Scheduled for the evening of February 3rd, Channel 4 in the UK will be airing Christopher Sykes' documentary on biomedical gerontologist Aubrey de Grey, the Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence (SENS) and the scientific goal of radical life extension. Aging is damage, damage can be repaired, and SENS is a first, coherent stab at outlining exactly - to the best of our knowledge today - how the biotechnology and research communities could accomplish this goal. From the Channel 4 website:
Computer scientist turned biologist Dr Aubrey de Grey is on a mission to end 'the scandal of death. Award-winning filmmaker Christopher Sykes goes on the road with de Grey to find out whether old age and death could soon be a thing of the past.
I believe it should be possible to watch this online on the 3rd via the simulcast section of the website, though I haven't given this functionality a road test myself.
Investigating the revolutionary life-extension ideas of AUBREY de GREY, immortalist and biogerontologist extraordinary, architect of the SENS programme to defeat old age and conquer death within his own lifetime.
Here are the Radio Times details:
Award-winning director Christopher Sykes follows computer scientist turned renowned biologist Dr Aubrey de Grey on the road as he investigates the possibilites of immortality. Hailed as a genius by some experts and publicly denounced by other scientists, de Grey expands on his theory of immortal life by identifying the 'Seven Deadly Things' that cause ageing and proposes solutions for them all. Will this lead to indefinite life extension in the future and is it something we really want?
As I've said a number of times in the past, the word "immortality" seems to be acquiring a common meaning of "greatly extending healthy life span," at least in the media. The shorthand of journalism, to convey much in title and snippet by the use of few words - or less charitably, to make every word pull its weight in the act of attracting fleeting attention, any attention, in a Darwinian struggle for survival - but it would have been nice had the community settled on a word less loaded with pre-existing meaning.