Is there a maximum age to which humans can live?

It’s one of humanity’s longest-standing questions: How long can we live? Even the Bible weighs in. But people, on the whole, seem to be natural pessimists when it comes to the answer. Time after time, experts have estimated a maximum possible life expectancy that any human population could achieve. Time after time, we’ve exceeded it. …

Does cancer screening save lives? Not nearly as many as you might guess

Most people grossly overestimate the benefits of cancer screening, according to a new survey of 10,228 Europeans. A whopping 92% of women believe the life-expectancy benefit from breast-cancer screening is at least ten times bigger than it really is, or say that they don’t know how much benefit screening provides. (On average …

Stay positive: Study shows that optimists live longer

Optimists outlive pessimists, a new study shows. Of nearly 100,000 women enrolled in the Women’s Health Initiative, those who gave optimistic answers on a personality test were 9% less likely to develop heart disease within eight years — and 14% less likely to die — than women who got low optimism scores on the test.

TIME’s Alice …

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