Scientists disagree about how long humans can live. Some say that we are genetically programmed to only live a maximum of 120 years. Others say that we could live to be 1000 years old. All of this is based on the ageing process of human cells and whether it can be reversed, slowed down, or avoided altogether.
Regardless of the disagreements, we can all agree that science has already made great advances in terms of extending human life. We may not have a cure for ageing yet and we may not need one, but people have been living longer and healthier lives for the last few decades. Several research projects and scientific advances have made it possible for us to live longer.
Antibiotics – The development of antibiotics has helped humans fight off and recover from many different illnesses including the common cold. Decades ago, people died of colds and flu because they didn’t get the right treatments. Antibiotics have played a big role in extending the lifespan of humans.
Chronic medicines – Medicines for things like high cholesterol, insulin resistance, diabetes, and more have also helped people to live longer and healthier. When there were no medications to help eradicate or control diabetes or insulin resistance, more people were vulnerable to die younger.
Vaccines – Vaccines may be questioned by some people, but it is a fact that they have helped eliminate certain diseases like the chickenpox. Diseases that were deadly a few decades or a century ago is now harmless or completely preventable through vaccines.
Radiation therapy - New medical technology like radiation equipment have helped people with cancer to live longer. Radiation therapy is mostly used in combination with other methods like chemotherapy to target and destroy cancer cells. In earlier years, this technology wasn’t available and there was no way to even attempt to kill cancer cells while still inside a human body.
Heart surgery and transplants – Heart surgery and many advancements surrounding stents and pacemakers have also helped people live longer. In the past, a heart problem was a death sentence. Today, this is no longer the case because there are options. Transplants of organs have also helped people live longer. People who would have died because their heart, lungs, liver, or kidneys were failing, now have a chance to live a long life if they can find a donor.
Research is a big part of why we can now live approximately 30 years longer than the life expectancy people had in the early 1900s. Scientists have mapped the human genome and continue to study our genetics to help prevent disease or eliminate it completely. Genetic research has already made great advances in disease prevention and heredity and will continue to do so.
From medications to technology and ongoing research, science is helping humans live longer. It was never before expected that humans will live longer than 60 or maybe 80 years. Today, there seems to be a possibility to live to 120 years and even further. Science has brought us a long way and it will take us even further in the years to come.