|Who wants to live forever? Maybe … you.
If there’s one topic that WIRED’s Science team loves to kick around at pitch meetings, it’s the future of human lifespan. Not only are people living longer, but they’re staying healthier—and that’s made us wonder whether human immortality will ever be in reach. Our new four-part series explores the promises and challenges of longevity research.
We’ve long scoured the lives of the super-long-lived for clues about how to live longer. (What’s the secret? Is it kindness? Abstaining from alcohol? Avoiding men?) But statistics show this might be a fool’s errand. Crunching the numbers reveals we’re potentially already at the limit of human lifespan.
We’ve gone inside a secretive life-extension clinic, which became the first to inject a person—its CEO nonetheless—with a gene therapy to reverse the effects of aging. It claims the experiment was a success, but researchers aren’t so sure. Prices start at $75,000. No refunds.
We’ve searched for the lifespan secrets hidden inside one of the body’s least understood organs: the ovary. This tissue ages faster than any other, and when the ovaries stop working at menopause, the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and dementia rises. Now researchers are investigating whether forestalling menopause can push back the symptoms of aging itself.
And we’ve tackled how the modern world is aging your brain. Everyone’s brain shrinks with age, an atrophy which accompanies cognitive decline. A new study shows that shrinking happens faster among people in the industrialized world—offering intriguing clues about what keeps the aging brain healthy.
Go on, read them all. You’ve got plenty of time.