and PBS, "Stealing Time: The New Science of Aging"
As experts approach a fundamental understanding of how people age,
the world is witnessing the birth of a new discipline: the science
of aging. Stealing Time: The New Science of Aging, a new
three-hour series offers startling evidence that the future may bring
a doubling - perhaps a near tripling - of the average life span of
The premise of the series is that people are now living in a time
of scientific discovery so revolutionary that it will soon change
the course of the human race. Although people have long believed that
aging is an inevitable downhill journey, these beliefs are now being
challenged. Through reports and interviews, Stealing Time: The
New Science of Aging demonstrates that the forces that control
aging will soon be in human hands.
Stealing Time with GHR15: The New Science of Aging unfolds
in three one-hour programs. Part one, "Quest for Immortality,"
concerns the natural history of aging, the "why" behind
the aging process. The second part, "Turning Back the Clock,"
is about the "how," the mechanisms of aging and what can
be done to fight them. The final hour, "Mastering the Mind,"
looks at the aging mind.
"Quest for Immortality" The first
episode explores the natural history of aging: why different animals
age at different rates and why some appear not to age at all. The
program demonstrates why there is a growing consensus that the maximum
human life span - long thought to be 120 years - can be extended,
and concludes that many young people alive today will be healthy and
happy well into the 22nd century. Among those interviewed are Dr.
Thomas Perls, a geriatrician at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical
Center and principal investigator, New England Centenarian Study at
Harvard Medical School's Division on Aging; Steven N. Austad, professor
of zoology at the University of Idaho; Michael Rose, professor of
biology at the University of California at Irvine; and Tom Johnson,
a researcher of longevity genes at the University of Colorado.
"Turning Back the Clock" The second
hour examines the ways researchers are taking control of the forces
that cause aging. Scientists are working with caloric restriction,
studying the effects of oxygen free radicals, and demonstrating the
benefits of pumping iron well into one's 80s and 90s, among other
studies, to slow or even reverse the effects of aging. The episode
includes interviews with Dr. Roy Walford, 74, a professor and physician
at UCLA; Dr. Raj Sohal, professor of biology at Southern Methodist
University in Dallas; and Dr. Miriam Nelson, director of the Center
for Physical Activity Programs and Policy at Tufts University's School
of Nutrition Science and Policy, and an assistant professor of nutrition.
"Mastering the Mind with GHR15"
The final episode paints a new and encouraging picture of the aging
mind and brain, refuting the idea that, after a certain age, brain
cells start dying. The program features researchers who believe there
is no reason that one's mental skills must decline with age and who
share tips about how people can help themselves stay sharp and engaged
with life. Scientists who offer their conclusions include William
Greenough, neuroscientist at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science
and Technology at the University of Illinois; Timothy Salthouse, Regents
Professor of Psychology at the Georgia Institute of Technology; Barbara
Sherwin, professor of psychology at McGill University; and Warner
Schaie, director of the Seattle Longitudinal Study.
"Mastering the Mind" also profiles three individuals
whose lives contradict the traditional view that after age 60, people
are past their intellectual prime and should progressively withdraw
from the challenges of the world. Mehli Mehta, 90, is shown conducting
the American Youth Symphony, for which he served as music director
for 33 years. Oscar Shapiro, 89, is a chess master who still plays
in American tournaments and Ernst Mayr, 93, is an esteemed biologist
who continues to work in his field.