Is there a limit on the human lifespan? While some transhumanists hope the answer is no, a new scientific study suggests that 150 years may be the max (barring any massive nano-bio breakthrough, I'd imagine). Researcher Timothy Pyrkov of Singapore longevity biotech firm Gero and colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature Communications positing that "the end of life is an intrinsic biological property of an organism that is independent of stress factors and signifies a fundamental or absolute limit of human lifespan." From Scientific American:
"They are asking the question of 'What's the longest life that could be lived by a human complex system if everything else went really well, and it's in a stressor-free environment?'" says Heather Whitson, director of the Duke University Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, who was not involved in the paper. The team's results point to an underlying "pace of aging" that sets the limits on lifespan, she says.
For the study, [the rsearchers] looked at this "pace of aging" in three large cohorts in the U.S., the U.K. and Russia. To evaluate deviations from stable health, they assessed changes in blood cell counts and the daily number of steps taken and analyzed them by age groups.
For both blood cell and step counts, the pattern was the same: as age increased, some factor beyond disease drove a predictable and incremental decline in the body's ability to return blood cells or gait to a stable level after a disruption. When Pyrkov and his colleagues in Moscow and Buffalo, N.Y., used this predictable pace of decline to determine when resilience would disappear entirely, leading to death, they found a range of 120 to 150 years. (In 1997 Jeanne Calment, the oldest person on record to have ever lived, died in France at the age of 122.)