How long can humans live?

Although longer lifespans are widespread, they are not a given.

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Humans are living longer around the world. While there have been obvious ups and downs, life expectancy at birth overall has been steadily increasing for many years. It has more than doubled in the last two centuries.

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Surprising Science

Want to know the meaning of life? It starts with health.

A new study discovered that lack of purpose leads to earlier death.

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  • In a study of nearly 7,000 individuals, those without a sense of purpose were more likely to die sooner.
  • Interestingly, those without meaning were more likely to die of cardiovascular disease.
  • Simply put, purpose produces better health.
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Personal Growth

Creativity isn't just for the young, new research shows

It all depends on what type of creativity we're discussing.

The troupe Lifting, composed of dancers aged 62 to 85 years, performs the play "For a no, for a yes" directed by French choreographer Anne Martin, on March 26, 2018, at the Coloc' de la Culture in Cournon-d'Auvergnez (Photo: Thierry Zoccolan/AFP/Getty Images)
  • There are two peaks to creativity: One in our mid-20s and another 30 years later.
  • Conceptual innovators set out with explicit goals that they carefully execute, while experimental innovators are synthesists, collecting ideas and incorporating them as they age.
  • The study focuses on 31 Nobel laureates in economics.
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Surprising Science

The science of why we can’t live forever

Here's why stars fade out — and so do we.

  • According to scientists the reason we die is because the second law of thermodynamics and natural selection.
  • The whole universe runs down, so, ultimately, even if you could lengthen your lifespan indefinitely, the universe itself will eventually die in a heat death.
  • We die, one predominant view goes, so that our progeny may live — because there are limited resources.
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Videos

Stressing about aging damages your brain, shortens your life

Dementia, disrespect, and loneliness – that is not your future, says aging expert Ashton Applewhite.

  • The best anti-aging advice? Stop stereotyping old people! Cultural messaging about the pitfalls of old age causes undue stress that prematurely ages the brain and shortens life spans.
  • People who have a positive outlook on aging can live 7.5 years longer than those who buy into cultural stereotypes about getting old.
  • It's important to look at the positives of aging, not just the risk factors: Alzheimer's rates are declining, 'mental sifting' can make us wiser, and older workers injure themselves less often than younger workers.
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Videos