The development of modern medicine in the near future will allow to increase the average life expectancy of residents of developed countries to 120 years, which raises the question about the need and rethinking of the concept of "old age". To this conclusion came the participants of the scientific conference, held at March 15 in the University of Oxford. According to the participants of the conference dedicated to the problems of improving life expectancy and quality of life, traditional ideas about the existence of hard "natural" boundaries of life expectancy gradually become irrelevant.
According to the Director of programs at Harvard University to study the problem of generations Paul Hodge, the governments of leading world States, faced with problems of rising costs for health care, the pension crisis and the aging of the workforce, must learn to respond to a new challenge now. "Life expectancy is greatly increased, and the existing approaches in this area will soon become absolutely inadequate," he warned. The General trend to the widespread increase in life expectancy is certain, however, to what extent it is possible in the near future, remains a controversial issue. A representative of the Medical school at the University of Michigan Richard Miller (Richard Miller) said that, according to the results of experiments with laboratory mice and rats is highly similar in genetic structure to human life of these animals can be extended by 40% by simply reducing calorie intake. Extrapolating the results of experiments on humans can be estimated that the average life expectancy of people in developed countries in the near future may increase from 80 to 112 years, and some individuals will live much longer. However, this optimistic forecast was not satisfied Obreja de grey (Aubrey de Grey), the gerontologist from Cambridge University, working to develop methods of prolonging life with the use of gene therapy and stem cells. According to de grey, the first person who will live to 1000 years (!) with regular treatments, has already to be born. If effective way to extend life by 30-40 years, will be created, its implementation will allow the patient to survive until the next technological breakthrough that promises a new lease on life — and so on ad infinitum, suggested by the American gerontologist. Most of the participants skeptical of futurological arguments of the Cambridge scientist. So, Director of the Center for the study of ageing and nutrition, University of Newcastle Tom Kirkwood (Tom Kirkwood) considered forecast de grey "no more than a thought experiment". Of course, the process of human aging can be influenced, and the limits of human life is not motionless, however, the expertise of scientists in this field remain very surface, said Kirkwood. Real today the aim of most scientists acknowledge an increase in the duration and, importantly, the quality of life of older people. Significant progress in this area has already been observed in developed countries, where activity of people aged over 70 increased significantly compared to previous generations. Jay Olshansky (Jay Olshansky), a researcher from the University of Illinois urged the U.S. government to increase investments in research into the processes of aging to 3 billion US dollars per year. According to Olshansky, the delay of the process of natural aging by an average of 7 years would bring the state more benefits, than, for example, the victory over cancer.