Scientists Study “Ageless” Animals

The average American born in 2007 will live for 77.9 years, according for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Humans weren’t always so long-lived — even just a century ago, the average lifespan was 49.2 years. Clearly, technology has dramatically altered aging in humans.

Annette Baudisch, a biologist at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, used detailed mathematical models to show that all of these medical and technological advances have ironically increased the speed with which people experience of the consequences of the aging process.

Aging, Baudisch said, is simply the process of growing older. All plants and animals get older. The main difference between humans and organisms like common terns is how growing older affects the risk of dying.

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