For decades, people have been searching for the fountain of youth, not just to look good but to try and avoid the inevitable—death.  There is a field of scientists called biogerontologists that are working in a fast-developing field to not only maximize the average lifespan, but also to increase the “healthspan,” which is the number of years we spend free from disease, disability and impairment.  Humans go through the aging process in a different manner than some animals, which may provide clues to growing older gracefully.  Every year a human is alive, their risk of dying increased by 10%.  In your 30’s, for instance, your odds of dying in any given year are less than one in 1,000.  However, this 10% compounding effect adds up quickly.  Tortoises, some kind of salamander and fish and burrow-dwelling rodents called naked molerats all have a risk of death unrelated to how long they have been alive.  This phenomenon is called “negligible senescence” and is being studied avidly by scientists.

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