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What age is old age now?

Did you know that most of us should live to our 80s if we look after our bodies with healthy eating and exercise?  However, for those that live to 105 or older, their longevity tends to be due to genetics, to a history of living to a good age within the family and the genes have been inherited. This is according to Dr. Thomas Perls, a professor at Boston University School of Medicine who has been studying the genetics of centenarians.
Now, would you like to live to 85 or 105? I think most of us would reply to the question by saying it depends on our quality of life. As we get nearer to 85, it doesn’t seem that old after all does it? We’d like to live as long as we can. Wouldn’t it be nice to live to 95 as a healthy individual?  Some wealthy entrepreneurs are investing significant sums of money into research so that more of us can do just that.
Dr. Craig J Venter, age 67, has set up a new company called Human Longevity. Part of the research into what makes some people live longer will also involve building the largest human DNA sequencing operation in the world as they work to combat some of the age-related illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. Millions are being invested in the research although some are sceptical. They see it as investing to make more money in that the results will be sold to pharmaceutical companies rather than meaning it for the greater good for society.
It is claimed that research is already ongoing into selected genes in cancer tumours, looking for mutations that could indicate which treatments would work best for cancer patients. It is argued that not much more could be gained by sequencing the entire genome of the tumour cell.
Although this is all very scientific, it seems to me that research is positive. If those with the capability to carry out the research (in terms of knowledge and funding) are willing to do so, who knows where it might lead.  It’s not that long since 60 was seen as old, maybe half a century ago?  By 2064 – who knows what decade will be viewed as representing old age. Anyone like to hazard a guess?

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