Driven by technological progress, human life expectancy has increased greatly since the nineteenth century. Demographic evidence has revealed an ongoing reduction in old-age mortality and a rise of the maximum age at death, which may gradually extend human longevity. Together with observations that lifespan in various animal species is flexible and can be increased by genetic or pharmaceutical intervention, these results have led to suggestions that longevity may not be subject to strict, species-specific genetic constraints. Here, by analysing global demographic data, we show that improvements in survival with age tend to decline after age 100, and that the age at death of the world’s oldest person has not increased since the 1990s. Our results strongly suggest that the maximum lifespan of humans is fixed and subject to natural constraints.
On Monday, December 5 at 6:30 a.m., I was kneeling on the floor in front of my toilet, hand plunged into the nearly opaque dark red water, fishing for the warm clumps that had sunk to the bottom. I had cleaned the toilet the night before in preparation, and the sterile specimen jar from the doctor’s office was waiting by the sink. I carefully sorted through the mess in my hand, looking for something to stand out. A small grayish oval with a black dot on the side emerged, no larger than my pinky nail. So that was the head, then. I put it in the jar and my hand back in the water, halfway up my forearm, to search for the body. Another grayish lump, nothing discernible, but then I wasn’t looking too closely because the dizziness was overtaking me.
This was my third miscarriage.
This is what a miscarriage looks like.
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— Laszlo Barabasi (@barabasi) August 3, 2016