage. No sane animal can tolerate a cage, but no other animal can envision its own inevitable death.

We are already busy replacing this critically flawed container of ours in bits and pieces with more functional, durable, and dependable components, including our brains.

The 2 Goals must eventually lead to the replacement of the entire body. Machine life is indeed eternal and unlimited. There are many singularities out there waiting for ours to emerge. Their patience is also eternal.
droid001
1.3 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2014
Wrong. Cells are immortal through replication.
Our primary cells died long ago, but we still kickin
Who wants to live forever anyway? Me
Mayday
3 / 5 (2) Aug 23, 2014
It is a little hard to reconcile how a culture beset by such rampant ageism, that disrespects and dismisses its elderly members without second thought or remorse, is so obsessed with becoming members of their own most rejected group. I can't think of another example of such behavior. Perhaps they believe that when they get old, they won't be old. That's funny. I suspect that our culture's antipathy for the aged is a form of discrimination that will outlive us all.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Aug 23, 2014
Wrong. Cells are immortal through replication.
Our primary cells died long ago, but we still kickin
And if you knew anything about apoptosis and telemeres you would realize how uninformed you are.
srikkanth_kn
5 / 5 (2) Aug 24, 2014
Who wants to live forever anyway? Work for longer etc.


Forever? may be not . But I am sure a lot are willing to live beyond common lifespan of 70s.
Work longer ? yes. so long as it is healthy to work for few hours in a day (which is what people are talking now a days)

Nobody is talking "healthy living" in this context. no body wants to live forever being a liability to society. So being productive and living longer is desirable
eric_in_chicago
5 / 5 (1) Aug 24, 2014
"Who wants to live forever?", they ask...

Your sex-life gets boring. Mine doesn't.
TopCat22
2 / 5 (4) Aug 24, 2014
Its is possible and will be inevitable to live forever using current technology. We are 20 to 50 years away from putting everything together to do this on Earth.

Evolution causes this to happen countless times throughout the universe on every planets where life takes root and lasts long enough to evolve to this stage.
Sinister1812
5 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2014
If we didn't die the world would be full. Gotta face it sooner or later.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2014
As far as living forever, at what age would we wish to live? It should be far easier to prevent damage than to repair it. Humans are optimized physically and mentally during adolescence and begin to deteriorate soon after.

People throughout the Pleistocene did not live much past their mid-twenties. The adult state past 25 is one of gradually increasing decrepitude, confusion, and compromise.

I suspect that in the near future there will be very few adults and a lot of very old and very wise adolescents being tended to by very intelligent machines. Eloi.
baudrunner
1 / 5 (3) Aug 24, 2014
There is no such a thing as immortality, even for the gods of Nibiru. Like Arnie Schwarzenegger said in the movie, Predator - "If it bleeds, you can kill it."
zaxxon451
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2014
The 2 Goals of Science - to give us unlimited lifespans and unlimited room in which to live them.

Humans perceive death as a cage. No sane animal can tolerate a cage, but no other animal can envision its own inevitable death.

We are already busy replacing this critically flawed container of ours in bits and pieces with more functional, durable, and dependable components, including our brains.

The 2 Goals must eventually lead to the replacement of the entire body. Machine life is indeed eternal and unlimited. There are many singularities out there waiting for ours to emerge. Their patience is also eternal.


Sounding a little bit religious there :)
mooster75
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2014
This sums up my opinion: https://www.youtu...nwvGJiN8
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2014
Sorry moo that was supposed to be a 5.
TopCat22
2.7 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2014
Once the individuals are made immortal in say 20 to 50 years from now, they will eventually enjoy time passing at what we would perceive today a million years passing in a second and thus acquire the ability to travel throughout the galaxy and eventually to other galaxies in less than light speed as faster than light travel will be an irrelevant concept to them. Time is a relative thing. To some beings it passes very quickly (fruit flies vs say a tortoise or redwood tree). The longer something lives the faster time seams to pass to them compared to a less long lived life form. In this context when individuals live forever their time can fly by that much faster which could be seen as giving an unlimited speed to time.
TopCat22
2.5 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2014
As everyone knows there is a speed limit inside the universe for most things except for time. There is no speed limit to the speed time takes. It is relative to each entity that can perceive time passing. So rather than waste time trying to make things that travel faster to get places farther away just make the entity last longer to take the time needed to get wherever it wants to go. The entire universe including all the other galaxies can be explored by earth people already borne and alive today using existing available technology. Nothing new needs to be invented to do this. All that is required is to perfect existing technologies and put them together to work properly.
Bob Osaka
2.3 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2014
If one is to be old and decrepit then no, it would be impossible to continue forever. If stem cell and anti-aging research pans out then yes, what was once thought impossible would become a possibility. The problem is we are still assembling the user's manual for this human hardware.

"Why was man created to suffer and die?" A question from an ancient text. "Why not, what the hell else were you doing?"
TopCat22
1 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2014
"Why was man created to suffer and die?" A question from an ancient text.


simple answer ... to evolve out of it.

Eventually all life throughout the universe goes through similar evolution to reach our current level of technological advancement. At this point in our evolution we are close to free from suffering and do not need to die if the technology is used properly.

We are almost there and society is also moving to this direction making it inevitable to happen in the next 20 to 50 years
Burnerjack
not rated yet Aug 25, 2014
It has been said many times "You will never taste anything sweeter than your last breathe.
Living forever may be a curse. Staying young for thousands of years, on the other hand...
Imagine the wisdom of millennia, coupled with the passion, strength and beauty of youth.
Should it become available, I think I would volunteer. Of course, everything has its price.
I wonder what price Dick Clark may have paid.

Live forever? Boring! We're supposed to skid into the grave with a drink in one hand and a bimbo's breast in the other, shot by her jealous boyfriend.
discokitten
5 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2014
Even if this was possible now, it would never be released to the world. It would cause over population and that in itself is a huge problem
TopCat22
1 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2014
In my vision of the near future the human body is just a machine line any other machine you buy and sell. Each individual will be able to change their body including their gender and color. You can clone a new one of the one you like more and have as many of those as you like in different ages growing for you that your mind can enter into. Like changing your iphone. You can live in one for a few years. Clone it even in the opposite gender and live that way for a few decades. You can be a child or an adult or an old person just to experience different lives as many times as you like since those bodies are only good for 50 to 75 years before you want to trade them in to live out your millions of life times.
Timelord
not rated yet Aug 26, 2014
Well , as long as my personality still roams , my body doesn't matter in the long time anymore.

In a way I'm immortal already ( co-design of the Internet, design of the QS )

These global milestones keep my personality alive.
TopCat22
1 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2014
My analogy with changing to a new iPhone includes maintaining a few backup copies of ones mind on different cloud so that if there was ever a catastrophe that killed off bodies in use, the worse that would happen would be to loose some experiences of time from when the last backup was made. Total death would never occur since an exact copy of the mind would exist to restore to a new body.

Same with disease and non fatal damaging accidents and wear and tear. Just get a new body... whether organic or inorganic depending on the type of experience you are into at the time.
TopCat22
1 / 5 (1) Aug 26, 2014
Even if this was possible now, it would never be released to the world. It would cause over population and that in itself is a huge problem


Actually it can solve the over population problem. We can car-pool bodies so that not everyone needs to have a body to inhabit all the time. When not in use (say while one is touring galactic space in a inorganic body ... someone else can use the organic body for things like procreation or on-world experiences. When the mind exists as software it does not take up much space and very little to no energy or resources. A few thousand minds could have been uploaded into Voyager 1 and 2 if they were build 50 years from now and no life support would be necessary.

Forget about the artificial intelligence non-sense. Just upload any existing intelligent human mind into the hardware than can run the software for the mind to exist as it does now inside our feeble inefficient all-organic hardware that needs a whole planet just to keep it alive.