Don't Grow Old

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Ratings: 7.33/10 from 15 users.

Storyline

Don't Grow OldFor centuries scientists have been attempting to come up with an elixir of youth. Now remarkable discoveries are suggesting that aging is something flexible that can ultimately be manipulated.

Horizon meets the scientists who are attempting to piece together why we age and more vitally for all of us, what we can do to prevent it. But which theory will prevail?

Does the 95-year-old woman who smokes two packets of cigarettes a day hold the clue? Do blueberries really delay signs of aging or is it more a question of attitude?

Does the real key to controlling how we age lie with a five-year-old boy with an extraordinary aging disease or with a self-experimenting Harvard professor? Could one of these breakthroughs really see our lives extend past 120 years?

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Comments and User Reviews

  • jilted_generation

    Right ... Let's all imagine an immortal Rockerfeller.

    One might say, why not imagine an immortal Einstein (One weapon of mass destruction is enough thank you).

    Death is what makes life valuable, and it's what makes us evolve in terms of society, mentality etc.

    "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing it's oponents and making them see the light, but rather becouse it's opponents eventually die" (M. Plank)

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_M7I5JU4WE7WWG2XQZQO4EZNGPM Lark Malark

    One could argue that death is what makes life worthless. We are all going to die so there is not much point in improving yourself.

  • http://twitter.com/arifkarim1 Arif Karim

    Science trying to defy death and aging :D

  • AddaW

    Death isn't necessery for improving society.
    You could look at your example, and also say, well imagine what great things Einstein could have accomplished if he wasn't stopped by his death (and mind degradation which came with aging). It is tragic that every time someone dies, the vast knowledge and skills that person has collected dissapears too. And it isn't truth that people in general are unable of changing their minds. One of the characteristics of any good scientist is being able to adapt your worldview.

    People don't get motivated through life with fact they'll surely die and there is nothing about shorter life that would make it inherently more valueable then longer one.

    So quit rationalizing death.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dutch-Major/100000462530773 Dutch Major

    If people had to work a fulltime job earning just enough to get by for 1000years...i think people might start to think change is needed and simply owning your own home is the peak of your lifes financial achievments.After all watching some rich dude site ontop of your back, getting most the rewards from your work and you getting the scraps for 1000years aint going to be fun.So obviously living longer gives oportunity to advance one's inteligence and most importantly LEARN from their mistakes and as a society mistakes of history, rather then just repeating them every bloody century over and over like everyone has a memory defect.After all if what you do will suck big time in 200 years and your going to be alive to reap the s*** you created...you might start to reconsider your actions. Not to mention a few hundred years people might actually learn politicians are shit talkers and regardless who you vote nothing changes for the better...hell they might actually discover people create change, not the government.Ceasing the effects of ageing doesnt mean you wont die, after all if you strap your arse to a nuke and let it rip...im not sure how your going to be alive anymore lol...unless the technology to copy/save your mind into a clone in the evnt of your main body and mind getting destroyed....even then your clone and mental data could be destroyed also...so its impossible to live forever...but you could possibly live almost indefinately with the corect technology.I woudlnt expect people to live over a thousand years if suddenly everyone could today, im sure accidents and killing each other would stop msot getting taht far...we arent at a civilised point were we could truly reap the benefits of living hundreds of years, but they certainly would help us in our current situation.

  • Guest

    U are absolutely right. Death means the end of ones body, but its spiritual element never dies.

  • Ramus73

    People who DO believe in God probably don't want to die either, it's just they are deluded into thinking there is a guy in a white robe to meet them and tell them everything is ok now they are dead.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    @2012_2012,

    You contradict yourself.

    First you say: People who don't believe in God don't want to die. (therefore people who believe in God want to die, or life to them means nothing, since the afterlife is the real deal).

    And then you're sharing a secret with us on what should we do in order to live longer. I thought the afterlife is important to you.

    And finally why do you attempt to bring God in every single argument?

  • tariqxl

    Should the average person live to 120 (at least), the world population would increase and age. Not good considering we already need to increase farming output by 50% and the amount of deforestation we reek on this planet is epic in scale. And immortality sounds cool but we would all have to agree never to reproduce, all being fair, who's to say we're the generation that says no new personalities should ever be created.

    games theorists say that if you know every conceivable factor you can predict the future.... True, unless you count the unpredictable nature of intelligent life. Even unintelligent life shapes seemingly unchanging and predictable states, like bacteria that consumes rock converting it into soil and algae that converts the gases we breath... natural terraforming. Death plays an important part in all of that too.

    Imagine the damage that 1 person can do in 80 years of live... now add 50% to that persons life cycle. The good this person could do is only really good for his/her existance or for his/her species not generally the ecosystems surrounding. Like it or not we have a duty to future generations and future species, we are duty bound to die. We should turn our attention away from selfish persuits to better sciences, to see how comfortable we can make the earth for ALL life rather than just our own.

    Peace out.

  • Guest

    I think you have found the best way to provoke people in order to get acknowledged and get them to reply to you.
    Name GOD...this site seems to be very much into "to GOD or not to GOD". Docs with a religious subject get the most comments. It may be because GOD can be applied to everything, he is like salt and pepper people put on every subject. I prefer hot sauce!
    I say let's DOG it all!
    az

  • Guest

    anddddddddddddd.....
    What if death was a real cool wall to go through, just like birth was. Although birth must have been painful, may be death of whatever 1 was before was less painful than the birth. So what if instead of trying to postpone death until death, 1 prepared for it the way 1 gets ready for a long trip. What if 1 got excited to die knowing 1 doesn't know what's next. Just the same way 1 person would get excited to go to Africa for the first time, specially if that person didn't know any other 1 who has ever been there (which was my case). 1 packs bags, image in, gets fit for the treck, goes to the airport, enters the plane and takes off....toward an unexpected unfolding.
    No 1 knows what was before, no 1 knows was is after...it is as simple as that.
    So why not write 1's own death sentence with a scenario that fits the actor!

    i understand being alone at the moment
    neither in front of sure death
    nor in front of undivided love
    you may be puzzled the size of a pixel whit
    if you trust there is a period to an i
    preceded by many comas
    you will know what's important
    the experiences of my life have forced me
    to question myself in very rewarding ways
    how can 1 stay in the present continuously
    is 1 central question i have in my mind
    at all moments of the day
    to remain current in the flow of my ideas
    is an unusual school of discoveries
    keeping my ship tidy is an exercise
    a great way to exhaust too much energy
    a marvelous way to gain some
    it permits silence while allowing to plan
    the next fertile row towards the end
    of the beginning
    1 can die from the hit of lightening
    1 can live from the hit of enlightenment
    so why be afraid of dying
    let us be afraid of not living

    az
    a poet in her free time

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tyler-Stanley/100001627789474 Tyler Stanley

    ^Such a loser.

  • Guest

    It's simple,Vlatko, once certain people get stuck in a certain theory as to the meaning of life, or the reason for exisistance, they are trapped in that pattern..to them it is all explained. From that point on, a person simply tries to make all information fit into thier ideological point of view.Square pegs into round holes. At least he is on this site watching...maybe someday he will have enough information that it will simply overwhelm his ideological fallacies and can construct a new fallacy,albeit a little more realistic.

  • Ramus73

    Errr....... Is there some1 that looks after you?

  • http://twitter.com/Squeezle042 Robert M

    A good start I think, mind is over matter, or matter is mind. This documentary does well to start the path to youth over, but I think still has a ways to go. To be young, laugh. To be healthy, exercise. To live long, you should keep the brain going strong always.

    Think of the brain as a muscle that needs exercise, not just in the youth of our school but to learn the same every day as the day before and more. This will lead to youth and wisdom together. And in this way such problems as you say food shortages and dis-ease will soon also become a thing of the past. God if you like can help. But no single one can be a god. Only all together are we of.

    The aging population should not need taking care of, but could do well with motivation to keep learning. It makes you young again ;) Oh and always laugh!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phillip-Thomas/100000461691286 Phillip Thomas

    Yours is the most eloquent and well thought of all the comments for this documentary. I have a question for you, though.
    Given the possibility of immortality being present among simple creatures such as hydra and jellyfish, is it not arguable that this absence of age related death for an entire species could be extended to more complex creatures, especially if it was a gradual process?

  • PaulGloor

    I think the majority of us have come to terms with death whether poetic, or in fear. Its gonna happen at some point. Why rush it, death can wait till I'm good and ready.

  • PaulGloor

    I agree that artificially extended life or even biological immortality would create an overpopulation problem. But also, not everyone wants to live forever. One could argue mandatory sterilization after a maximum of 2 children if someone opts for life extension.
    I personally wanna live forever, or at least long enough to get bored of living and make a serious, positive impact on the future if I can along the way and have no problems with that idea.
    When time is on your side, the rush and bustle that we go through now that ultimately damages the environment will fade away to patience and contemplation as we realize we have the time to achieve most anything.

  • Guest

    I am not talking of rushing anything, i am suggesting to live without worrying about the after, i am suggesting there may be a different way to approach that door...life takes care of the livingS and i suppose death will do the same!
    az

  • Guest

    of course...me myself and i...we are all together in this!
    I thought i'd edit this one and add....i buy second hand everything, i caretake houses which i consider recycling space for a period of time, i give more than i take, i love more than i dislike, i am detached from owning much, i let people borrow what i have when not in use and i think about being the best i can as a constant but i do catch myself racing off in the wrong direction like a child living by a highway!
    az

  • Guest

    Plus...how do we even know we are alive *as we know it*. When i am awake, i am boxed in a body that is very limited, when i am asleep the box opens and all of a sudden i become illimited. Am i really a body or the free spirit that dreams my life away!
    az

  • Yanis Vergos

    ? wanna survive up to 160 years?
    Or you want to live?
    your choice of course.
    the doc is really boring for someone under 44

  • 2012_2012

    Because a lot of people on this site bash God for every documentary. Some are even rude I thought this was the norm. What Ramus73 says is very offensive and Achems Razor calls religions Idiots so please ask them to not bring God into every argument and keep their hatred to themselves.

  • jilted_generation

    "It is tragic that every time someone dies, the vast knowledge and skills that person has collected dissapears too"

    When someone dies, facts dissapear, speculation steps in. I could go further with this and say that I BELIEVE the universe wastes nothing. Nothing dies, everything is transformed (Even in the case of black holes, which was believed proves that information is lost forever, relatively recent postulations such as the event horizon of a black hole proves information is not lost even in such ... well ... dark places.)

    "And it isn't truth that people in general are unable of changing their minds. One of the characteristics of any good scientist is being able to adapt your worldview."

    I couldn't agree more, tho if you check historic and present discoveries you see that's not how things work.

    "People don't get motivated through life with fact they'll surely die and there is nothing about shorter life that would make it inherently more valueable then longer one."

    You don't really believe this do you ?
    Think you have 48 hours left to live.Wouldn't it make your remaining hours inherently more valueable then ?. Apply this globally. Think people only live 30 years as a medium life span. Our priorities, morals, laws and culture would be entirely diffrent.

  • Guest

    to tell you the truth, i don't quite know what you mean, although six other people seem to be clued in. Care to explain? You may not like my poetry...you wouldn't be the first.
    az easy

  • Ramus73

    Hey, I'm just messing with you, I'm normally only artistic after I smoked a big bag of weed :)

  • Guest

    You must not have good weed if you need that much!...lol
    A little messing with is always good, look at the 6 thumbs up.
    az

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Arnold-Vinette/100000991429638 Arnold Vinette

    An interesting documentary on people obsessed with either stopping the aging process or trying to understand it. I liked the scientist who was working with the centarians.

    Interestingly enough I have never been worried about aging myself because I have always looked 10 years longer then my peers. In fact trying to look older was always my biggest problem.

    And as far as acting old, the same problem has plagued me my entire life, I always have more fun hanging out with kids who are much more fun than spending time with adults who are always so darn serious, competitive and greedy.

    It was such a serious problem in my marriage that my former spouse finally divorced me out of sheer frustration that I spent more time hanging out with our kids than with her.

    So now I have found the perfect job working with kids all over the world funding art programs all over the world. Facebook pages: Ottawa Kids Artwork, Canadian Kids Artwork, American Kids Artwork, European Kids Artwork and Russian Kids Artwork. Every day I post thousands of pieces of artwork a day.

    How long will I live? to be honest I don't really care as long as I am having fun, doing what I love to do every day, funding art programs all over the world and exercising every week. Staying young has never been my problem, getting old that has been a real challenge.

    Arnold Vinette
    Ottawa, Canada

  • http://profiles.google.com/karboun Karsten Madsen

    It made me happy to read this. Im 20, and i can already feel that i sometimes forget to just have fun and worry less.

  • Guest

    Doing art with kids is like watering flowers in a garden. We are all children within, age is seen not really felt.

    Be
    Have
    Do
    Give
    Love
    do magic with simple verbs
    Behave do give love
    we hear the soul chooses
    the cradle of its hereafter
    the envelop of its bulk
    the nest of its family
    the springboard of its forthcoming
    the target of its existence
    it is a heavy burden
    on the shoulders of a newborn
    when are we going to take children
    on a floating relation ship
    are we doing that already
    why are so many sinking desperately
    angels whisper words of wisdom
    to show us the way
    angels guide us when we loose direction
    when we loose our sense of happiness
    when we loose the courage
    to say yes when the action is right
    to say no when the reaction is wrong
    angels hide behind the eyes of a child
    at times in the words of a song
    in a beautiful landscape
    in the shape of a work of art
    angels sprinkle bits and pieces of faith
    in the heart of those who see
    listen and believe with their own light
    even in the dark of the night
    angels we are to some 1
    at 1 time or an other
    in zillions of different ways
    why wait to be dead to be an angel
    when it is possible to be alive

    az
    a poet in her free time

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    under the contact section you should be able to leave your comment then hit "Submit" and he will get it.

  • http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/about/ Vlatko

    Yeah... some people are not seeing the "submit" button there so they can't send me an email.

    @Az, I presume you're using some old version of your browser.

    Thanks for the link. I'll see what I can do.

  • fit4ever

    I really liked what you said vinette, after all anybody whether it is author,doctor,engineer,farmer, child, young, old everybody wants to have fun life. And i'm glad you are living that moment.

  • Tipsy

    Even a sterilization after 2 children would create issues, especially if the kids were raised as "Mommy's going to live forever, don't you want to, too?"

    I wish I could subscribe to your way of thinking that the rush of getting things done would go away with the option of a longer life, but I think that your train of thought is too idealized, particularly in respects to the giant companies. Their profits are already quite massive, but they still try to skirt as many environmental regulations as they can, because that takes a chunk out of profits. For instance, Nike made $457 million in 2010. If we could all suddenly live longer, I don't think they'd shrug and say, "Hey, y'know, now that we're living twice as long, I don't mind settling for 400 million."

    And personally, I want to die when I'm all used up. I don't want to outlive my friends and family. I don't want to see all the mistakes that people are making. I don't want to know what will happen when people run out of oil, when A.I. goes too far, or when a concrete result is found in the science/religion debate. I hope I'm long dead before any of that even starts to show up, although I doubt it at this rate.

    Don't get me wrong, I love life. I love waking up in the morning to feel the sun, I love doing my job, I love being with my friends and family. I even love the slow points, like cleaning the cat's litterbox. But really, I don't want to go through a century of it. When my time comes, I'm sure I'll be emotionally and physically ready for it to happen.

  • cezy

    one

  • Guest

    Will that be easier for you to under stand?
    I was playing with 1 the way people play with you.

    What if death was a real cool wall to go through, just like birth was. Although birth must have been painful, may be death of whatever you were before was less painful than the birth. So what if instead of trying to postpone death until death, you prepare for it the way you get ready for a long trip. What if you got excited to die knowing you don't know what's next. Just the same way you would get excited to go to Africa for the first time, specially if you didn't know personnaly any others who have ever been there (which was my case). You pack bags, imagine, get fit for the treck, go to the airport, enters the plane and takes off....toward an unexpected unfolding.
    You don't know what was before, you don't know was is after...it is as simple as that.
    So why not write your own death sentence with a scenario that fits the actor!

    1 and i = you in many stories.
    In mine i like to talk from the 1 dot on my shoulder, the i ....just for the fun of living!
    az

  • Guest

    might as well put mine too...Errrr.
    Still curious to know what that means, clue me in!
    az

  • Ramus73

    Crazy people need looking after.... It's a common jibe here in England, I guess it hasn't found it's way over to Canada yet then :) Take it ez az

  • Guest

    I take being crazy as a compliment, there is enough bored and boring people out there. We do have a lot of artistic people in Nelson BC and yes the best weed in the Koots...check it out! As you say some things have not reached my french brain yet, while others have made it bloom.
    Boum Ba Da Boum!
    az

  • http://www.facebook.com/KIRAsMiSAMiSA Misa Amane

    I don't think getting older necesseraly means losing life. I think that as long as you're happy having fun with whoever, that's all that life is really about. Keep it up!! XD

    LIVE. LAUGH.LIGHT.LOVE

  • http://www.facebook.com/KIRAsMiSAMiSA Misa Amane

    Age shouldn't really concern anyone. I mean, you're going to waste your life worrying about getting wrinkles, when worrying ACTUALLY gives you wrinkles. It's better to have a care-free life; that way, you live a long, happy and meaningful life. My only concern is becoming famous someday. I wonder if someone can actually provide a formula for having your name go down in history. That would be true immortality.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Johnny-Armageddon/100001093268311 Johnny Armageddon

    On first thought, living to 150 seems amazing. Then I realize that there are almost seven billion humans infecting this planet and if we all live longer itll only hasten our entire species demise. First humanity needs to learn to live a sustainable lifestyle, only then should you worry about living a longer life.

  • cezy

    ognuno sta solo sul cuor della terra
    trafitto da un raggio di sole
    ed é subito sera

    Everyone stands alone on the core of the earth
    pierced by a ray of sun
    and it's suddenly night.

    S. Quasimodo

  • cezy

    my gran is 91, she still has a few brothers and sisters in their 90s, her mother died at 94 (not of age, but broken leg). She lives on her own, goes shopping and visits her friends across the street. She also cooks for herself, eats chocolate and does not mind a glass of wine now and again. Oh yeah, she can still bend down and touch her toes! When I ask her for her secret, she grins and replies: I look after myself. I think the last part of this documentary gets it right, it's mind over body.

  • Guest

    Poems have been the squizzed juice of thoughts for eons.

    copied this one to my friend in Zihuatanejo Mexico owner of Rincon del Viajero...Mali is also a poet and a painter.
    az

  • cezy

    thanks... but I cannot take credit for it! A poet from my hometown, Salvatore Quasimodo wrote it (and won a nobel prize for his poetry!)
    Never been to Zihuatanejo, It looks like heaven...maybe one day I'll pay a visit toyour friend.

  • Guest

    @Cezy...you taught me one thing today..never heard of Quasimodo before(at least not that 1)...now i am a little be more aware!
    Mali is the owner of the best hostel in Zihua...a truly great person, beautiful in and out...and you should see the garden in this fantastic hostel. Rated #1 by Lonely Planet. Rated #1 by me! Her profile on Facebook is Malinalli Hostal Rincon Viajero. Mali speaks Italian and many other language, she comes out as a goddess on a hard back-packing trek.
    az

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AQNVW5JXEQXG4WJXI2COA5X32E David T

    Oh, That was great!
    I heard that few people lived around 125 years in the recent past.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AQNVW5JXEQXG4WJXI2COA5X32E David T

    Agreed.
    In Animal Kingdom, one preys over another.... but it does not happen in humans, so we must be extra careful not to destroy the environment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Clifford-William-Thomas/653060607 Clifford William Thomas

    Not recognised and verifiably. The oldest known age is 121 and no one is within years of that at the moment. So, right now, no one has lived 125 years.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_YQKXDIKQMBGV3LXWVU45H45XDU Isabelle

    I didn't know lab rats were exposed to the same toxins that human are. We need to detox our bodies anyway we can find (nutrition or supplements) and also to reduce stress. When our immune system functions as it should we can fight anything. unfortunately we get overwhelmed over time...

  • michael howard

    I do not believe we are aging since time does not move forward or backward. I believe that we continously ingest poisons unsuitable for the human body. Food is the one true drug that we have been taught to eat since birth, but is it really compatible with the Human system? If there is a creator, and he did in fact create us wouldn't he create a food for us to eat? what would that food be?

  • Richard

    The oldest verified is 122 by Jeanne Calment (21 February 1875 - 4 August 1997)