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Journal of the Korean Geriatrics Society 1999;3(4):1-10.
Published online December 31, 1999.
How Long Can We Live?
Hwan Yung Chung
Department of Neurosurgery, Hanyang University School of Medicine & Hyehwa Neurosurgical Hospital, Seoul, Korea
사람은 얼마나 오래 살 수 있는가?
Potential maximum life span of humans is estimated around 115-120 years by Cutler. His estimate agrees with an earlier observation by Buffon who claimed that animals tended to live six times the period needed to complete their growth. As humans reach their skeletal maturity at approximately 20 years. Life span has not changed throughout recorded history. Life expectany, the actual average survival for certain given population has increased thanks to social, economic and medical advances. There are two basic levels of biological explanations on aging: macrobiological and microbiological. Macrobiological explanation includes homeostasis, immune system, endocrine, lifestyle, nutrition and environment. Microbiological explanation includes cellular clock theory, free radical theory and metabolic theory with nutrition and antioxidants. Recent advances of genetics opened new era on telomere and telemorase. Gene therapy is applied mainly at the laboratory or limited as local use under investigation. Although the results are encouraging at the laboratory, application for clinical purpose will need tremendous thorough trial and errors.
Key Words: Life span, Gene therapy, Telomere and Telomerase
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