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May 11, 2010

Geek Out!: Jacob from 'Lost' and the science of living (closer to) forever

Posted: 08:34 AM ET

Editor's note: Geek Out! posts feature the latest and most interesting in nerd-culture news. From sci-fi and fantasy to games and science, if you can geek out over it, you can find it on Geek Out! Look for Geek Out! posts on CNN's SciTech blog.

Tonight on “Lost,” we may finally find out the origins of the perpetual struggle between Jacob and the man in black that has lasted hundreds, if not thousands, of years. These men seem to be immortal, and it appears that Jacob granted Richard Alpert his wish of never dying.

These men have lived through centuries without appearing to age at all. Actor Mark Pellegrino, who plays Jacob, told CNN's Henry Hanks that he would actually love to live forever in real life.

"I don't think it's a curse, I think it would be a wonderful thing. If you have an open mind and a brain, you can only get better with age," he said. "I think given where Richard came from and where he evolved to it came from wisdom - and Jacob too."

In real life, the limit tends to be around 100 to 110 years, said Dr. Robert Butler, president and CEO of the International Longevity Center-USA and professor at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Recently the world’s oldest living person, Kama Chinen, died a week before her 115th birthday. The person with the longest recorded, confirmed lifespan in human history is Jeanne Louise Calment. She was born in 1875 and died in 1997, at age 122 and 164 days, according to Guinness World Records.

The number of long-living people is growing. By 2050, there could be close to 1 million people aged 100 and above in the United States, Butler said.

"So far it’s usually disease that ends our life, but in theory the clock does run out," he said.

Butler's new book "The Longevity Prescription" outlines steps to living a long, healthy life.

Some of the advice is intuitive: a good diet that's low in fat and mostly vegetarian will serve you well, he said. Recent research found that a Mediterranean diet may help stave off cognitive decline. Keeping your drinking moderate, not smoking, and getting physical exercise will help preserve your body and mind.

Having a purpose in life that makes you get up in the morning also helps, he said. Get involved in your community by doing volunteer work, participating in local organizations, and coming up with good deeds for others. It's never too late to follow your passions - for instance, the musical group Young@Heart Chorus started in a housing project for seniors in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has since performed internationally.

Forming strong relationships, reducing stress, and getting a good amount of sleep are all part of the prescription for a long life, he said.

Beyond what you can currently do in your daily life, there is also research going on to scientifically slow the process of aging. Scientists are looking at proteins called sirtuins as the means of extending lifespan. Leonard Guarente at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is studying the connection between sirtuins and caloric restriction. Read more

But don't get too excited - it would be a breakthrough if we could extend life by seven years, as that seems to be the threshold of declines in aging, Butler said. At the cellular and molecular level, the nature of deterioration is such that a 70-year-old is likely to be in worse shape than a 63-year-old.

Still, there's plenty of room for improvement. The average length of an American's life went from 47 years in 1900 to 77 years today. Most of that gain came from public health measures, such as basic hygiene, Butler said. In fact, he attributes only five extra years gained to advances in medicine over the last century.

Today, tragically, some of those gains could be reversing because of trends in obesity, Butler said. The fast food craze has contributed to a large population of severely overweight people who are at higher risk of chronic illnesses such as diabetes.

Bottom line: The idea of living forever is "pretty romantic," Butler said, but in the next hundred years we may be able to slow aging, delay age-related diseases, and live a little bit longer.

Read more health news on Paging Dr. Gupta.

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Filed under: Geek Out!


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U Lost   May 11th, 2010 8:46 am ET

Its sad really, to see so many people waste away their lives watching garbage like this on TV. And is that a midget with a dagger trying to attack a kung-fu artist drabbed in pajamas on a beach?! What is this cr*p?!


Franko   May 11th, 2010 9:18 am ET

U Lost " What is this cr*p?!"

Orator Obama sees it clearly
"Obama said there's a darker side to the technologies"

The cure is to regulate the Internet, tax and limit gaming.
FEMA rehabilitation centers for the gaming addicted.


Adam   May 11th, 2010 9:55 am ET

To U Lost:

Please just go away, you have no idea what you're talking about, it's guy on his knees. If you're going to comment about something at least know what you're commenting about.


Matt   May 11th, 2010 9:58 am ET

Its sad really, to see so many people waste away their lives writing comments in the comment section of article on a television they do not enjoy


Dave   May 11th, 2010 10:03 am ET

Lost is apparently too intelligent for "U LOST."


JM   May 11th, 2010 10:12 am ET

Sadly, U Lost probably has never read a book in his life. He seems to have a wee little mind. =>


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 10:30 am ET

@JM:
Books? I done had read some. I likes da ones wid dem purdy drawins in dem. Ma says one day I can draw me a book too if'n I go to the learning house and not watch dat box with the moving pictures. She says it rots m'a head.

@Dave:
Nah, I just enjoy spending time outside rather than glued to a TV set over a very pointless TV show.

@Matt:
What's even more sad is that fact that you "wasted" away your life in responding to me post. Touche'!

@Adam:
That's even worse, a guy on his knees on the beach next to another man. Adam and Steve?


Michael   May 11th, 2010 10:45 am ET

U Lost- Inhale multiple blasts of buckshot.


SG   May 11th, 2010 10:45 am ET

U Lost
Wow ur a winner.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 11:02 am ET

Thanks SG, because once more... you FAIL!

Now Michael, your comment is not possible, my friend. Once cannot inhale a buckshot blast as it would go through the back of the mouth and out the back of the skull. In order to inhale an item, it must be liquid, gas or in rare occassions a solid form. A "buckshot blast" is a reaction or an action. Perhaps you should cease in sniffing the white out and pay attention more in your science courses.


U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!   May 11th, 2010 11:16 am ET

Wow U Lost! You're so classy!!

What is that need you have to judge everyone else based on YOUR yardstick?
You do what you like to do. And we'll do what we like... apparently you like to click links about things you don't like and then comment... and then FOLLOW UP!! 🙂

Life's short (surely is for people like you who are so full of bitterness and judgement). So don't waste your time after things that YOU 'THINK' are crap... go spend your time 'outside' with the 'ones wid dem purdy drawins in dem' what your ma suggested.

LOST fans – enjoy the episode today!!! I know I will!!


Mike   May 11th, 2010 11:21 am ET

U Lost needs a hug.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 11:27 am ET

I am glad that you and I were able to come to such and understanding "ULost Rocks!! No, Really!!" I don't know what I would have done had you not informed me that I am able to do what I like to do and you'll do what you like. For a moment there, I was worried I would be told what I could and could not do. Thank you once more for reassuring me of the opposite.

Perhaps you should spend less time trying to fail quote my previous posts with your lack of proper grammar and more time hitting the books. I guess it just shows that watching Lost kills more brains cells than drinking a few brews.

P.S. Cute smiley face. Wish I would have thought to use one of them in my post.😉


deb   May 11th, 2010 11:34 am ET

You all really got off toppic. The article is about living a longer life. My beautiful mother is 95, in a wheelchair, with macular degeneration and legs too weak to walk. She was a vibrant lady until 2 years ago when mini-strokes caused her to develop dementia. I lose her a little bit more with each visit. Her faith will take her to heaven where I would rather she be, instead of a prisoner in her own body. She can't read and she can't hear well. She just sits, sleeps and eats. That is her life now. So much for living a long life.


infosurgent   May 11th, 2010 11:41 am ET

I myself am a fan of "Lost" and it's continual allusions to literature and historical figures.

@ULost Just curious, why would you continually comment on a show that you apparently despise?


iLost   May 11th, 2010 11:42 am ET

Malintentioned cynicism embarks on a lost journey to provocation, evoking displeasure and disdain. Contributing to this negative feedback loop feeds the beast that initiated the lament; ergo, I loose.


U Lost speaks about something he knows nothing   May 11th, 2010 11:43 am ET

People like U Lost are simply Trolls. The person doesn't know anything about the show, characters or plots. Yet has to post flaming bits for the purpose of self empowerment. People like this are usually branded on the forhead virtually with a giant L. In this case U Lost should be branded with L.T. Looser Troll.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 11:44 am ET

@infosurgent: Perhaps because you continue to amuse me

*applauds iLost* Someone caught on hehehe


ed   May 11th, 2010 11:47 am ET

Point remains, U Lost has a sad enough life that he bothered to post a few snippy, junior high-esque comments about a show he doesn't watch. And way to fail at your delusional redemption by claiming it's anyone who disagrees with you who has no life because they also posted. (That, and the sixth grade attempts at deflecting facetiousness by being willfully ignorantly literal – OH! And lets not forget that timeless signature of the superior intellect, the gay joke...) The 'others' apparently either enjoy the show enough to bother posting, or everyone else who doesn't enjoy it apparently has better things to do (AKA: a life) – probably both.

In summary, you suck at life. (I mean c'mon! 'I don't waste my time glued to a TV/show, I invest my time glued to a computer talking smack about shows I don't watch...' PFFT!)


Stamos   May 11th, 2010 11:51 am ET

You people are so easily trolled.


Chuck   May 11th, 2010 11:53 am ET

Thats right Deb. Offtopic is the word. God bless your mom!


sigh   May 11th, 2010 11:53 am ET

Successful troll is successful.

Will people never learn the interwebz?


U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!   May 11th, 2010 11:55 am ET

Go Ed!!


U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!   May 11th, 2010 11:56 am ET

Sarcasm : A verbal/written tone in which it is obvious from context that the speaker means the opposite of what he or she says. Eg: The U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!! post

Conceit : Overly high self-esteem; vain pride. Eg: what U Lost exhibits

Copycat : Someone who copies the words or behavior or smileys of another. Eg: U Lost

PS :postscript, a note appended to a letter AFTER THE SIGNATURE. Does not stand for new paragraph/sentence.

Fail quote : Most certainly not good English.

Retard :a person of subnormal intelligence. Eg: U Lost


"U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!" Rocks.   May 11th, 2010 11:57 am ET

But guys, we've all got to sympathize with U Lost.
It is not like he is being offensive on purpose. He suffers from an advanced stage of Obsessive Compulsive Judgement.
As Mike said, he needs a hug. Keep the faith ULost, you'll be okay.


Lost Lover   May 11th, 2010 12:03 pm ET

Totally pumped for tonight


homerjfong   May 11th, 2010 12:07 pm ET

Deb, I know the article is not about 'Lost', but to be fair, they obviously wanted to attract 'Lost' fans to the article by baiting them. They then most likely are irritated with the actual article content...


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:08 pm ET

@ ed: "Point remains, U Lost has a sad enough life that he bothered to post a few snippy, junior high-esque comments about a show he doesn't watch. "

Once again I ask a simple question. If that is your claim of me, then please, do enlighten me as to what that says about yourself in your repsonse to my post? The ball is in your court now.

As for both "U Lost Rocks!" posters, I must snark that that you mmay try and belittle me in many flattering forms, but by merely having screen names to post under such as those, you merely add credit to my points from earlier. Thank you for the free publicity. And whats with resorting to name calling there? Have you really taken that many steps back from a logical debate and now are resorting to neanderthal comments?


U Lost is a loser   May 11th, 2010 12:11 pm ET

U Lost, are you unemployed?


infosurgent   May 11th, 2010 12:17 pm ET

@ULost So, if someone responds to your comments then they are affirming the comments you made previously? Wouldn't that also apply to you when you reply to their comments? You are in turn affirming the things they are saying in their posts. Specifically about your continued effort to come across as superior to those you are debating.


NYS   May 11th, 2010 12:18 pm ET

For your benefit:

"Sarcasm :A verbal/written tone in which it is obvious from context that the speaker means the opposite of what he or she says."
That includes screen names.

And ... the name calling is only as neanderthal as your "Adam and Steve" in response to Adam's post.

Offense is the Best Defence ULost, isn't it!


homerjfong   May 11th, 2010 12:18 pm ET

Ah but U Lost, my little whiz-bang grasshopper, you again fail to see that someone posting about something that interests them is infinitely higher on the food chain than the miniature troll in training who nips at their ankle without teeth...

In other words I already answered your question with stark observation.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

Technically all persons in the US are employed. Those you would deem as "unemployed" I would merely state are dully employed by the good tax-paying citizens of this great nation.


We Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:19 pm ET

The ironic thing here is, that this article isn't even about Lost. It's only relating the topic in discussion to something in popular culture. I think the insensitive thing going on here, isn't the comments of "U Lost", (which is very transparently to get responses and not to be taken seriously. Gee people after close to 2 decades of message boards, you'd think you'd figure that out by now. Props to U Lost for entertaining satire) but the Lost fans making this article about their favorite show. The only person who understood it was Deb.

BTW – I love Lost too, which is what caught my attention to click on the article. ha. 2 and half hour finale. Can't wait.


infosurgent   May 11th, 2010 12:25 pm ET

@We Lost I think everyone knows what you know, but I believe they along with myself are getting some enjoyment out of baiting U Lost. "Hostile Interactions Between Total Strangers" is going to be an excellent psychology paper. I hope my professor gives me an A.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:26 pm ET

Not so Infosurgent. For those who resorted to name-calling of my personal being were compelled to do so as an inferior tactic to my banter. As for my calling them out on said name-calling, in no way shape or form resorted to their tactic. I merely asked a simple question of by calling me a untactful name for my continual posts, what does that make them as constantly replying to said posts. I truly would wish people would actually learn some comprehension skills. Sadly, I think the school systems have yet again showed that they failed in another department. Perhaps one of these days one of those said name -callers from above would answer my simple question.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:32 pm ET

Infosurgent, keep telling yorusel that and one day you may actually believe it to be true. I would love to see the comments your professor adds to the end of that paper, which by the way would receive at most a low passing grade. For, you see, his simple comment would be: "Child, how could you manage to be trolled like that?"


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

*yourself


Kristin   May 11th, 2010 12:40 pm ET

Um.....did I miss something? The only thing about Lost here is the picture and a few words, the article is about something else, which is what the comments should be about. Sorry to hear about your mom Deb, I am sure that she remembers all of the love you have shared with her and you, her.

Lets all do the right thing, and not comment about ULost or to him anymore. Then, when he gets no more reaction, he will go away, as he should, because no one really cares what his preferences are. Don't worry, no one really cares what my preferences are either, except the real live humans I interact with everyday, when Im not watching Lost or reading CNN🙂


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

Sorry im such a loser.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 12:46 pm ET

Lost rocks.


infosurgent   May 11th, 2010 12:49 pm ET

@U Lost Keep it up, this is great. Luckily my professor has a really good sense of humor. I think my class will get a kick out of analyzing your comments. I am happy to get trolled for a good grade. Also, I don't know if you meant to do it or not, but you have actually just admitted to everyone here that you are in fact a troll.


U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!   May 11th, 2010 12:49 pm ET

NYS reponded to your question to the name-callers, and said exactly what I would have said: "the name calling is only as neanderthal as the "Adam and Steve" in your response to Adam's post. "

And for the delay in responding – I do have a life, and am not stuck to my computer refreshing this article every 2.5 seconds. So, I sincerely apologize that you had to wait to get a response🙂

Did I mention that I like how you respond only to those posts (and only those portions in posts) that you have an incredibly smart reply to. Good job ULost, you must make everyone around you so proud!

You responded to Ed's "Point remains, U Lost has a sad enough life that he bothered to post a few snippy, junior high-esque comments about a show he doesn't watch. " very well.

I request you to please-oh-please respond to Ed's "I don't waste my time glued to a TV/show, I invest my time glued to a computer talking smack about shows I don't watch..."

To summarize, in your opinion – Lost is a bad show, nobody on this post but you knows what to do with their lives, the school system has yet again failed (I see already that the it could not teach you the concept of sarcasm)... please go on and tell us who else you think is doing a bad job?

Oh, and good job correcting *yourself.
Now please also go ahead and correct the stuttering mmay in one of your previous posts.

@Infosurgent:
Yes, I am having good fun taking on this Lost-hater. I don't have anything against him, but he's got to see that "Everyone has the right to an opinion-MINE!!" doesn't fly 😉
Good luck on your paper!! I hope the 'failing' school system gives you an A!


U Lost Rocks!! No, Really!!   May 11th, 2010 12:52 pm ET

Oh... and labelling a judgemental post as 'banter' is a smart escape plan🙂


Michael   May 11th, 2010 12:55 pm ET

Yeayh you still need to kill yourself


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 1:19 pm ET

Sorry I have multiple personalities disorder, and I may be considering Michael's offer.


Scott   May 11th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

Tonight's the night! I cannot wait to watch! Though that's besides the article. As for the article: would I want to be able to live considerably longer than the current life expectancy? I don't think I would unless its a quality lifestyle. I don't want to be bed-riden for the last decades of my life if that were the cost of extending life longer than it currently is.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_eYDbXOhbM&w=640&h=390]


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 1:45 pm ET

I'm sorry i'm really a closet Lost fan, just trying to get a rise out of all of you. Ya know being unemployed is just killer, I have all this time on my hands and all I can do is troll Lost fan sites and say how terrible the show is. All the while I have each season on blue-ray; As a matter of fact I'm watching season 3 right now.

Probably should be sending out resume's instead of trolling, but what are gonna do?


Well..   May 11th, 2010 1:47 pm ET

Wow. I'd have to say that was successful (if idiotic) trolling.

Humorous, really.


Michael   May 11th, 2010 1:51 pm ET

1. Load shotgun shells into both barrels of shotgun (or barrel, depending on make of shotgun).
2. Aim barrels towards face.
3. Pull shotgun trigger while inhaling deeply.
4. Die.

Repeat steps 1-3 as necessary to insure step 4.


U Lost   May 11th, 2010 2:31 pm ET

I'm a putz !!


M. Paulson   May 11th, 2010 2:32 pm ET

Looks like school is out fo rhte summer again. *sigh*

I cannot see how beneficial living much longer than our current average lifespan would be beneficial. Aside from self-gains it would cause massive over-population everywhere.


natfka   May 11th, 2010 2:42 pm ET

U Lost. Watching a show is a waste of time? What about the time you spend posting comments. Grow up.


Bech   May 11th, 2010 3:34 pm ET

All this article presented was words "Geek Out!: Jacob from 'Lost' and the science of living (closer to) forever". Nothing else.

Did CNN forget that comments are supposed to address an article? An ARTICLE with CONTENTS? Is it so difficult to realize? Can the idiots who supervise this forum let this tiny little issue of having content to comment on to the latrger public? or will they block it because it did not meet their policy for what is considered free speech?


Judy   May 11th, 2010 4:30 pm ET

lol @ U lost

You said: Nah, I just enjoy spending time outside rather than glued to a TV set over a very pointless TV show.

You sure don't mind wasting time to replying to a story on a internet site, do you?

LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sarcasmo   May 11th, 2010 6:05 pm ET

Lost is a horrible, horrible show that should have just ended after the first season.

Time travel? Alternate realities? Smoke monsters? Talk about a worn-out welcome.


I actually LOVE LOST!   May 11th, 2010 6:58 pm ET

U LOST, why don't you GET LOST! "LOST" is one of greatest shows ever produced for television. I guarantee you that you'll find many of its viewers to be highly intellectual people, something you seem to lack.


DesertDog   May 11th, 2010 6:58 pm ET

"The average length of an American's life went from 47 years in 1900 to 77 years today. Most of that gain came from public health measures, such as basic hygiene, Butler said. In fact, he attributes only five extra years gained to advances in medicine over the last century. "

Actually, these statistics are a bit deceptive. The remarkable increase from an average of 47 to an average of 77 was mainly due to reductions in infant mortality.

Most of us are not thinking about infant mortality, since we're long past being infants (!). We would like medicine to help old people grow older.

Remarkably, progress on that front has been really, really slow.


bug brain   May 11th, 2010 10:31 pm ET

Great comments U Lost! Nice to see someone with some brains.


Don't feed the troll   May 12th, 2010 3:45 am ET

#1 rule of internet posting: Don't Feed the Trolls.


Petey   May 12th, 2010 3:48 am ET

Like many shows, 'Lost' was a good series that ran out of story ideas and jumped the shark hard. New season of '24' suffers from the same disease. It's always unfortunate when a show runs out of ideas before it runs out of ad revenue.


I think the troll won   May 12th, 2010 7:56 am ET

Aparently, after reading through all the comments above, despite what other people have posted, the ignoramous "U Lost" won here. Only a handful of comments are actually related to the story. The rest are so far off topic its not even funny.

Moral of the story: Ignore the trolls and they will go away. Even one reply to a troll will add fuel to the fire and they will win everytime.

I have to agree with DesertDog that modern medicine has vastly increased the survival rate of infants. As a result it has increased the average life expectancy. Even in ealier (1700s and 1800s) it was not uncommon for people to live well beyond their 60s. Modern medicine has made it possible through the illimination of Smallpox for one and the cures for other childhood diseases.


Science   May 12th, 2010 10:53 am ET

If you could live forever...consider this. Your teeth would wear out, your nose and ears would continue to grow, your hearing would go, your eyesight would go. So after 300 years you'd have a huge nose and ears, be blind, deaf and unable to chew. Sounds delightfull. Face it, we're not designed to live that long.


No Knows the Nose   May 12th, 2010 11:04 am ET

@ Science:
Actually, if you paid attention during science class you would realize that your nose and ears are made of cartilage. In the human body, your cartilage (ears and nose) will stop growing by about age 14-16. So no, your ears and nose would not continue to grow. As for going deaf, and blind: there are many factors both genetic and external that would play into that. Chewing: dentures would suffice.


Granny   May 12th, 2010 11:17 am ET

Really folks, it is a TELEVISION SHOW. Right? A time to detach from everyday life and imagine...not for criticizing others. Life is too short to be soooooo negative.


Bad Granny   May 14th, 2010 10:48 am ET

Bad Granny! Go back to your jar of prunes.

Yes its a television show, but one which lacks any entertainment value. Instead, it poses one question after another without ever providing any type of answer. Instead is merely tries to mask the previous question with a new one. The writers have no sense of plot.


sharky   May 14th, 2010 3:25 pm ET

Once again, I can only say that if you are the type of individual who NEEDS "answers" and things spelled out in black and white, "Lost" is not your show. For others who enjoy thinking, examining and exploring the seemingly limitless possibilities of the world – fantastic and real, then "Lost" is a treat – a brain exercise in the form of entertainment. It's magnificent! The statement "The writsers have no sense of plot" is about as ridiculous as anything I've read: it's LOADED with plot – it's just requiring us to connect some dots. Imagine that? A show with imagination!


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