You can live to 150? Scientists create app that shows human lifespan could nearly double

GEYLANG, Singapore — Have you made any plans for the 22nd century yet? A new study finds you might want to think about it because it’s possible for humans to live to see their 150th birthday!

Scientists in Singapore have developed an iPhone app that accurately estimates biological aging. It discovered that life expectancy has the capacity to be almost double the current norm. The findings are based on blood samples from hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and United Kingdom.

The instrument, called DOSI, uses artificial intelligence to work out body resilience, the ability to recover from injury or disease. DOSI, which stands for dynamic organism state indicator, takes into account age, illnesses, and lifestyles to make its estimates.

“Calculation of resilience based on physical activity data streams has been implemented in GeroSense iPhone app,” says study first author Dr. Tim Pyrkov from the Singapore-based biotech company Gero in a media release.

If a person’s trends hold into old age, the app finds a complete loss of human body resilience won’t occur until around age 120 to 150. The study, appearing in the journal Nature Communications, also included step count data from around 4,500 American adults.

“Aging in humans exhibits universal features common to complex systems operating on the brink of disintegration,” says Gero co-founder Dr. Peter Fedichev. “This work is a demonstration of how concepts borrowed from physical sciences can be used in biology to probe different aspects of senescence and frailty to produce strong interventions against aging.”

How can scientists push lifespans even further?

Researchers believe senescent (or “zombie”) cells hold the key to an “elixir of youth” pill. They are living but non-functioning cells and have a connection to everything from arthritis to Alzheimer’s disease. For most of recorded human history, the average life expectancy has been between 20 and 40 years. Today, humans live to be around 80 years-old.

Improved nutrition, clean water, better sanitation, and the application of medical science have been key to prolonging life. Experts suspect genetic manipulation, calorie restriction, and new medicines may extend life even further.

The analysis notes DOSI fluctuations increase with age, due to an increase in recovery time. Dr. Pyrkov and the team used the progressive loss to predict the maximum human lifespan. The result will disappoint some longevity researchers, who have said it is possible to live to be 1,000.

However, study authors observed reduced resilience even in those not suffering from major chronic disease. That led to the increase in the range of the fluctuations of physiological guides.

The Gero team says as people age, they need more and more time to recover after any kind of harmful event. On average, people spend less and less time in their optimal physiological condition when they get older. The predicted weakening in the healthiest, most successfully aging individuals sheds light on why the maximum lifespan appears to plateau at 150.

On the other hand, it also opens the door to new treatments and clinical trials. Preventing or curing diseases won’t extend life without intercepting the aging process.

‘A conceptual breakthrough’

Dr. Pyrkov adds researchers don’t foresee any laws of nature prohibiting such an intervention. Therefore, the aging model the app has produced may help guide scientists who are creating life-extending therapies. The team has also built a wearable DOSI called GeroSense to compute resilience.

“This work, in my opinion, is a conceptual breakthrough because it determines and separates the roles of fundamental factors in human longevity – the aging, defined as progressive loss of resilience, and age-related diseases,” says co-author Professor Andrei Gudkov of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. “It explains why even most effective prevention and treatment of age-related diseases could only improve the average but not the maximal lifespan unless true anti-aging therapies have been developed.”

“The research will help to understand the limits of longevity and future anti-aging interventions,” adds Prof. Brian Kennedy, a physiologist at National University Singapore. “What’s even more important, the study may help to bridge the rising gap between the health- and life-span, which continues to widen in most developing countries.”

SWNS writer Mark Waghorn contributed to this report.