playlist

The eternal search to prolong life

Why are we so obsessed with age? From quests for youth to immortality, these speakers explore the science of staying alive.

  1. 18:46
    Elizabeth Blackburn The science of cells that never get old

    What makes our bodies age ... our skin wrinkle, our hair turn white, our immune systems weaken? Biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shares a Nobel Prize for her work finding out the answer, with the discovery of telomerase: an enzyme that replenishes the caps at the end of chromosomes, which break down when cells divide. Learn more about Blackburn's groundbreaking research — including how we might have more control over aging than we think.

  2. 16:02
    Susan Pinker The secret to living longer may be your social life

    The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it's not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy — it's their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond.

  3. 15:45
    Juan Enriquez What will humans look like in 100 years?

    We can evolve bacteria, plants and animals — futurist Juan Enriquez asks: Is it ethical to evolve the human body? In a visionary talk that ranges from medieval prosthetics to present day neuroengineering and genetics, Enriquez sorts out the ethics associated with evolving humans and imagines the ways we'll have to transform our own bodies if we hope to explore and live in places other than Earth.

  4. 12:25
    Helen Pearson Lessons from the longest study on human development

    For the past 70 years, scientists in Britain have been studying thousands of children through their lives to find out why some end up happy and healthy while others struggle. It's the longest-running study of human development in the world, and it's produced some of the best-studied people on the planet while changing the way we live, learn and parent. Reviewing this remarkable research, science journalist Helen Pearson shares some important findings and simple truths about life and good parenting.

  5. 13:35
    Tony Wyss-Coray How young blood might help reverse aging. Yes, really

    Tony Wyss-Coray studies the impact of aging on the human body and brain. In this eye-opening talk, he shares new research from his Stanford lab and other teams which shows that a solution for some of the less great aspects of old age might actually lie within us all.

  6. 16:23
    Cynthia Kenyon Experiments that hint of longer lives

    What controls aging? Biochemist Cynthia Kenyon has found a simple genetic mutation that can double the lifespan of a simple worm, C. elegans. The lessons from that discovery, and others, are pointing to how we might one day significantly extend youthful human life.

  7. 22:45
    Aubrey de Grey A roadmap to end aging

    Cambridge researcher Aubrey de Grey argues that aging is merely a disease — and a curable one at that. Humans age in seven basic ways, he says, all of which can be averted.

  8. 19:39
    Dan Buettner How to live to be 100+

    To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. In his talk, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.

  9. 11:38
    Laura Carstensen Older people are happier

    In the 20th century we added an unprecedented number of years to our lifespans, but is the quality of life as good? Surprisingly, yes! Psychologist Laura Carstensen shows research that demonstrates that as people get older they become happier, more content, and have a more positive outlook on the world.