Question: Discuss longevity and what contributions have been made to understanding it and the aging process.
Answer: According to Chopra (1993), flow of intelligence is in every part of nature including our bodies. This intelligence keeps us alive and as we get older it becomes compromised and lost which manifests as physical symptoms. From that perspective longevity is achieved by maintaining the loss of this flow of intelligence to a minimum.
Dr. Roy Walford was an advocate of under-nutrition, and showed that by reducing calories one can effectively eliminating toxins and therefore extending one´s lifespan. Dr. Hayflick showed that at a cellular level the cell division process continued until a limit of 50 divisions and then the cell dies. Dr West isolated two mortality genes from human cells that affect the speed of aging and labelled them M1 and M2. By chemically switching both of these genes on and off he was able to override the Hayflick limit and allowed these cells to divide indefinitely, therefore increasing their lifespans.
Source: Chopra, D. (1993). Ageless Body, Timeless Minds. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.