Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Long life: 100th birthday celebrations will be a common affair in the next three decades

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: "Satapoorti" or celebration of 100th birthday will become a common affair in the next three decades as the average life span of people will go up by 20 years, says eminent geneticist and biotechnologist Dr Krishna Dronamraju.

"It is only a matter of time. In the next 30 years the average life span will increase by at least 15 years, if not 20 years. Once this happens, Sashtipoorti (celebration of 60th birthday) will be a passé. Satapoorti will be the in-thing, as many people will live beyond 100," Dr Krishna said.

The concept of Sashtipoorti evolved in olden days when any living beyond 50 years was considered a miracle and thus warranted a celebration. Now that most of the people have been living beyond 70, Sashtipoorti has lost its flavour. "We should now look forward to Satapoorti," he pointed out.

India-born US scientist Dr Krishna, who is also an advisor to the US government on health and agriculture, told this correspondent that the average life span of people had increased by 20 years in the last 50 years and thanks to pioneering research in genetics, stem cells and nanotechnology, people may live beyond 100 years.

Advanced gene therapy will help in strengthening the heart muscles so that it could work longer, increasing the life span of an individual. Strengthening heart, lungs, blood vessels and kidneys through gene therapy will improve not only the quality of life, but also the over all life span.

According to him, at best a human being can live up to 150 years and beyond it, death is inevitable. "There's a lot of wear and tear in the body, but we can postpone death. Artificial heart is almost a reality. Considerable research has been done on lung transplant. Once artificial heart and lung transfer become practical, we can prolong human life," Dr Krishna said.

Many people living in Caucasus mountains are known to live beyond 100 years, he said adding that research studies had shown that these people avoid fatty substances in their diet. "The body needs lot of dietary fibre and the best source is through vegetables and fruits," he said.

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