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The Immortals Among Us


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#1 reason

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 12:41 AM


Let us define immortality as being a state of agelessness, which seems a common colloquial usage these days. More precisely this means that the risk of death due to intrinsic causes such as wear and tear damage of vital organs remains the same over time, perhaps due to advanced medical interventions. Falling pianos are still going to kill you, and a hypothetical immortal in a hypothetical environment maintaining today's first world extrinsic mortality rate would have a half-life of 500 years or so, meaning that at any age, there is a 50% chance of evading a life-ending event for another 500 years. There are no human immortals by this criteria of a static intrinsic mortality rate, it seems, though for a while it looked like very old humans might have essentially flat but very high mortality rates in the same way as very old flies do. Immortality in a state of advanced frailty and coupled with a 90% or higher yearly mortality rate isn't the sort of circumstance that most people would aspire to, of course. It barely improves on the actual circumstance that the oldest of people find themselves in, all too briefly.

However, let us think beyond the box. Consider the small horde of children that you'll find playing and running in any junior schoolyard here and now. By the time the survivors of their cohorts reach a century of age, the 2100s will have arrived. If the current very slow trend in increasing adult life expectancy continues, adding a year of remaining life expectancy at 60 for every passing decade, then something like 25% of these present children will live to see that centenary. But I don't for one moment believe that this trend will continue as it has in the past. Past increases in life expectancy were an incidental side-effect of general improvements in medicine across the board, coupled with increasing wealth and all the benefits that brings. Across all of that time, no-one was seriously trying to intervene in the aging process, to address the causes of aging, or to bring aging under medical control. Times are changing, and now many groups aiming to build some of the foundations needed to create exactly this outcome. You may even have donated to support some of them, such as the SENS Research Foundation. The trend in longevity in an age in which researchers are trying to treat the causes of aging will be very different from the trend in longevity in an age in which no such efforts are taking place.

You don't have to dig very far into the state of the science to see that the first rejuvenation treatments are very close, their advent limited only by funding. If funding were no issue for senescent cell clearance, for example, it would absolutely, definitively be in clinics a decade from now. Other necessary technologies are more distant, but not that much more distant - the 2030s will be an exciting time for the medical sciences. For the occupants of today's junior playground, it seems foolish to imagine that by age 60 they will not have access to rejuvenation treatments after the SENS model at various stages of maturity, many having having been refined for more than 30 years, at the height of their technology cycle, and just giving way to whatever radical new improvement happens next.

Take a moment for a sober look at the sweeping differences and expanded technological capabilities that exist between today, the 1960s, and the 1910s. So very much has been achieved, and that pace of progress is accelerating. Those junior playground athletes of today will live to see a world even more radically different and advanced than our present time is in comparison to the First World War era. These are the immortals among us. The majority of them will have the opportunity to attain actuarial escape velocity, to keep on using ever-improving versions of rejuvenation treatments until they are gaining life expectancy at a faster rate than they are aging. It is the rest of us, those of us who are no longer spring chickens, who are faced with much more of a race to the goal. The degree to which we can successfully fund and advocate the necessary research is the determinant of whether we can scrape by into the age of rejuvenation treatments, or whether we will gain modest benefits but still age to death - because we were born too soon, and because the rest of the world didn't get its collective act together rapidly enough in the very tractable matter of building a cure for aging.


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#2 HighDesertWizard

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 04:56 AM

reason... My comment on your post in a different forum thread, here. If you want to argue that NF-kB Inhibition wasn't critical to shorter life expectancy in previous centuries, I'd happy to take on that argument with you...

 

:-)

 

reason is a reasonable person and he restates the Longevity Science Conventional Wisdom about the last 200 year increase in human life expectancy quite well, even if the statement is--sorry but there's no other way to say it--nonsense and misleading...
 

... let us think beyond the box. Consider the small horde of children that you'll find playing and running in any junior schoolyard here and now. By the time the survivors of their cohorts reach a century of age, the 2100s will have arrived. If the current very slow trend in increasing adult life expectancy continues, adding a year of remaining life expectancy at 60 for every passing decade, then something like 25% of these present children will live to see that centenary. But I don't for one moment believe that this trend will continue as it has in the past. Past increases in life expectancy were an incidental side-effect of general improvements in medicine across the board, coupled with increasing wealth and all the benefits that brings. Across all of that time, no-one was seriously trying to intervene in the aging process, to address the causes of aging, or to bring aging under medical control. Times are changing, and now many groups aiming to build some of the foundations needed to create exactly this outcome. You may even have donated to support some of them, such as the SENS Research Foundation. The trend in longevity in an age in which researchers are trying to treat the causes of aging will be very different from the trend in longevity in an age in which no such efforts are taking place.

 

The trend of increase in average life span that reason attributes, like everyone does, to "General Improvements" is illustrated in this graphic figure...

 

a7EhPPu.png

 

Is the statement nonsense? Let's see... Give me 20 minutes... I'm gonna search for a physiological/biological organ/substance/process within us, Homo Sapiens, called "General Improvements"...

 

Hmm... Back after 2 minutes... Well, it turns out that there is no Physiological/Biological organ/substance/process within us, Homo Sapiens, called "General Improvements"... So.. .reason must be speaking metaphorically... So what are we to do?

 

 

Caleb Finch is a Professor of the Neurobiology of Aging at USC and an Historian of (Human) Life Expectancy. He published a book in 2007 entitled The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation, Nutrition, and Aging in the Evolution of life Spans. In 2011, Dr. Finch spoke at a SENS Foundation Conference and in the course of introducing Dr. Finch, Dr. Aubrey de Grey, of the SENS Foundation, said that Dr. Finch was one of the 3 or 4 people who were the "Holy Grail" of people in the field...

 

So... What does Dr. Finch have to say about the causes of shorter life expectancy in previous centuries? His argument is in his book subtitle and it comes down to higher rates of infection and inflammation... My talking points follow...

  • Another phrase often used about previous century death rates is that Sanitation wasn't as good as today so there were increased rates of infection... Now we know that better Sanitation mostly means we're not ingesting fecal matter in ways our ancestors did... So do you remember the Kevin Tracey study summary graphic figure I just recently posted that had 4 Survival Curves in it? The Survival Curves for animals having their intestines punctured?

In those studies, the study animals survived in dramatically greater numbers shown in two of the Curves when NF-kB was inhibited by Vagal Stimulation... So, yes, a century or two ago, we, Humans, decided to stop puncturing our intestines, i.e., we established better Sanitation methods, we prevented much NF-kB expression, whether we knew or not that's what we were doing, and we began to survive in dramatically greater numbers...

  • I purchased Dr. Finch's book. I have great respect for him. But with all due respect to Dr. Finch, there has been enormous change in the science of Inflammation since he wrote it...So to say that shorter life expectancy was due to inflammation is to say that the shorter life expectancy is due to greater NF-kB Activation in previous centuries...

reason's postulating that our task, today, is fundamentally different than the task of our ancestors is unsupported by evidence. It's magical thinking...

 

Previous generations were, in fact, taking concrete steps to prevent NF-kB expression, even if they didn't comprehend what they were doing and even if we haven't, yet, given them credit for doing it.

 

Evolution, herself, god bless her, has established this fundamental mechanism for aging and rejuvenation within us, for NF-kB Activation Inhibition, and no amount of amorphous thinking about death rates of previous centuries demonstrates that we cannot hijack thIs NF-kB-Telomerase mechanism even further for longer and healthier lives.

 

 


Edited by HighDesertWizard, 18 November 2015 - 04:57 AM.

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#3 corb

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 11:07 AM

 

If the current very slow trend in increasing adult life expectancy continues, adding a year of remaining life expectancy

 

Hasn't this trend pretty much flat-lined now.

All the info I've seen shows that in the last decade all the countries that reached a life expectancy of about 80 have been in stagnation. Most of them have remained at the same life expectancy for 15 years now, which already breaks the 1 year per a decade rule. Some of them have dropped down a year in the last 15 years.

 

USA to give you an example has remained at 79 for 20 years. Belgium dropped from 81 to 80 and has remained steady for a decade.



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#4 Antonio2014

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 01:17 PM

Hasn't this trend pretty much flat-lined now.

All the info I've seen shows that in the last decade all the countries that reached a life expectancy of about 80 have been in stagnation. Most of them have remained at the same life expectancy for 15 years now, which already breaks the 1 year per a decade rule. Some of them have dropped down a year in the last 15 years.

 

USA to give you an example has remained at 79 for 20 years. Belgium dropped from 81 to 80 and has remained steady for a decade.

 

I made some graphs with the data from http://www.mortality.org (registration needed, but it's free).

 

Life expectancy at birth:

 

USA.jpg

 

Spain.jpg

 

France.jpg

 

Sweden.jpg

 

Lifetables:

 

image.jpg


Edited by Antonio2014, 18 November 2015 - 01:47 PM.

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#5 Antonio2014

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:40 PM

Mortality rates:

 

image.jpg


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#6 xEva

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 01:25 AM

Thank you Antonio! Those are very interesting charts. Say, does that include child mortality? I'll tell you why I ask: I have to always make a mental adjustment when looking at charts like this -- like the one HighDesertWizard posted above, looking at those peaks at 40-43 I have to remind myself that that average is pulled down by high child mortality at the time.

I think the graphs would be more interesting if they included only those who managed to survive to 10-12 (say, the age of Communion or Bar Mitzvah, which is usually recorded just like birth and death). That age, just before or about puberty usually corresponds to the lowest mortality and the height of the immune system function. I think the mortality data before that only skews the general view of life expectancy -- and I don't mind if it says 'life expectancy after Communion' or '...reaching the age of 10'..
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#7 Antonio2014

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 09:53 AM

Say, does that include child mortality? I'll tell you why I ask: I have to always make a mental adjustment when looking at charts like this -- like the one HighDesertWizard posted above, looking at those peaks at 40-43 I have to remind myself that that average is pulled down by high child mortality at the time.

 

Short answer: yes. It's explained in the link I provided (click on a specific country and you can find there information about the data sources, data standarization, etc.). A general overview of the problems with old data is here: http://www.mortality...ic/Overview.php

 

I think the graphs would be more interesting if they included only those who managed to survive to 10-12 (say, the age of Communion or Bar Mitzvah, which is usually recorded just like birth and death). That age, just before or about puberty usually corresponds to the lowest mortality and the height of the immune system function. I think the mortality data before that only skews the general view of life expectancy -- and I don't mind if it says 'life expectancy after Communion' or '...reaching the age of 10'..

 

That's why I included the life tables. There is also data for the life expectancy at a specific age, but I didn't make a graph for it, for simplicity. It's included in the raw data for the lifetables. It's the "e(x)" here: http://www.mortality...pleteDataSeries Tell me what age you need and I can make a graph for it.


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#8 xEva

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 10:07 AM

thanks Antonio. I admit to not reading the overviews. I just looked at the graphs. The cut off age is plainly seen, it's just where the graph dips in mortality rates per age. If it is difficult to discern with accuracy, make it 10 or 11, whatever is easier for you. Then I would expect a graph like HighDesertWizard presented to hover at 60-63 (maybe even higher -?). ..I don't know.. Somehow graphs give very intuitive feel for the data and it's hard to say in advance what insight you may get out of them just by looking.

Again, thanks a lot for doing this :)

PS
please do the life expectancy (full years) for those who reached age of (10-11 or whatever). In other words, don't make me mentally add 10 to whatever I will see.

Edited by xEva, 19 November 2015 - 10:13 AM.


#9 Antonio2014

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Posted 19 November 2015 - 02:01 PM

Here they are:

 

Life expectancy by country:

USA.jpg

Spain.jpg

France.jpg

Sweden.jpg

Life expectancy at age 10, all countries:

all.jpg


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#10 xEva

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 08:17 PM

Thanks Antonio!

I'm not too familiar with Swedish history, but what was going on around 1775 to cause such a dip in the graph? And around 1925, was it due to the great depression?
Anyone knows?

#11 corb

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Posted 20 November 2015 - 09:20 PM

Thanks Antonio!

I'm not too familiar with Swedish history, but what was going on around 1775 to cause such a dip in the graph? And around 1925, was it due to the great depression?
Anyone knows?

 

Europe didn't suffer nearly as much as the US during the so called Depression and especially Sweden which supposedly was the first to recover (which in reality means they barely noticed it).

I find the dip to be a in a peculiar place I'd think there would be one during the Winter War for Sweden not after WW1 - Sweden kept their neutrality so they did not suffer significant casualties. It is also peculiar everyone else on the graph has the same dip. So it's probably a side effect of WW1. Unless it is an error which is a possibility.



#12 Antonio2014

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 10:54 AM

Thanks Antonio!

I'm not too familiar with Swedish history, but what was going on around 1775 to cause such a dip in the graph? And around 1925, was it due to the great depression?
Anyone knows?

 

You're welcome!

 

It's 1773 (big famine https://en.wikipedia.../1773_in_Sweden ) and 1918 (WWI, I assume).


Edited by Antonio2014, 21 November 2015 - 10:57 AM.


#13 seivtcho

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 06:38 PM

As far as I know, the average life span of the people in the majority of countries is rising (very good), but averagely with 0,5-1 year for two years period (bad for those, who want to be immortal). There is no such thing as continuous rising of the average length of the life with 2 years for one year period. So, the escape velocity still leads to inevitable death.


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#14 ceridwen

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Posted 21 November 2015 - 07:38 PM

That's why medical intervention is necessary

#15 xEva

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 03:31 AM

That's great to finally see unambiguously that people lived normal lifespans throughout the centuries. 60-65 for men 70-75 for women,  on average. If we take the wars out, men will be much closer to women. So frequently it is said that 'people lived to 40+ on average' that some start getting a wrong impression that indeed, at 40+ it was over for most. Not so. It was high child mortality that pulled the numbers down. 

 

Interesting that this lifespan approximately matches the oldest among Amazon forest people. I guess that's what an average human without modern healthcare, though with a decent food supply, can hope for.   

 

And so barring child mortality, all we gained in the last century+ is 10 years. That's quite different from often touted 'doubled lifespan'.

 


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#16 Antonio2014

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 09:15 AM

That's great to finally see unambiguously that people lived normal lifespans throughout the centuries. 60-65 for men 70-75 for women,  on average. If we take the wars out, men will be much closer to women.

 

No. It can be clearly seen in the graphs that wars had only a brief effect, 2-3 years at much. The rest of the time, men still were consistently below women.

 

So frequently it is said that 'people lived to 40+ on average' that some start getting a wrong impression that indeed, at 40+ it was over for most. Not so. It was high child mortality that pulled the numbers down.

Not only child mortality. There is a clear trend of increased LE at 60 from 1850, that accelerates from around 1950 until today. Also, from around 1950, LE at 10 is almost equal to LE at 60, showing that the increase in LE from 1950 is mostly not related to child mortality.

 

Interesting that this lifespan approximately matches the oldest among Amazon forest people. I guess that's what an average human without modern healthcare, though with a decent food supply, can hope for.   

 

And so barring child mortality, all we gained in the last century+ is 10 years. That's quite different from often touted 'doubled lifespan'.

 

There is indeed a doubled life expectancy at birth. There is no false claim in it. For example, in Spain it happened in only 100 years, from around 1910 to around 2010.

 

Maximum lifespan has also increased: https://www.ncbi.nlm...pubmed/11009426

 

It's true that LE at old age hasn't increased so much as LE at birth due to child mortality decrease, but nevertheless it has increased, and also it follows a linear, predictable trend from the 1950's. I think the reason of this slow increase in LE at old ages is due to the fact that we still aren't treating aging primary damage but only age-related diseases.


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#17 seivtcho

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 10:23 AM

The fact, that the average life span is rising is very nice, but lets see the most optimistic perspective in terms of immortality.

 

If you are 20 years old now (2015), and you will live to the average life span today (for 2015) you will get to 85 if you live in Japan. These are 65 years of vast medicine development, that you will live through. If the vast medical development contines to increase our average life span with the same pace as now (0,5 years for two years period), then when you become 85 you will be able to live 16-17 years more. For the next 17 years, when you reach 85+17=102 the average life length would be increased with 5 years more, and you will be able to get 4-5 additional years at the best. After these 5 years, you will become 107 and the average length of life will be increased only with 1 year. And... after that one year it will be certain, that you wont live to be 110 years old.

 

What you need in order to achieve an escape velocity is continuous increasement of the average length of life for the people, with more than 1 year for a 1 year period of time. Everything else simply postphones, but does not cancel your death.


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#18 corb

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 11:47 AM

It's true that LE at old age hasn't increased so much as LE at birth due to child mortality decrease, but nevertheless it has increased, and also it follows a linear, predictable trend from the 1950's. I think the reason of this slow increase in LE at old ages is due to the fact that we still aren't treating aging primary damage but only age-related diseases.

 

That's correct. And it highlights some interesting facts:

  • We live longer even though we live "unhealthier".
  • A human can be kept from crashing even with our level of medical science for a pretty respectable amount of time (in comparison with history).

That just proves longevity is malleable even with crude interventions like surgery. I can't honestly comprehend the "logic" of so called medical professionals that fail to realize the potential of therapies using more graceful and intelligent methodologies.


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#19 seivtcho

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 01:14 PM

What exactly do you mean by "more graceful and intelligent methodologies"?



#20 xEva

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 04:12 PM

@Antonio thanks again for the graphs and your last comments. Yes, I guess I meant average lifespan, rather than life expectancy at a given age, and usually it is skewed by child mortality leading to a very wrong impression about the past -- which is often seen on forums and in popular press. And I heard this so often lately that I even began to doubt what I had read in history and literature. But old people living well into 80 and 90, and even past 100, were not that rare!  Which, if you think about it, is pretty close to what we have now. Of course the numbers were not as great as now but such lifespans were consistently seen throughout history, starting with ancient Greeks and Romans (and Egyptians, I think, barring the pharaohs themselves). To me this points to a natural human lifespan. Funny but in Russian the meaning of man/human человек is sorta rooted in 'a mind lasting a century'.

 

And surely good conditions and med care can increase the odds of reaching one's max lifespan but beyond that, I agree with seivtcho, something more radical is required -- more radical than medically driven small increments.


Edited by xEva, 22 November 2015 - 04:13 PM.


#21 Antonio2014

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 05:53 PM

We live longer even though we live "unhealthier".

 

That's false:

 

Global life expectancy at birth for both sexes rose by 6.2 years (from 65.3 in 1990 to 71.5 in 2013), while healthy life expectancy, or HALE, at birth rose by 5.4 years (from 56.9 in 1990 to 62.3 in 2013).

 

65.3 / 56.9 = 1.147627416520211
71.5 / 62.3 = 1.1476725521669342

 

https://www.fightagi...-of-illness.php


Edited by Antonio2014, 22 November 2015 - 05:54 PM.


#22 corb

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 07:42 PM

 

We live longer even though we live "unhealthier".

 

That's false:

 

Global life expectancy at birth for both sexes rose by 6.2 years (from 65.3 in 1990 to 71.5 in 2013), while healthy life expectancy, or HALE, at birth rose by 5.4 years (from 56.9 in 1990 to 62.3 in 2013).

 

65.3 / 56.9 = 1.147627416520211
71.5 / 62.3 = 1.1476725521669342

 

https://www.fightagi...-of-illness.php

 

 

No no no, you misunderstood me. I don't mean unhealthy as "not free of disease". I mean unhealthy as "bad habits".

 

What exactly do you mean by "more graceful and intelligent methodologies"?

 

Treating aging and not symptomatic conditions that arise from it would be a start.


Edited by corb, 22 November 2015 - 07:45 PM.


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#23 Antonio2014

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 07:53 PM

But old people living well into 80 and 90, and even past 100, were not that rare!  Which, if you think about it, is pretty close to what we have now.

 

I don't think so. See the survival curves I posted before:

 

image.jpg

 

There is a clear difference between ancient data and current data. There has been a rectangularization of the curves. There's a good explanation here:

 

 

To me this points to a natural human lifespan.

 

Data doesn't support that. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/25531147


Edited by Antonio2014, 22 November 2015 - 08:02 PM.

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#24 Antonio2014

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 08:00 PM

No no no, you misunderstood me. I don't mean unhealthy as "not free of disease". I mean unhealthy as "bad habits".

Ah, ok.



#25 xEva

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 10:13 PM

But old people living well into 80 and 90, and even past 100, were not that rare!  Which, if you think about it, is pretty close to what we have now.

 
I don't think so. See the survival curves I posted before:
 
image.jpg
 
There is a clear difference between ancient data and current data. There has been a rectangularization of the curves.
 

To me this points to a natural human lifespan.

 
Data doesn't support that. http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/25531147


-?? to me the rectangularization of the curves rather confirms the the species 'in-built' lifstpan. Medical interventions and social environment help more and more people to achieve the promised (in Russian language lol) ~100 years. See, if advances in medicine would actually extend the species lifespan, I would expect the curves to simply become longer, expanding to the right. But no, on this chart they all end at about 105, simply the far less women in the past were achieving that age (and i hope you don't mean here the fact that some live beyond 105 -- a slight variation is a given).

And I don't see how the study you site 'does not support' the idea of a species natural lifespan. To the contrary, they say:

Recent studies found that the exponential increase of the mortality risk with age (the famous Gompertz law) continues even at extreme old ages in humans, rats, and mice


This too implies that for the species in question there is limit toward which 'the exponential increase of the mortality risk with age' gravitates.

This could be different for the species with negligible senescence -? but I gather most of them don't do well in captivity plus their extreme lifespans make them difficult to study.
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#26 corb

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Posted 22 November 2015 - 10:49 PM

See, if advances in medicine would actually extend the species lifespan, I would expect the curves to simply become longer,

 

It won't become longer under traditional medicine.
Medicine the way "modern" practitioners have come to understand it IS exactly about squaring the curve.

Which is why there is so much opposition to classifying aging as a disease or series of diseases, it would be a paradigm shift in medical thinking.

 

In lab animals the curve isn't squared when regenerative medicine is used, it's elongated. The true life extension you're looking for.

 

edit: Of course that only applies when unmodified animals live longer on average in experiments. When they try out medication on animals modified to carry a genetic illness it's still pretty much squaring the curve again.


Edited by corb, 22 November 2015 - 11:15 PM.

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#27 Antonio2014

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:48 AM

-?? to me the rectangularization of the curves rather confirms the the species 'in-built' lifstpan.

 

What the curves confirm is that "old people living well into 80 and 90, and even past 100" were rare.
 

-See, if advances in medicine would actually extend the species lifespan, I would expect the curves to simply become longer, expanding to the right.

 

The curves are expanding to the right since around 1954.

 

And I don't see how the study you site 'does not support' the idea of a species natural lifespan. To the contrary, they say:

Recent studies found that the exponential increase of the mortality risk with age (the famous Gompertz law) continues even at extreme old ages in humans, rats, and mice

 

The Gompertz law hasn't a natural lifespan limit. The bigger the population you observe, or the longer the period you observe the population, the bigger will be the maximum lifespan you will observe.


Edited by Antonio2014, 23 November 2015 - 08:50 AM.

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#28 Antonio2014

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:54 AM

Medicine the way "modern" practitioners have come to understand it IS exactly about squaring the curve.

 

Not exactly. That happened in 1850-1950. From 1950 there has been a displacement of the curve to the right. See the video above (from 11:00 to 23:00).


Edited by Antonio2014, 23 November 2015 - 09:01 AM.

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#29 HighDesertWizard

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 08:58 AM

About Sweden and other countries after ww1... Influenza...

The Spanish flu in Uppsala, clinical and epidemiological impact of the influenza pandemic 1918–1919 on a Swedish county

http://www.ncbi.nlm....les/PMC3896897/
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#30 seivtcho

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Posted 23 November 2015 - 05:46 PM

... 

 

What exactly do you mean by "more graceful and intelligent methodologies"?

 

Treating aging and not symptomatic conditions that arise from it would be a start.

 

 

The medicine always tries to find the causal chain of the events, and to apply a treatment, that is as deeper in the causes as possible. However, simply the knowledge of what causes aging is unclear, and treatments of aging aiming at its causality are not invented. I am sure, that once they are invented, the medicine will start treating aging right away. 






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