The Immortalists

2014, Science  -  80 min Leave a Comment
Rating from 1 user
Report Documentary


2 min read

Is there such a thing as a cure for aging? A pair of medical researchers are betting there is, and they've dedicated their lives to finding it. The Immortalists follows their efforts as they work to unlock the secret to never-ending life.

Dr. Bill Andrews believes the key lies in cellular manipulation. He's isolated the telomeres, the tips of chromosomes that continue to shorten and degrade with the passage of time. His goal lies in finding the right chemical recipe that will allow these telomeres to maintain their length throughout a person's life span. If he can find success in this pursuit, he's certain that his discovery will effectively stop or even reverse the process of aging. In his lab, he's tested 300,000 chemical combinations thus far. Tests in mice have shown great promise, and Andrews feels confident that a prescription medication for humans may be brought to market within the next 15 years.

Aubrey de Grey is an affable gerontologist with a scraggly beard, a passion for beer, and a brilliant mind filled with outlandish notions regarding immortality. He's pinpointed seven biological processes that he believes contribute to aging and all the diseases and dysfunctions that come with it. In his view, science can prolong life indefinitely by halting cellular loss, introducing powerful new enzymes, and restoring essential DNA proteins. His theories may be considered controversial in many circles, but the medical research community has not been able to disprove any of them in spite of their repeated attempts to do so.

For both of these bold and accomplished visionaries, the act of getting older should not be accepted as a natural and inevitable reality of life. Even so, they are aware of the obstacles they face. The world is filled with money-hungry charlatans who build schemes based on similar claims of immortality. In addition, if such a goal were to be reached, the societal impact could potentially prove catastrophic.

Yet they remain undaunted and sincere in their ongoing quest to alter the longevity of the human race. The Immortalists thrills with a love of big thinking, and the dreamers who share a commitment to achieving the impossible.

Directed by: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado