Life Extension Audio Script (first draft)

February 5, 2008 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

LIFE EXTENSION OUR OBSESSION

1. As human beings we are obsessive creatures and there is one goal so old and so elusive, it has captured our attention for centuries. IMMORTALITY. In popular culture, we can see numerous examples of this desire to look and feel young forever with such characters as Peter Pan, Vampires, The Highlander and movies concerning quests for the Holy Grail or the Fountain of Youth.

2. In the west this obsession has manifested itself in an abundance of products, surgeries and pills that promise a more youthful outward appearance. So we inject, enhance, dye, pop (pills), r r remove, implant, lift, tuck and plump our poor bodies in the hope that we will retain the aesthetic vigor of our youth. In 2003 Ontarians alone spent 180 million dollars on cosmetic surgery and that was 5 years ago!

3. But these treatments are just that – cosmetic – they don’t really deal with our vital inner workings, and thus do nothing to prolong our lives. In fact a lot of these procedures are probably detrimental to our health. BUT NEVER FEAR! Recent advancements in the anti-aging field have scientists saying that we are finally close to achieving lifetimes that are at least several decades longer.

4. Due to increased understanding of how aging affects our bodies at a cellular and molecular level, we now know that metabolism plays a key role in the aging process. Metabolism ongoingly causes “damage” and that “damage” eventually results in death. A genetic-engineering approach to anti-aging would be to periodically repair damage so that it doesn’t reach the point that causes death.

5. We also now know that there are only 7 areas of “damage” to be fixed:
* cell loss/atrophy
* death resistant cells
* nuclear mutations
* mtDNA mutations
* protein cross-links
* junk inside cells
* junk outside cells
Several of these damages, we already know how to fix and it is predicted that we will know how to fix all of these things in mice within the next 10 years.

– But where to begin? It is not simply a matter of giving everyone Advil and Band-aides, we need to make changes at the cellular level. Synthetic biology takes the basic techniques behind genetic engineering and builds on them by employing automated construction, standards and abstraction. In other words instead of the long complicated processes used by genetic engineers, new processes that are faster, cheaper and simpler begin to emerge. These methods have already allowed scientists to create a microbe’s genome from raw chemical components. The next step for these scientists is to actually place this DNA in a cell and see if they can create an actual synthetic life form. While that may not seem like much at this time, think of the future implications. Once scientists can create synthetic cells they have a way to combat all 7 areas of damage listed above.

-Eventually, synthetic biologists may be able to do more than just create cells. They may be able to create new organs and new body parts. This would be simpler than replacing cells and probably be simpler than traditional organ transplants and there would be no need to wait for donors plus the organs could be created to have the same DNA squence as the patient eliminating the problem of the organ being rejected. What would it mean for our lifestyle if body parts suddenly became replaceable? No more exercise, and dieting because hey I could just get a new heart. Alcohol poisoning is ok, because my liver is replaceable too.

-We don’t have to worry about anything this radical just yet. For now they haven’t even created a synthetic cell, but they working on other ways to extend the life of a mouse.

6. According to scientists, the key for getting to the first moderate life extension is to acquire the ability to bestow 2 extra healthy years on mice that are already 2 years old (on mice that normally only live until they’re 3)

7. Of course the notion of biologically extending our lives is highly controversial and hotly debated. Advocates, such as Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Gray, and objectors voicing astute arguments for and against the issue.

8. However, despite strong opposition, it appears as though he arguments for living longer outnumber and outweigh those against it.
But…

9. There are still important questions to think about in this debate…
* Will everyone have en equal chance at an extended life?
* If people live longer but are miserable for decades will views on suicide and euthanasia change?
* In an immortal society, how would you allow for new generations?
* It is one thing to ask should we make people immortal but it is quite another to ask whether we should make people immune to heart disease, cancer, dementia etc. (which would inevitable increase our life spans)
* What is aging? A disease to be cured or a natural part of life? If it is natural, is it necessarily good for us?
* Does the fact that we’re going to die really make us think more seriously about life?

10. Aubrey de Grey, computer scientist, biogerontologist, researcher and strong advocate for life extension, says that these scientific breakthroughs will happen, most likely in an incremental fashion increasing our lives by 50, then 100, then maybe even 1,000 years.
” if we get to work now, humans alive today could live to be 1,000″ de Grey proposes that the first human beings who will live to 1,000 years old have already been born.

11. But until these breakthroughs happen, here are some current life extension tips:
* Eat Less: consumption of calories has been scientifically proven to increase life expectancy.
* Love More: according to research, happy couples tend to live longer than single individuals.

12. Though, don’t forget to ask yourself: “What will I wish for on my 200th birthday?”

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Entry filed under: Audio Script, Live Forever.

Life Extension Storyboards and Creative Briefs (first draft) Life Extension Audio Script (second draft)

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