NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People in the Tri-State Area are living longer than ever, and if scientists have their way, life expectancies will continue to rise. Technologies today could allow the next generation to live up to 150, but how far should scientists go to allow people to live this long?
Baby Maxwell Jones’ life is just getting started, but if he’s lucky, the hours-old infant could live well into the next century.
“A hundred years, seems a stretch but it’s obviously possible,” his mother told CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson.
More than just possible as some aging experts believe scientific breakthroughs will mean babies born today will live more than 100 years.
Geriatrician Dr. Joyce Fogel says medical advances have already made a huge difference.
“There was a time when people didn’t live to older age because they died from the flu. We’re doing much better. In 1900, when somebody was born, they were expected to live to the age of 50,” she said.
Scientists are making huge advances in the lab, growing new organs from adult human stem cells, creating body parts with 3D printers, and using gene therapy to successfully treat diseases like blindness and leukemia.
And that’s not all. Doctors have already doubled the lifespan of a worm.
“The hope is that we could make a drug that would replicate in humans so that it would allow humans to stay young longer as well,” Dr. Cynthia Kenyon said.
However, work like this isn’t considered mainstream.
“Sometimes technology exceeds common sense,” one woman said.
“As long as science will allow me to live I want to live as long as possible,” another woman said.
Sonia Arrison researched the science of aging for eight years. She says longer lifespans will change everything about the way we live, from our families to our finances. Some people will have second and even third careers.
“Some people are worried that we’re going to create designer humans or something like that, but what I’m talking about is helping people who are already here live longer and healthier lives,” she said.
“You wouldn’t want to retire at 65. It gives people options and allows them to create the life that they really want to live. And I think that’s extremely exciting,” she added.
But for now, prevention goes on long way to improve quality of life later on.
“I would question if we’re really going to hit 150, but I think I would want people to live with good quality life. If at 150 we’re filling up nursing homes, I wonder,” said Fogel.
Aging experts say lifestyle changes can help you make it to your 80s. After that, it’s genetics that matter most.
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