You Can't Live Forever

President-elect John F. Kennedy in Miami, Nov. 14, 1960, and then-Sen. Barack Obama, Oct. 16, 2006.
The only way you're not going to die of old age is if something else kills you first.

That's the conclusion of a team of 51 scientists, published in the June issue of Scientific American. The experts were called in to consider the possibility of extending the natural life of a human being. Nearly every possible method was on the table, from antioxidants and hormone therapy to the replacement of all body parts. In the end, well, there was "the end."

The authors of the essay concluded that while there are ways to improve the quality of life, there are no proven ways to improve the quantity of time a person can be expected to live, or slow down the effects of aging. While things like exercise, a healthful lifestyle and a strong immune system can help fend off some of the illnesses associated with aging, there is no way to stop the degradation of the human body over a lifetime.