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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

In Time

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Cancer-Fighting Stem Cells

If you want to be immortal (in real life or in television and film), you need more than anti-aging cells – you need cells that fight common diseases. It is a fact echoed in In Time, a film where the characters never age past 25 years old. One of the characters mentions that only an accident could take his life – cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses do not exist in In Time’s (very youthful) world. But how could people be engineered not to age and resist cancer? Maybe the characters in the film are benefitting from some recent news at UCLA, where researchers engineered stem cells that find and attack melanoma.

In Time and Immortality: Is It Only a Matter of Time?

Time is money, so the saying goes, but in Andrew Niccol’s latest film In Time, time is money. A bus ride home will cost you 2 hours, a cup of coffee is 4 minutes, and a car could cost you years. Time is the currency, and you are given only a year. In the future, In Time posits, humans stop aging at 25. After that each person receives 365 more days to live, which they watch countdown on a clock glowing bright green on their arm. The poor work each day for more time, dying as the cost of living rises. (As Justin Timberlake’s character remarks, “For one day, I’d like to wake up with more hours on my arm than there are in the day.”) The rich are immortal.