People age. This is often suppressed, covered with make-up or sprayed away with Botox, but fundamentally it cannot be changed at the moment. And the older someone gets, the higher the risk of becoming ill or dying. Statistically, human mortality increases exponentially up to the age of 80. States are fundamentally different from people, but researchers led by the Dutch environmental scientist Marten Scheffer from Wageningen University have now observed a similar process in them. Like her in the specialist magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports, communities also become frail as we age.