Feeds

Boffins take new angle on anti-aging research

We'll all die before we get old...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Scientists in New York and Vienna have proposed a new way of looking at aging that they say explains why despite an aging population, people are behaving as though they are younger than their years.

All sounds fine and dandy, until you get to the bit where they explain what they actually mean. Rather than looking at age as the number of years you have already lived, look at it from the other angle: how many more years are you likely to be taking up breathing room on the planet?

As expected life spans increase, the average person could, the scientists argue, have more and more years to live as time passes. Figures published in Nature this week support this argument. In 2000, the average age in Germany was 39.9 years, and the average life span was 79.1 years. By 2050, these figures are likely to have hit 51.9 and 89 respectively. This means a 52 year-old in 2050 could expect to live almost as long as a 40 year-old in 2000.

Warren Sanderson of the University of New York in Stony Brook argues that this means people are behaving as though they are younger. "As people have more and more years to live they have to save more and plan more," he explained to Reuters.

Excuse us, but if memory serves, young people don't save their cash or plan retirement. Young people go out, get horribly drunk, shag each other and fall over. Middle-aged people worry about pensions (you should see the looks of concern whenever the word is mentioned in this office, for instance).

We are left with the uncomfortable suspicion that these scientists are either trying to redefine age so that they can lie about their own on a scientific basis, or that they were never young.

What these scientists are actually saying, is that although tempus still fugit, we know we're likely to live longer than previous generations. It is not that we are behaving as though we are younger, but as though we know we are going to get a lot older. ®

Related stories

Greenies want limits on ocean sonar
Big-O problems may be down to genes
Swiss neurologists to model the brain

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.