Secrets of a Long Life
Doesn’t everybody want to live to a ripe old age in good health? For decades, researchers have been trying to decipher the mechanisms of aging and counteract the diseases that occur with age. However, sometimes research takes a short cut… There is a valley in Ecuador traversed by roads barely visible on maps. Here, in remote villages, some people seem to be protected from diabetes, cancer, and maybe even Alzheimer’s. But these men and women, apparently blessed by the gods, have long regarded themselves as abandoned by God, because they have a peculiarity: they are very small – with an average height of barely four feet. They have been living out of sight, cut off from the world, never imagining that their blood might hold a secret that one day may be able to benefit all mankind. Small size and a big mystery: what mechanisms protect them? Could understanding those mechanisms make it possible to protect the rest of the world? This is what scientists today are hoping. From Tel Aviv to Equador to Los Angeles, the film traces the progress of a search that is not only original, but potentially revolutionary for the understanding of diseases such as cancer, and even their treatment and prevention.