British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Stem Cells: The Promise

Alternative title
Curing the Incurable/ How to Live Forever
Synopsis
STEM CELLS: THE PROMISE consists of two documentaries made for Channel 4’s "Equinox" series. The first part, BEGINNINGS, (originally broadcast in 1999 under the the title CURING THE INCURABLE) is an introduction to the subject of stem cell research and the second part, IMMORTALITY, (originally broadcast in 2002 as HOW TO LIVE FOREVER) discusses how stem cell medicine will change our lives as individuals, the social and economic consequences for society, and the global implications, as people in the West will expect to live active healthy lives of 120 years or more.

Includes interviews with: Professor Irving Weissman, Dr Douglas Kerr, Paul Hewitt, Dr Annemarie Moseley, Dr Brad Martin, Dr Ian Judson, Dr Thomas Okarma, Dr Frank Barry, Jeff Welch, Dr William Haseltine,Dr Vandana Shiva, Dr Xu Rong, Dr Ian Wilmut
Series
Equinox, Series
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of release
2005
Year of production
1999/2002
Notes
Broadcast in the Equinox series on C4 as CURING THE INCURABLE (4/10/1999) and HOW TO LIVE FOREVER (20/7/2002).
The programmes will shortly be available online on a pay-per-view basis as well as on DVD
Documentation
The library section of the website http://www.becauseyouthink.tv/library/default.asp will shortly provide subscribers (free) with extensive documentation on the thinking behind the programme, comprehensive research notes, comment and further information on the films.
Subjects
Biology; Social Studies; Medical sciences
Keywords
ageing; gene therapy; medical research; philosophy of science; population dynamics; stem cells; social issues

Credits

Director
David Malone
Producer
David Paterson

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 0
Price
£15.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
100 minutes
Year
2008

Sections

Title
Beginnings
Synopsis
Discusses the potential of stem cells for curing degenerative diseases using biologically engineered stem cells. Follows the world’s first clinical trial in which researchers use artificially grown cells to successfully reverse the brain damage done by strokes. It also examines the potential benefits that will accrue if stem cell therapy realises its promise. Includes interviews with both scientists who are researching this process, and critics of the research. With contributions from Tom Hippenmeyer (Layton BioScience), Gary Snable (Layton BioScience), Nick Maczkov (Layton BioScience), Paul Sanberg (University of Southern Florida), John Sinden (Research director, ReNeuron) and Irving Weissman (Stanford University).

Originally broadcast in 1999 in the Equninox series under the title CURING THE INCURABLE.
Duration
50 mins

Title
Immortality
Synopsis
Explores the defining medical science of our era and its profound global implications. It features staggering case histories and interviews with the leading researchers, executives and academics in the field. Stem Cell technology is "regenerative" medicine. It will reverse the effects of stroke, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and is able to restore mobility. It is already capable of making cancer cells self destruct and will be used to rejuvenate old tissues and organs. An end to cancer and the prospect of something approaching immortality lies before us. How is this possible and what are the consequences?

In the affluent West this medicine will be welcomed, but will have profound economic implications. Does a healthier, more active older population mean an end to pensions? Moreover, what of the Third World? How will developing countries react to the people of the West standing on the edge of something resembling immortality whilst drought, famine and disease perpetuate an existence that will increasingly resemble the Dark Ages?
Duration
50 mins

Production Company

Name

Boa Productions

Distributor

Name

becauseyouthink.tv

Web
http://www.becauseyouthink.tv/ External site opens in new window
Notes
Exclusive source of thought-provoking television documentaries by David Malone, accompanied on the website by producer and director notes for research purposes, as well source material used in the productions. Topics covered so far include the use of stem cells in regenerative medicine, the relationship between science and religion, and the mental health of eminent scientists. Programmes are currently for sale on DVD, but online streaming is planned.

Distributor (Sale)

Name

Uniview Worldwide

Email
sales@uniview.co.uk
Web
http://www.uniview.co.uk External site opens in new window
Phone
0151 648 9988
Address
PO Box 20
Hoylake
Wirral
CH48 7HY
Notes
NB. Uniview ceased trading at the end of July 2016. Some of the products previously distributed by them are available from Short Cuts TV: http://www.shortcutstv.com/

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