April 21, 2008

Msnbc.com's special health series (www.buyingtime.msnbc.com) explores the latest trends and research in the quest for the fountain of youth. In a nation where consumers spend billions of dollars in hopes of living longer and looking younger, msnbc.com's five-part report investigates whether the anti-aging industry is delivering much worth spending the money on these days.

The anti-aging gravy train

Today, Brian Alexander explores how mainstream doctors who once wanted nothing to do with the "snake oil" of the anti-aging movement are buying in, signing up for "certification" as anti-aging practitioners. But does your doc's endorsement make the field more credible -- or risky? Msnbc.com video feature: Msnbc.com examines unusual products sold at anti-aging conventions, including a magic wand that claims to make water healthier. The site also features an interview with Ron Klatz, co-founder of the anti-aging movement. Msnbc.com interactive feature: An interactive graphic explains what exactly aging does to the body. Readers also can share their priorities and fears in today's poll on aging. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23879767/

Quest for longevity

On Tuesday, JoNel Aleccia will look at the quest for longevity and how scientific advances are moving from laboratories to real life. Her report reveals how work with yeast, worms, and flies are propelling scientists closer to an understanding of the secrets of aging. Msnbc.com video feature: Tuesday's video features a 104-year-old woman who's surprised she's still around.

Couch potato culture

On Wednesday, Jacqueline Stenson will examine how our couch potato culture may cut kids' lives short. The trend is so worrisome that doctors fear the current generation of overweight kids will be the first who will not outlive their parents. Msnbc.com interactive feature: Msnbc.com's interactive tools let readers compare life expectancies by state and over time.

Looking younger or weirder?

On Thursday, Julia Sommerfeld explores the pursuit of youth, and how it isn't always pretty. Her report explores the fixes being offered by dermatologists and plastic surgeons, and offers a reality check on the war on wrinkles. Msnbc.com slide show of aging celebrities: A plastic surgeon weighs in on how famous faces are aging. Msnbc.com FirstPerson feature: The photo gallery will feature user-generated content of before and after beauty shots and stories of why people are or are not getting nipped, tucked and dyed to look younger.

Living forever

The series wraps up on Friday with a look at whether it is ethical to try to live forever. Bioethicist Art Caplan, Ph.D., believes it is. But the quest for immortality is controversial in the medical community. Some view aging as a natural process while others contend that aging is disease in need of a cure. Msnbc.com reader reaction: Msnbc.com will reveal the results of its readers' poll and share readers' letters revealing their biggest fears about growing old, what they're doing in the name of longevity, and whether they'd really want to live forever.

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