People's lives have been getting longer for more than a century. In 1900, in even the wealthiest countries, life expectancy was under 50, according to the World Health Organization. By 2015, the worldwide average was 74, and a girl born in Japan that year could expect to live to 87. Most of that extra lifespan came from improvements in nutrition and sanitation, and the development of vaccines and antibiotics.
Neil Savage writes about science and technology from Lowell, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Nature, Discover, Scientific American, Cell, IEEE Spectrum, and Chemical & Engineering News, among others. A former newspaper reporter, he received an MS in Science Journalism from Boston University.neilsavagewrite