Tom Christoffel (
Sat, 5 Jun 1999 08:21:24 -0400 (EDT)

LO folk:

PBS aired the subject three hour program Wednesday night. Most stations
rebroadcast these shows at least once. I'm taping our local showing which
is 2 - 5 p.m. Sunday. To find your local PBS broadcast station go to:

The show begins with biological research on longevity. Environmental
stress affects longevity and those organisims which can limit their stress
live longer. As stress increases or decreases, the parameters of natural
selection change. The average life of an opossum in a high predatory
environment is two years. Reproduction and other function adapt to the
shorter life span. Opossum populations isolated on a protected island have
a longer average lifespan and their behavior, breeding patterns change.
One thing about islands formed from a mainland is that predators die out
over time. An important factor is the amount of biological resources
devoted to self-repair. In a lower stress environment, an organism can
give more of its resources to that function - and it therefore sustains
itself longer. The studey of Learning Organisms is all good food for

Following is the program description from my local station's website.


As experts approach a fundamental understanding of how people age, the
world is witnessing the birth of a new discipline: the science of aging.
This new three-hour special offers startling evidence that the future may
bring a doublingperhaps a near triplingof the average life span of human
beings. "Quest for Immortality," the first segment, explores the natural
history of aging and how people seem to age at different rates. "Turning
Back the Clock" examines ways researchers are taking control of the forces
that cause aging. "Mastering the Mind," the final segment, refutes the
idea that, after a certain age, brain cells start dying.


Tom Christoffel, AICP * e-mail:
Futurist, Facilitator & Regional Planner - My mission: "Regions Work!" Why?
The economy is global; production is local; all markets in-between are regional.
Regional alignment of data sets supports sustainability, design with re-use
in mind.
*TJCdesigns * Box 1444 * Front Royal, Virginia (VA) 22630-1444 * Ph:
Regions Work Initiative discussion:

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