The giant tortoise can roam the Earth for over 150 years.
Whales, the longest living mammals, pass two centuries without a second thought.
The oldest known freshwater mussel celebrated 280 birthdays.
But what about humans? What makes our cells and genes different? Why are we more susceptible to afflictions like cancer, heart disease or neurodegenerative disorders as we age?
These are the questions that over 500 scientists are working to answer as part of an ongoing collaboration between AbbVie and Calico Life Sciences focused on aging, a dominant risk factor for many of the world’s most prevalent diseases.
The goal isn’t to make humans live as long as whales, but to unearth fresh insights into the biology of human aging that lead to the discovery and development of new treatments for a maturing population around the globe. Projections show the number of people living past 80 will increase threefold from now until 2050, according to United Nations data. With an increase in age comes a jump in the risk for chronic, progressive diseases that can affect physical and cognitive abilities.