6 episodes

Emerging science and medical technologies provide many clues regarding the future of aging, but changing demographics and economics have also begun to influence society's views. Beyond doubt, each of us will face new levels of scientific complexity in this new world. The College of Science presents six free lectures during spring 2012 on the effects of long life, addressing the opportunities and costs of the new longevity, the biology of aging, the effects of aging on the brain, regenerative medicine, the impact on global populations, and the increasing intimacy between informatics and the aged.

Living Beyond 100 University of Arizona

    • Science

Emerging science and medical technologies provide many clues regarding the future of aging, but changing demographics and economics have also begun to influence society's views. Beyond doubt, each of us will face new levels of scientific complexity in this new world. The College of Science presents six free lectures during spring 2012 on the effects of long life, addressing the opportunities and costs of the new longevity, the biology of aging, the effects of aging on the brain, regenerative medicine, the impact on global populations, and the increasing intimacy between informatics and the aged.

    • video
    Information and Immortality

    Information and Immortality

    Abstract: Information and immortality have always been related by the idea that we are survived by the stories told about us. The Information Age provides increasingly sophisticated tools to create and tell these stories, but of course the relationship between information and immortality encompasses more: robotic elder care, uploading oneself to the Web, and the likelihood that in future, one will have biological and computational parts and entirely computational friends. All of which raises the question, what do we want informatics to do for us as we age? Where is the line between assisting and supplanting? This is not a new question: Anyone who sits for a portrait knows that the likeness might survive, and eventually become, the sitter. Informatics will eventually merge one's self and one's likeness into bio-robotic complexes of parts and information, maintained by corporations and governments. Then the relationship between information and immortality will be more complicated than ever.

    • 1 hr 8 min
    • video
    Society, Geographic Change and the New Longevity

    Society, Geographic Change and the New Longevity

    Abstract: Data demonstrate that the world's human population is getting older as life expectancy continues to increase globally. Much of this increase is taking place in the so-called developing world. Despite these trends, there remains tremendous variability in the geography of life expectancy. There are in fact points in time and place where life expectancies have dropped or will drop in the future. We are just beginning to understand, what the "new longevity" means for society as we adapt our social welfare systems to the changing demographics of our aging populations. Where will our aging populations live? Who will care for them? How are the roles of older populations changing? Aging will continue to present new challenges as our global population reaches toward 9 billion over the next 40 years. To better respond to the needs of our world's changing demographic distributions, it is critical that we understand the nature of aging at both global and local scales today.

    Dr. Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Associate Dean, University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences; Professor of Geography and Development, presented this lecture on Feb. 21, 2012. It was the fifth presentation in the College of Science's Living Beyond 100 lecture series.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    • video
    Repair, Regeneration and Replacement Revisited

    Repair, Regeneration and Replacement Revisited

    Abstract: More than 250 years ago, the philosopher Auguste Comte suggested that "Demography is Destiny". It is this change in demography that is leading toward that destiny: nothing less than a transformation of medicine and our collective relationship with it. From advances in composite tissue transplantation to stem cells to bionic human-machine interfaces, we are experiencing a present-day revolution in replacement parts. As these advances merge with similar progress in consumer and medical devices, the aging individual will be forced to ask the question: What of us will remain innately "us"? Presented February 14, 2012.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    • video
    The Aging of the Brain

    The Aging of the Brain

    Abstract: One of the great frontiers of contemporary science is exploration of the mind. The brain embodies our individual identities as well as our ability to cooperate with others to understand the remaining mysteries of our universe. It is composed of billions of cells, the connections amongst which capture and preserve unique experiences. Over the past half-century, ideas about the aging brain have evolved away from it being an organ of passive deterioration towards the realization that it is capable of dynamic adaptation and high levels of function well past 100 years. One question remains — can we all achieve this?

    • 1 hr 8 min
    • video
    The Biology of Aging: Why Our Bodies Grow Old

    The Biology of Aging: Why Our Bodies Grow Old

    Abstract: All organisms age, but we really do not have a clear explanation how and why. Do we have to grow old? Can we identify processes that can impact aging of particular parts of our bodies or, even better, of our entire bodies? Where do we stand with anti-aging interventions? This lecture will address theories of aging, emphasizing those that show most potential promise. The incredible promise of research on aging to extend healthspan and lifespan will be contrasted with the vast and unregulated world of anti-aging supplements and with the incredibly small investment we are making in developing credible anti-aging interventions.

    • 55 min
    • video
    Can We, and What If We Do?

    Can We, and What If We Do?

    Abstract: For most of human history, what we today consider a "reasonable life span" was a significant achievement for the average human. This remains the case in many parts of the world, but for westerners in particular, the magic age "100" is becoming a milestone to which many now realistically aspire. Our science has allowed us to immortalize cells and is giving us pointers to achieving much longer life spans. Medicine and nutrition are also making rapid progress, and in many cases what were terminal diseases are becoming treatable inconveniences. But if being alive well beyond 100 years is possible, is it really "living"? What if we haven't planned to live that long; can we afford it? How will so many older citizens change our society? So, can we live beyond 100? The increasing numbers of centenarians affirm that the answer is "yes," but what are these special people made of and how can we learn from them?

    • 1 hr 11 min

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