Is it possible to halt the ageing process? This question was first raised in the 1980s when researchers succeeded in delaying the ageing process in threadworms by modifying a specific gene. Nowadays, hundreds of gene mutations are known to prolong the lifespan of yeast, fruit flies and mice. Will the human dream of eternal youth eventually become reality? The truth is, probably not. The vast majority of researchers in this field are working on the far more realistic issue of ensuring a long and healthy life – a vital issue in the light of demographic changes.