Homo sapiens and naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) are vivid examples of social mammals that differ from their relatives in particular by an increased lifespan and a large number of neotenic features. An important fact for biogerontology is that the mortality rate of H. glaber (a maximal lifespan of more than 32 years, which is very large for such a small rodent) negligibly grows with age. The same is true for modern people in developed countries below the age of 60. It is important that the juvenilization of traits that separate humans from chimpanzees evolved over thousands of generations and millions of years. Rapid advances in technology resulted in a sharp increase in the life expectancy of human beings during the past 100 years. Currently, the human life expectancy has exceeded 80 years in developed countries. It cannot be excluded that the potential for increasing life expectancy by an improvement in living conditions will be exhausted after a certain period of time. New types of geroprotectors should be developed that protect not only from chronic phenoptosis gradual poisoning of the body with reactive oxygen species (ROS) but also from acute phenoptosis, where strong increase in the level of ROS immediately kills an already aged individual. Geroprotectors might be another anti-aging strategy along with neoteny (a natural physiological phenomenon) and technical progress.
Keywords: aging; anti-aging drugs; demography; life expectancy; neoteny.