Do humans have a natural lifespan of 38?

Biologist Benjamin Mayne certainly generated a lot of media attention with his research showing that the natural human lifespan is 38 years.

If he's right, then the implications are huge - for starters, we would have to rethink our entire healthcare system. That system is based on the (perhaps unrealistic) assumption that deaths not attributable to accident or violence are due to disease, and that all diseases can be conquered with enough medical research.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 31, 2020, with the headline 'Do humans have a natural lifespan of 38?'. Print Edition | Subscribe