Featured in Seniors for Living

July 28, 2010

To Age or Not to Age: Intriguing Research Featured in New Film

By Michelle Seitzer

[The following article was originally posted on Seniors For Living on July 27, 2010.  Click here for the original article.]

People in New York City were treated to an interesting new film, To Age or Not to Age, this July at the Village East Cinema. Here’s the premise… Four leading scientists – Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, Dr. David Sinclair, Dr. Leonard Guarente, and Dr. Aubrey de Grey – are featured along with their groundbreaking research which begs the question that gives the film its title: To Age or Not to Age.

According to the researchers, it may not be far-fetched to imagine a world where aging is postponed, perhaps indefinitely, and aging-related diseases are eliminated. One scientist postures that we can eliminate/reverse the aging process itself.

Check out this thought-provoking quote from Dr. Thomas Kirkwood, which captures the essence of the film’s rather controversial premise:

“A lot of people think we’re biologically programmed to die, but the truth is that we’re biologically programmed for survival. There is no mechanism inside us that turns on to kill us when a certain period of time has elapsed.”

Many of us know or have heard of people who are aging very gracefully: doctors that we’ve profiled in previous blog posts who still go to work after turning 100, the members of the Young@Heart chorus who tour the country and boast members near/at the age of 100 <http://www.youngatheartchorus.com/about.php> , Nelson Mandela who started a new venture (check out my latest post on “The Elders”) to celebrate his 89th birthday, your next door neighbor who just graduated college at age 85 or the family member who still goes to the gym at age 92 – the list goes on. So is the idea of the film really that far off?  What keeps these people moving forward, despite their advanced years?

There are certainly many implications (moral, economic, etc.) for reversing/eradicating the aging process. The film explores these potential repercussions and opens up an opportunity for dialogue on this fascinating subject.

Look for a future blog post on my interview with one of the film’s scientists…and in the meantime, share your thoughts on the film’s premise here. 

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