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Michael R

At the Edges of "Natural" Lifespan

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Guinness World Records would today like to send its congratulates to Japan's Misao Okawa, the world's oldest living person, who today celebrates her 117th birthday. ...


Misao has lived across three centuries, which have seen immense social and technological advances including the advent of motor vehicles, flight, mobile telephones, social networking sites and 6 UK Monarchs, 4 Emperors of Japan and 20 US Presidents.


The oldest person ever to have lived is also female, Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to 122 years and 164 days.




World's Oldest Person Turns 117, Calls Her Life 'Short'


Misao Okawa, the world's oldest person, turned 117 on Thursday, but that doesn't impress her much.


"It seemed rather short," Okawa told the Associated Press of her record-breaking life. ...


The nursing home where Okawa resides says she has slowed down a little over the past year and now has trouble hearing, but is in good health overall.



I BELIEVE she is the first person other than Calment to hit that age; I am checking on this and will update.


This is yet more significant than it seems; despite Calment's example, it has seemed as if there is some kind of maximum lifespan brick wall around 114 years.


Aubrey de Grey's latest editorial pushes back on that, but also refers to recent research that disproves the notion of a "tail" in the Gompertz lifespan curve (exists in fruit flies and some other invertebrates, but is an illusion in mammals), which Michael Rose (mis)interpreted as a "period of immortality" (sic: agelessness) reached after the unleashed disruptive forces of residual antagonistic pleiotropy are exhausted, which could in principle (he argued, in a way I think is rather less than syllogistic even on its premises) be pushed back by tuning gene expression into a more adaptive mode, so that we would stop aging while still in youthful good health. For some stabs at this argument:




Cryonics / February 2013


Interview with Dr. Michael R. Rose

Cryonics / September 2013







Even if you think you can make that argument for flies, however, recent evidence from better data at the extremes of the natural lifespan shows even the premises underlying the argument don't hold in humans or laboratory rodents.








Dr. de Grey has dug even more deeply into these data, and thinks he has identified a novel finding therein, with some quite interesting implications — stay tuned.

Edited by Michael R

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