- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Jeanne Calment of France (1875-1997), who died at age 122 (and 164 days), holds the record of the longest confirmed human lifespan. Will you live longer than that?
“Why do we live as long as we do (evolutionary question), why do we age (mechanisms question) and why do we die (closure question)?” asks biodemography expert James R. Carey, a UC Davis distinguished professor of entomology.
He'll speak on “Are There Upper Limits to Human Lifespan?” and engage the public at his Science Café presentation at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 10 in the G St. Wunderbar, 228 G St., Davis.
Some of the topics to be discussed at the event, billed as “a conversation and dialogue with a scientist,” include:
- The trends in aging research on extending human lifespan.
- Theoretical arguments for upper limits and empirical evidence in humans
- The impact of disease elimination and organ replacement on longevity
- With the changes in human life expectancy, humans are now being given a second chance-- somewhat like the proverbial cat with nine lives--after an otherwise life-ending disease or incident
- Look to nature for perspectives on the limits of “life duration,” for example 40,000-year-old frozen nematodes; hibernation and dormancy) and limits to “active lifespan.”
An internationally recognized leader and distinguished scholar in insect demography and invasion biology, spanning three decades, Carey also researches health demography, biology of aging, and lifespan theory. He is the author of a landmark study published in the journal Science in 1992 that showed mortality of Mediterranean fruit flies (medflies) slows at older ages. Earlier this year scientists confirmed that this also occurs in humans, citing the study of 105-year-old Italian women.
Carey, who joined the UC Davis faculty in 1980, directed an 11-university, $10 million, 10-year study on biodemography of aging from 2003-2013. He is also known for discovering Carey's Equality or the death distribution in a life table population equals its age structure. He teaches a popular longevity course that draws 250 to 300 students year, and recently authored a book on biodemography, to be published by Princeton University next year.
Professor Jared Shaw, interim chair of the UC Davis Department of Chemistry and founder of the Science Café series, will host the Oct. 10th presentation. Launched in 2012 and initially supported by the National Science Foundation, the popular series now draws support from the Department of Chemistry and Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and is promoted by Capital Science Communicators.
The presentations are free and open to the public and take place the second Wednesday of each month. See schedule on the UC Davis Department of Chemistry website.