A new report released on Wednesday suggested that despite tremendous strides in medicine and nutrition, humans may very well have a finite lifespan - and we may already have reached it.
The study published in the journal Nature found that there is little chance of beating the current record of 122 years - indeed, a human lifetime probably maxes out at around 115. Using a global database of aging statistics, the study said that while life expectancy has risen dramatically for certain groups over the past century, the improvement slowed down significantly for the extremely old.
"It seems extremely difficult if not impossible to break through that ceiling due to the complexity of the aging process," said researcher Jan Vijg of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
According to the researchers' calculations, the odds of an individual turning 125 in any given year is below 1 in 10,000.
Some scientists disagreed with the findings, however, arguing that techniques like genetic manipulation had increased the life expectancy of animals like mice and worms, and could therefore one day possibly also be applicable to humans.
"We can greatly extend the life spans of many different types of animals. I don't think humans are an exception," said geneticist David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School.
The longest confirmed human life ever recorded was that of Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 in France at the age of 122.
es/bw (AP, Reuters)