Full Episodes of Seniors Hacking the Lottery, Living their Best Lives, and Inventing Plant-based Fuels – Video

Full Episodes of Seniors Hacking the Lottery, Living their Best Lives, and Inventing Plant-based Fuels – Video

Last year, “60 Minutes” delved into the remarkable story of Jerry and Marge Selbee, a retired couple from Michigan who managed to crack the lottery system and win millions of dollars. The couple’s uncanny ability to figure out the lottery odds made them a whopping $26 million, proving that sometimes the underdog can come out on top.

In another segment, “60 Minutes” explored a groundbreaking research study called 90 plus, which focuses on thousands of elderly retirees living in Southern California to uncover the secrets to long life. The study revealed surprising findings about factors associated with longevity, including exercise, social engagement, and even gaining weight as we age.

In a follow-up episode, “60 Minutes” revisited the 90 plus study to delve deeper into memory and dementia in the oldest old. The study’s findings challenged conventional wisdom about Alzheimer’s disease and shed light on new potential causes of dementia, like microscopic strokes and tdp43 protein.

Lastly, the show also featured an interview with Marshall Medoff, an 81-year-old amateur scientist who developed an innovative method of turning plant life into environmentally friendly fuels and products. Medoff’s revolutionary invention could have a significant impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and providing cleaner energy alternatives.

Overall, “60 Minutes” continues to showcase remarkable stories of innovation, resilience, and the pursuit of knowledge from unlikely sources, proving that age is just a number when it comes to making a difference.

Watch the video by 60 Minutes

Video Transcript

Last year Americans spent more than 80 billion dollar playing State lotteries that’s around $250 for each citizen more than what was spent on concerts sporting events and movie tickets combined over 25 States took in more from their Lottery proceeds than from corporate income tax because of these Stakes it’s

Essential that in both perception and reality lotteries are truly games of chance everyone entering with an equal opportunity to win which is why investigators took note when a retired couple from Michigan Jerry and Marge Selby made $26 million winning various state lottery games dozens of times this

Is not a story though of a con or a scam or an inside job no this is a ballot of a couple from small town America who did something that most people only dream of they didn’t so much as beat the lottery odds as they figured them out for years High School sweethearts

Jerry and Marge Selby lived a quiet life in Evert Michigan population 1900 a single stoplight factory town that collapses in the folds of a map together they raised six kids and ran a local convenience store on Main Street Jerry handled the liquor and cigarettes in Marge kept the books and made the

Sandwiches how long did you have the store 17 years 17 years MH every day mhm every day why did you decide to sell it I was 62 Marge was 63 and I thought it was a nice time to sell and see what we could do after that you’re in your early

60s you decide to retire you’re going to put your feet up what what was the plan yeah that was that was basic think we had one that was that was basically we were going to enjoy we were going to enjoy life a little bit but one morning

In 2003 Jerry happened to walk back into the corner store and spotted a brochure for a brand new Lottery game called windfall Jerry always possessed what he calls a head for math he has a bachelor’s degree in the subject from nearby Western Michigan University and in only a matter of minutes he realized

That this was a unique game and I read it by the time I was out here I knew what the potential might be it did not take you weeks to sus us out no no not at all 3 minutes three minutes and you’ve uh found the loophole in the St 3

Minutes I found a I found a special feature that feature was called a roll down and the lottery announced when it was coming unlike the Mega Millions games you’ve probably heard of where the jackpot keeps building until someone hits all six numbers and wins the big prize in Windfall if the jackpot reached

$5 million and no one matched all six numbers all the money rolled down to the lower tier Prize winners dramatically boosting the payouts of those who matched 5 four or three numbers sound complicated well it wasn’t to Jerry see if you can stick with him here here’s

What I said I said if I played $1,100 mathematically I’d have one four number Winner that’s 1,000 bucks I divided 1,00 by six instead of 57 cuz I did a mineral quick dirty and I come up with 18 so I knew I’d have either 18 or 19 three number winners and that’s 50

Bucks each at 18 I got $1,000 for a four number Winner and I got 18 three number winners worth $50 each that’s 900 bucks so I got $1,100 invested and I’ve got a $1900 return sounds like good MTH yeah a little over 80% isn’t it you’re talking

About this as if it’s the most obvious it is set of figures in the world this is not taxing the the outer limits of your math skills no no it is it’s actually it’s just basic arithmetic are you thinking I bet there are a million people that have also cut on to this

Exactly is what I thought when a roll down was announced Jerry sprang into action he bought $3,600 in Windfall tickets and won $6,300 then he bet $88,000 and nearly doubled it at that point I told Marge what I was doing I was going to say uh putting thousands of

Dollars in action on on a state lottery game at what point do you share this with your wife right at that point Jerry says I think I’ve cracked the Michigan State Lottery what do you say to that you know it didn’t surprise me you weren’t surprised no I wasn’t surprised

Because as long as nobody wins and you win money you could see the numbers so when you realize there aren’t a million people that have discovered this it’s pretty much just you what’s that feeling like amazed yeah amazed just I just couldn’t uh I I just couldn’t fom soon

Jerry and Marge Selby started playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars Jerry set up a corporation GS investment strategies he showed us stacks of record books that detailed their winnings here’s one that was pretty successful we played $515,000 and we got back $853,000 it’s about a 60% return that was a good

Return they invited family and friends to share in their well windfall selling shares in the corporation for $500 a piece you might say this was a different kind of hedge fund we met some of the local investors at the Evert hangout spot sugar race Cafe all four of you

Guys are members of an exclusive Club yeah James White is a local attorney Dave Huff operated a machine in tool shop and brothers Lauren and Ray Gerber are retired farmers and when you looked at the mathematics of it it it made sense you guys followed the math when he

Uh broke it down pretty much a little bit but he’s really good at man so he explained this question yeah he’s he’s a math Wiz do you guys remember how much you uh you gave him to invest a lot I had about 8,000 and then I put another

Six in for the grandkids for the grandkids yeah but overall you you guys came out way ahead on this oh oh oh yeah it was it was a good game it helped me put uh three kids through school went through law school so it was quite beneficial used it for Education pretty

Much there’s a lot of people around town that knew what it was about and talk about it that it occurred but a lot of people were really leery they were thinking you guys are nuts yeah by the spring of 2005 Jerry’s Club stood at 25 members those willing

To press their luck included three state troopers a factory plant manager and a bank vice president they had played windfall 12 times winning Millions when Michigan suddenly shut down the game citing ironically lack of sales Michigan game gets closed down how long before you realize there was a game in

Massachusetts that also presented some favorable odds one of our players emailed me and he said Massachusetts has a game called Cash winfall do you think we could play that i’ I’ve heard that and so I uh got on the computer I looked at the game and once I researched it I

Got back with him and I said uh we can play that game we got another uh we got another winner how long did it take you this time to figure out that you could get a positive return here 10 minutes that’s when Jerry and Marge Selby developed a routine they

Continued for the next six years driving 900 miles to Massachusetts every time there was a roll down and buying hundreds of thousands of tickets at two local convenience stores then they hold up not in some fancy suite at the high rollers hotel but in a room at the Red Roof in sorting

The tickets by hand for 10 hours a day 10 days straight not so much playing the lottery as working it so once there was a roll down on average how much were you putting in play over 600 ,000 per Play Seven plays a year $4.2 million once this roll down was coming per

Year did you ever get nervous oh yeah what’ you do with all the losing tickets saved them you saved all the losing tickets sa and big you know the big totes big plastic totes there must have been Millions 18$ Million worth of losing and you have

This mhm just in case we had a physical Federal audit we had the upstairs of the barn I stored them in one end and in the other end and then I thought oh no this floor is going to fall through so then we stored them down in a pole barn and

We had probably 60 65 tubs of tickets did you guys ever say we’re supposed to be retired here we’re making 14-hour drives to Massachusetts having fun pulling it’s fun it’s fun for you guys it’s fun doing it yes you get a high on it and it and it uh it gave you a

Satisfaction of of being successful at something uh that was worthwhile to not only us personally but to our friends and our family but in 2011 the Boston Globe got a tip and discovered that in certain Massachusetts locations cash windfall tickets were being sold at an extraordinary volume smart people had

Figured out if I buy enough of these tickets I’ll always be a winner I’ll get back more than I spent Scott Allen oversees the globe’s investigative reporters known as the spotlight team the paper reporting revealed that two groups were dominating cash windfall the Selby gang from ever Michigan in their

Competition a Syndicate led by math Majors from MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology these were kids young enough to be the sel’s grandchildren the guy who started it he was doing an independent study project as an undergraduate at MIT and he figured out that he could win this game

So he got a bunch of his friends to pull in their money so they became as time went on professional cash windfall players recruiting their friends and raising money from backers until they too were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars incredibly the MIT group bet between 17 and $18 million on cash

Windfall over a 7-year period earning at least $3.5 million in profits almost the exact same rate of return as the sel’s you’ve got a Syndicate from northwest Michigan you’ve got a group of MIT students that did your story meter start beeping it was oh it’s a it’s a great

Story The Boston Globe articles caused a sensation raising suspicion that the game was rigged the Massachusetts state treasurer shut down the cash windfall game and called for an investigation it was led by then State Inspector General Greg Sullivan when we got involved the public perception was there must be some kind of organized

Crime or public corruption to explain how uh millions of dollars are being bet by syndicates on state lottery tickets we really looked at this looking for corruption we use subpoenas we looked at documents we interviewed dozens of people uh to get in to look at this in detail with a hypothesis that something

Illegal had happened you went into this looking for organized crime as the story unfolded were you surprised by what you found I wasn’t surprised I was dumbfoundedly a amazed that these math nerd Geniuses had found a way legally to win a state lottery and make millions from it and the state’s getting

Rich in the process and and the state got very rich the state made $12 million the investigation found no one’s odds of winning was affected by high volume betting when the jackpot hit the roll down threshold cash windfall became a good bet for everyone not just the big

Time bet ERS like the sel’s by then though massachusett State Lottery had moved on to a different game without a statistical twist and with that Jerry and Marge sel’s Excellent Adventure Drew to an end in total their unlikely homegrown company grossed more than $26 million from 9 years of playing the

Lottery your corporation $26 million MH you smile when you uh recounted that figure that was satisfactory satisfactory they made nearly $8 million in profit before taxes back in ever not exactly the land of extravagance the sel’s put their winnings to practical use renovating their home and helping

Their six kids 14 grandkids and 10 great grandchildren pay for their education they still get together with members of their Lottery group but millions of dollars in Windfall tickets have been replaced by nickel and dime poker Knight and Marge makes everyone chicken pot pie I’m struck by how

Measured you are telling this story do you find anything remarkable about this the only thing I found really remarkable is nobody else really seemed to grasp it what I’m hearing you say is that this part of the country is really good at keeping a [Laughter] secret

It’s always been a dream of mankind to live forever since the start of the 20th century we have increased life expectancy in this country by a remarkable 30 years from just 49 in 1900 to almost 79 today and more and more of us are making it into that group we all

Hope and kind of dread joining the over 90 crowd affectionately dubb the oldest old men and women above the age of 90 are now the fastest growing segment of the US population yet very little is known about the oldest old since until recently there were so few of them so

What determines which of us will make it past age 90 what kind of shape will be in if we do and what can we do to up our odds finding out is the goal of a groundbreaking research study known as 90 plus I was born on April 21st

1914 my birthday is February 7th 1918 I was born in August 25th 1920 and I’m 93 plus June 15 1918 and it was I’m sure a lovely day do you feel 95 what do you what age do you feel feel about 52 not really what they have in common

Other than having lived a combined total of almost 400 years is that decades ago they all lived in a retirement community called Leisure World 45 miles south of Los Angeles hi there and welcome to Leisure World a new way of life designed for alert and active people 52 years or

Older who want to get the most out of life today it’s still a retirement community and they’re still getting the most out of life though it’s no longer called Leisure World it’s now its own City Laguna Woods they didn’t like the word Leisure World they consider themselves active active World active

World Dr Claudia Kos spends a lot of time in lagona woods these days she’s a neurologist and professor at nearby UC Irvine who discovered the research equivalent of gold here information gathered from thousands of Leisure World residents back in 1981 with page after page of data about their diet exercise

Vitamins and activities 14,000 people answered this questionnaire in 1981 many of them if they were still alive would now be over the age of 90 she saw a rare opportunity to study what worked and what didn’t so you did you try to find them we went after all 14,000 and if

They were still alive we wanted to find where they were with $6 million of funding from the National Institutes of Health Kos and her team set out to find out who had died when they died and to convince those who were still living and over 90 to sign up and you’re how old

Now I’ll be 103 months we’re going to have to have a party good Jane Whistler I love a party is one of the more than 1,600 men and women they found and enrolled as subjects in the 90 plus study they are checked from top to bottom every 6 months smile their facial

Muscles excellent reflexes balance three four five how they walk how fast they can stand up and sit down fantastic and most importantly how their minds are working I’m going to say and show you three words for you to remember shirt brown honesty shirt brown honesty perfect now please spell World

They are given an hourlong battery of cognitive and memory tests good now spell World backwards d l r o w ask to connect letters and numbers there you go and to remember all right what three words did I ask you to remember earlier Brown mhm shirt mhm

You want a little hint yeah okay was that word honesty charity or modesty yes when it’s time for your exams in the 90 plus study do you look forward to it or sure do you ever say oh they’re going to find something or I’m not going to be

Able to do as well as I did last time oh yeah I think that sure do but that doesn’t stop me I think it’s I think it’s fun sure ground honesty we were struck by what great shape many of the study participants are in excellent 13

Seconds like Lou Tado a World War II B17 Gunner who was shot down near Berlin and spent eight months as a German p and Sid Shiro Another World War II veteran who came to talk to us despite having suffered a stroke just a few weeks earlier that slurred his speech I am 92

Years old and going strong Sid drives his car to his test sessions you drive a convertible you want the girls to look at you uh they call her the chick car Sid a widower works out at the fitness center keeps up with the news and the

Ladies so you’re a bachelor yes do you date yes do you have a rich social life yes is it fun yes very much so and I hope to last a long time but of course not everyone is so lucky when participants like Louise Bigalow age 97 are too frail to come in

For testing the testers go to them an orange and a banana are alike because they’re both yellow yeah Louise remembers events from long ago like when her bridal veil caught fire a few minutes after this photo was taken it went right into the flame of the

Candles so I always had a lot of excitement all the time and that was the beginning you’re not going to forget that ever no but when it comes to recent memories and thinking skills she struggles more and more and in what way are laughing and crying alike I don’t know okay Brown

Honesty and uh shirt the testers go to 95-year-old Ruthie stalls home too they go not because she can’t come to them she just doesn’t have time I’m in my car more than I’m in the house I think because I I do so many things what do

You do I am flying all over the place flying as in speed walking three miles almost every day on Sunday it’s only 2 miles are you on the computer yes I am but I’m having trouble with my computer I had a computer for 10 years and

Enjoyed it but it died Jane outlived her computer at almost a 100 she’s done a lot of out living we were all Bridge prayers we’d play bridge and have dinner and it a lot of fun have some of them died they’ve all died they’ve all died

Everyone oh my goodness I’m the only one left so what was was it that got these people into their ’90s so you’ve never had a stroke no while their spouses friends and colleagues never had hardly anything dropped out along the way what’s your secret I wish I knew jeans

Clearly contribute to longevity says Kos but they aren’t everything Jane whistler’s parents both died when she was young well whatever your secrets are by being in the study we’re going to try to find him out so you can go back and look at their medical history everybody in the study filled out that

Questionnaire in the early 1980s and comparing that data to how it’s all turned out has yielded a slew of published findings about behaviors associated with living longer so what’s the verdict no surprise smokers died earlier than non-smokers and what about exercise people who exercised definitely lived longer than people who didn’t

Exercise a little as 15 minutes a day on average made a difference 45 was the best even 3 hours didn’t beat 45 minutes a day wow that’s interesting and it didn’t all have to be at once it could be for example 15 minutes of walking and then later in the day gardening or

Something and it also didn’t have to be very intense exercise and non-physical activities book clubs socializing with Friends board games all good for every hour you spent doing activities in 19 81 you increased your longevity and the benefit of those things never leveled off the subjects we spoke to had

Definitely been active but they didn’t strike us as having lived their lives worrying about their health I’m not a big vitamin person have you watched over the years what you ate H not not really dessert sure I love dessert I always had a glass of wine bees for dinner and now

I still do but I can’t quite finish it clean living huh no no not clean living I you know what clean living is what about alcohol sure I love wine do you take vitamins yes a lot of them so which vitamins helped antioxidants okay vitamin E we are we’re

Sitting at the edge of our chairs did it make a difference vitamin it was my favorite but mm no people who took vit e didn’t live any longer than people who didn’t take vitamin E they also looked at Vitamin A C and calcium the short answer is none of them made a difference

None of them made a difference to living in terms of how long you lived what about alcohol oh alcohol made a difference but it may not be what you think moderate alcohol was associated with living longer than individuals who did not consume alcohol moderate alcohol you live long

Longer yes up to two drinks a day led to a 10 to 15% reduced risk of death compared to non-drinkers isn’t that exciting and any kind of alcohol seemed to do the trick a lot of people like to say it’s only red wine Yeah in our hands

It didn’t seem to matter Martini is just as good yeah and there’s good news for coffee drinkers caffeine intake equivalent to one to three cups of coffee a day was better than more or none and if you’re concerned about those bulging waistlines listen to this it

Turns out that the best thing to do as you age is to at least maintain or even gain weight gain weight mhm so being a little overweight is is good being obese is never good and being overweight as a young person wasn’t good either but late in life they found people who were

Overweight or average aage weight both outlived people who were underweight it’s not good to be skinny when you’re old but living a long time even if we don’t have to watch our waistlines isn’t the only thing most of us care about we want to be all there to enjoy it thank

You very much and it’s in the areas of Alzheimer’s and Dementia that the 90 plus study is generating some of its most provocative and surprising findings we’ll tell you about that and one more thing romance after 90 how’s your sex life you brought it up when we come

Back we are a nation getting older by the middle of the century the number of Americans aged 90 and above is projected to quadruple while that’s good news for those of us who want to stick around it also means more time literally to start to lose our minds dementia including

That most dreaded form Alzheimer’s disease is a looming threat and a primary focus of the 90 plus study participants are asked to donate their brains to the study after they die so researchers can compare what they saw in life to the secrets buried deep within and the picture isn’t always matching up

Bringing new discoveries and new questions about what may actually be causing dementia in the oldest old and what we may be able to do about it you know I think that it was common belief that if you got to 90 and you didn’t have Dementia or Alzheimer’s that you

Weren’t going to get it unfortunately no I really really expected to find that but in our study that’s not to happen it’s not true no o 62 it turns out the risk of developing dementia doubles every 5 years starting at the age of 65 and it keeps right on

Doubling and given the growth in numbers of the oldest old by midcentury we are going to have more people with dementia over the age of 90 than we currently have at all ages put together we’re not even thinking about it we should be where do I start as charming and

Engaging as all the 90 pluss we met were one who we were particularly moved by was 96-year-old Ted rosenbom a former American history teacher who’s been married for 63 years you still look lovely to me I was very lucky so now at this stage of the game if it’s petering out just

Reminiscing about our past is a source of incalculable joy and orange and a banana are alike because they’re both fruits exactly Ted did well on parts of the 90 plus exam like repeating long strings of numbers backwards 6 1 8 4 3 3 4

8 1 6 but when it came time to remember the three words she had told him just 40 seconds earlier three words yeah give me a hint he was lost three words there were three words and that wasn’t his only problem what is today’s date today’s date mhm stay

State does he have dementia at this point yes dead has dementia you know unfortunately there’s no blood tests there’s no no x-ray it’s an examiner finding out that an individual has problems in two or more of the main things the brain does for them so that’s

Where he is and what’s perhaps the most devastating is he knows it my worst condition is my memory when you can’t remember something and what goes on inside you terrible frustration terrible you know it’s it’s it’s it’s having more and more of a negative impact on me psych psychologically determining what’s

Behind his memory loss isn’t easy since diseases like Alzheimer’s can only be definitively diagnosed in the brain after death so it’s after the 90 pluss die that a new round of sleuthing begins when subjects in the study donate their brains they come here to neuropathologist Dr Ronald Kim he showed

Us one of the things he always looks for the plaques and tangles in the brain that are the telltale signs of Alzheimer’s disease it forms all of these plaques all these brown spots are plaques are plaques that’s correct and in an individual like this I would expect the patient to be demented you

Read newspapers every day yes I read them in the evening lauring Bigalow spent 5 years in the study he passed away last summer and while Dr Kim studies his brain the rest of the 90 plus team independently reviews years of his test results and videos to assess

Whether he had developed dementia and if so from what while early on his scores were strong who is our President Obama over the years there was a gradual but unmistakable decline he’d pick up a newspaper he had just finished use the TV remote to try and make a phone call

Do you know who’s the president I want to say her okay I can’t think of it not remember his age anxious the consensus here was likely Alzheimer’s which presumes a brain with plaques and Tangles are we ready to hear the truth only then do they open up Dr Kim’s report pla zero so

No actually no cortical Tangles anywhere pretty amazing what’s amazing is they finding that 40% of the time in people over 90 what doctors would think is Alzheimer’s isn’t in luring balo’s brain Dr Kim found something else something the 90 plus study is finding quite a bit evidence of tiny microscopic Strokes

Called micro infarcts his brain was full of them here is a micro windar it’s the hole which is basically a tiny stroke so you got all this tissue is missing if you find one it suggests that you should probably look for others and some patients may have hundreds or thousands

Of them these microscopic Strokes are Insidious because people don’t even know they’re having them they can be totally silent and slowly but surely over over time you’re picking off you’re disconnecting your cortex from the rest of the brain and then you start to become demented it can look just like

Old summer disase clinically do you know anything we can do to prevent these mini strokes I wish I did but I will soon I hope Kwa suspects one thing that may cause them is low blood pressure and she has some evidence while none of the factors from the original Leisure World

Study vitamins alcohol caffeine even exercise seemed to lower people’s risk of getting dementia the 90 plus study discovered that high blood pressure did if you have high blood pressure it looks like your risk of dementia is lower lower than if you don’t have high blood high blood pressure lower risk of

Dementia in a 90-year-old high blood pressure is still dangerous if you’re younger yet another reason she says it’s so important to study the oldest old most of what we know we study in much younger individuals and 50 60 maybe 70 year olds and then we just kind of

Assume that the same thing should happen in older people and you’re saying we shouldn’t I think we shouldn’t take this next counterintuitive finding this time in the 90 plus subjects who have no dementia we’re finding out that if you die without Dementia in this age group

About half the time you still have plaqu and tangles in your head no so you can exhibit Alzheimer’s and not have plaques and Tangles have the time and the reverse both dire you’re fine and you do have plaqu and Tangles so what do you make of that I mean one possibility is

That Plax and Tangles have nothing to do with it but it might be that Plax and Tangles are very very important but just a 90-year-old who has them and didn’t develop thinking problems has some way of getting around them that maybe all the rest of us would like to know so now

They’re looking at people with no signs of dementia like Ruthie stall L Tado Sid chero and Jane Whistler to see if they have plaques and Tangles but are not affected by them there’s a new type of pet scan that for the first time makes it possible to find plaques during life

Let me help you with that so the 90 plus study is engaged in the delicate task of putting 99y olds like Jane Whistler into scanners Sid Shiro at 92 hopped right in Jane and Sid both have very very very good thinking as you saw yes definitely and it turns out that one of

Their scans is positive and one is negative she showed them to us one on top of the other yellow and red indicate the presence of amalo plaque this is Miss Whistler and this is Mr sherro well I’m surprised having talked to him that I’m seeing yellow and red here mhm kind

Of stunning hello Mr Cher Dr K was so what does that mean for Sid the positive scan means statistically he’s at greater risk of cognitive decline but Dr Kwa says the fact that he’s doing so well in spite of the plaque in his brain and his stroke means he may have that something

Protective and special that could help the rest of us she says they’ll be keeping a close watch on him if it’s unclear that the pathology hooks up with what you’re seeing what does that mean in your mind I I think we’re looking for two simple

An answer I think we want one thing to explain Alzheimer’s look at something different like what what makes skin wrinkle well I mean getting older makes skin wrinkle being in the sun too much makes skin wrinkle not taking care of your diet and you put all those together and they all

Contribute and I think it might turn out to be the same for our our thinking especially in late life that it’s not just Alzheimer’s pathology from plaques or not not just micro infarcts but the number of these hits that you take and after a while you can’t withstand them

All let me hold a chair for you there’s one last thing we wondered about in the over 90 crowd and that’s romance Helen wild 92 and Henry tornell 94 both widowed have been dating for 3 years so do you see each other every day several

Times every day once a day how does it work get one day off a week it’s true Tuesday Tuesday is a day off it’s my day off Helen and Henry love being part of the 90 plus study and both have signed up to donate their brains after they die

Henry has only one problem with the whole Enterprise what the study hasn’t asked about I asked them aren’t you going to ask us any questions about our sex life and they said no well I will how’s your sex life you brought it up see he is funny you know that well I

Don’t know I think I’m not laughing how’s your sex life he’s blushing he’s blushing but is that part of do you think that has something to do with I would say it has a big part Helen we very emot we very affectionate but do you think that sex

Is an important part of staying young yes okay are we all ready the 90 plus study has just gotten another 5-year round of NIH funding to delve deeper into risk factors for specific types of dementia like those micro infarcts and to search for genes that may be protective in their continuing search

For the secrets of the oldest old I really believe that when we learn things from the 90 year olds they’re going to be helping the 60 and 70 year olds not just how to become 90 year olds but how to do it with style and as good a function as possible well obviously

You’ve already started that by telling us that we should have some wine that we should have some coffee and socialize and exercise and gain weight and that’s my favorite my favorite too absolutely We’re a nation living longer and longer over the next 30 Years the number of Americans age 90 and above is

Expected to Triple and an NIH funded research study called 90 Plus at the University of California Irvine is trying to learn all it can right now from a group of men and women who’ve already managed to get there six years ago we first reported on their first set of findings factors associated

With longer life exercise moderate drinking of alcohol and caffeine social engagement and our favorite putting on a few pounds as we age the 90 plus study’s focus is now on memory and dementia what they’ve learned and what they haven’t Drew us back as did the 90 pluss take a quick look at

When we first met them in 2014 my birthday is February 7th 198 I was born in August 25th 1920 and I’m 93 plus June 15 1918 and it was I’m sure a lovely day the men and women we met 6 years ago had all agreed to be checked out by the

90 plus study team top to bottom every six months big smile their facial muscles excellent how they walk how fast they can stand up and sit down fantastic and critic how they think now spell World backwards d l r o w three they were an impressive and

Active group a B7 gunner in World War II a fellow World War II vet who drove a convertible a 95-year-old speed Walker ballroom dancers I asked them aren’t you going to ask us any questions about our sex life and they said no and sadly some who had begun to struggle

With dementia what is today’s date date mhm St dat what’s the oldest person you have seen I have seen several 116 year olds neurologist Claudia Kos the 90 plus studies lead investigator says studying the oldest old is increasing ly important half of all children born today in the United States in Europe is

Going to reach their 103rd or fourth birthday half yes half the children born today are going to live to 100 to 103 or four you know I don’t feel a day older than I was yesterday they invited us back six years later and we found some study participants like Helen wild the

Ballroom dancer thriving then I do like so 10 times now 99 Helen showed us how she exercises in her chair stuff like that how you doing Jeff good to see what’s going on Lou Lou torado the World War II Gunner turned a 100 in August Lou

Was using Zoom when he was a kid most homes didn’t have a radio do you have an iPhone I have an iPhone yep you on Facebook uh yes do you use Siri yeah I tell every evening wake me up at 6:30 tomorrow morning and she does yes who is our current

President president is Trump who was the president before Trump uh Obama because of covid-19 the 90 plus study is doing cognitive tests by phone to subtract seven from 100 Lou and Helen Ace them and keep subtracting seven 93 86 79 her memory is better than mine but

One of our favorite 90 pluss from six years ago Ruthie stall is not so lucky back then at 95 she was zipping around in her lime green bug I am flying all over the place but today at 102 she didn’t remember our having met and what

Is your first name Leslie that’s a nice name thank you Ruthie is as charming and upbeat as ever but her memory is failing the current president or the president before him I’ll take either no I can’t do you remember your parents no no oh my that’s funny I don’t remember

Remember them is it frustrating when you can’t remember no no it just passes on to something else Dr Kos says most people probably even most doctors would assume Ruthie’s memory problems stem from Alzheimer’s disease but scientists are finding out more and more about the complexities of what causes dementia you hear people say

She got Alzheimer’s he has Alzheimer’s when they really should say dementia that’s exactly right dementia is a loss of thinking abilities that affects your memory your language it’s a syndrome it’s a syndrome kind of like headache is a syndrome you can have a headache because you’ve got a brain tumor or you

Can have one because you drank too much and it’s the same with dementia end of the we were sad to learn that some of the 90 plus participants we met in 2014 have passed away but by donating their brains as Ted rosenbom did they are very much still part of the study

Contributing some of its Most Fascinating and confounding results after a participant dies the 90 plus team gathers to review mounds of data now because of covid they gather on Zoom videos from visit 2 so tell me what you’re going to do when you go home today Ted test results showed years of

Memory problems as we had seen six years ago give me a hint the 90 plus team concluded that Ted probably had Alzheimer’s disease but then awaited results from their collaborators a team of Pathologists at Stanford University who independently examined Ted’s brain they don’t know anything except the

Brain they’ve got in front of them and then you come together and then we come together and it’s like a reveal party the definition of Alzheimer’s disease is having the proteins amalo and T often called plaques and tangles in the brain okay the home stretch but when the

Stanford team made their report Ted’s brain didn’t have either as you may see without even swimming in the section is clear it’s clean we’re negative for beta amalo here it actually looks awfully good it actually does yes you sit around you look at that what do you clude the

Only pathology we found in his head actually was tdp43 tdp43 a breakthrough it’s a newly identified cause of dementia a protein originally found in ALS patients that Kos now believes accounts for up to one in five cases of Dementia in people over 90 can you find out if you have

Tdp43 while you’re alive not yet and you can’t find out if you have two other dementia causing conditions either tiny Strokes called microinfarcts that damage brain tissue and hippocampal sclerosis a shrinking and scarring of part of the brain so it’s likely that many people in their ’90s who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

What year oh may actually have something else there’s a whole lot of stuff that goes on in the brain that we have no way of diagnosing during life so we get a lot of those surprises but we also get surprises where people have an awful lot

Of pathology in their brain a lot of Alzheimer’s disease a lot of TDP disease and they still turn out to be normal let me hold a chair for you that’s what happened with Henry Torell Helen Wild’s ballroom dancing partner who joked about studying sex over 90 Henry died at a 100

Of cancer mentally sharp as ever we should all be so lucky but his brain told a different story beta amid I don’t even have to zoom in flid very positive uh positive as well the Stanford team found the highest level of plaques and Tangles and tdp43 tdp43 especially stunning since

More than one pathology typically means more severe dementia so he was a huge surprise he was one of our surprising 90y olds who managed to have good cognition in the face of things in their brain that should cause dementia it used to be that when a person like Henry with

Clear thinking was found to have plaques and Tangles scientists assumed dementia was just a matter of time but now they’re thinking about it in a new way that maybe certain people have protection against dementia a phenomenon they’re calling resilience to prove it though they need to follow people who are still

Alive enter convertible driving Sid shirro from our story in 2014 let’s see Sid had a pet scan back then for the study which reveals significant amounts of amalo in his brain the question was would dementia be around the corner or might Sid somehow be resilient happy birthday

To thank you Sid turned 99 this summer how old do you feel I always say 69 Sid has circulation problems that affect his breathing but his memory well he told us about buying his first car 80 years ago for $18 in a pool hall a 31 Chevy convertible with a

Rumble seat seat a rumble seat and I didn’t know how to drive you won it in a pool hall did you win it on a bed I didn’t win it I bought it you bought it I gave him $18 who sold a car for $18 he needed the

Money to shoot P so I know he’s got at least two pathologies in his head I know he’s got you know probably high amounts of Alzheimer’s and I know he’s got some vascular disease and we tested him just a couple weeks ago and good morning he

Did great please tell me how many Nickel in a dollar 20 how many quarters in $6.75 27 wow you are quick so is that resilience I think that is definitely resilience it might be what resilience is all about could it be a jean it absolutely could be or maybe even more

Likely multiple genes or combinations of jeans here’s my observ ation okay you knew more six years ago than you do now there are just so many questions that we don’t know the answers to more questions that is really a brilliant observation and what science is all about for every new answer two new

Questions for every new discovery like tdp43 dementia and especially resilience new Mysteries to solve so like its participants the 90 plus study is keeping at it trying to help the rest of us make it to age 102 with Ruthie Spirit but memory intact it’s a shame it’s a

Shame cuz there’s a lot I could remember and I’ll bet you had a wonderful life oh I have it’s still going on thank goodness you never know who’s going to be the one with the big idea history has shown it’s not necessarily the person with the most impressive credentials a breakthrough

Can come from the least expected perhaps like an 81-year-old eccentric from Massachusetts who toiled in isolation with no financial support for more than a decade his focus a challenge that has stumped scientists for many years how to transform inedible plant life into environmentally friendly Transportation fuels in a clean and costeffective way

This unlikely inventor calls himself Messianic as in the Messiah and likes to say matter of factly that he is saving the world and that’s what you think yes you think I’m I don’t think I know that who says things like that Marshall medof does he’s a man on a mission who decided one

Day that he was going to stop global warming when I realized what was going on here I said this is a emergency we got to find new resources we got to find new ways of saving the universe in terms of global warming and so forth and so on

What was your Science Education zero so no degree in chemistry no of course no I didn’t have any degree in chemistry what’s your IQ I have no idea but IQ medof has been called a genius 25 years ago he became obsessed with the environment and decided to abandon his

Business career and become an amateur scientist but while Engineers geologists and ecologists with phds went to Labs at MIT and Stanford met off went to one of the country’s most legendary settings for reflection this have ran out to Walden which wasn’t that far away you mean Walden Pond the row yeah okay what

I thought was the reason people were failing is they were trying to overcome nature instead of working with it he knew that there’s a lot of energy in plant life it’s in the form of sugar molecules that once accessed can be converted into Transportation fuel the

Key word is access this sugar is nearly impossible to extract cheaply and cleanly since it is locked tightly inside the plant’s cellulose the main part of a plant’s cellular walls what’s so tantalizing is that Sugar Rich cellulose is the most abundant biological material on Earth cellulose is everywhere I mean there’s just so

Much cellulose in the world and nobody had managed to use any of it couldn’t get at it so that was your target that was my my target so once I decided to do that I said wow if I can break through this we can increase the resources of

The world Maybe by a third or more who knows to figure out how to break through cellulose to get at the sugars Marshall medof did something that most of us wouldn’t dream of he buried himself away in seclusion for more than 15 years in a garage at a storage facility in the

Middle of nowhere I didn’t have a phone there don’t body can disturb me and I have a pile of papers that I had collected I started reading them the idea that you could solve this big prob no Science Background yeah I was uh apparently I must have had a very good

Mother who who uh PR fed me an extra few months or something because I I had a lot of security about the fact that I’d get it done and I never had any doubts what about your private life no I I had to give that up you you gave up your

Private life yeah of course because I didn’t see anybody from 9:00 in the morning till till 9: at night or latest alone in the garage medov started churning out ideas and patenting them so many he needed help boxes piled to the ceiling boxes and uh I was shocked at

The way the place looked right Craig masterman was Marshall met off’s first hire 10 years ago he’s an MIT graduate in chemistry he hired me to build a labp so he hired you to help him prove what he was thinking in his head that’s correct I’m I Implement things he he

Thinks a lot I Implement a lot of things and you’ll run it at 25 millia of bean power what masterman helped Implement was Med off’s novel idea of using these large Blue machines called electron accelerators to break apart Nature’s choke hold on the valuable sugars in inside plant life or

Biomass machines like these are typically used to strengthen materials such as wiring and cable met off’s invention was to use the accelerator the opposite way to break biomass apart maybe you can tell us how the electron accelerator works it’s pretty simple it’s basically accelerated uh electricity and so what

Happens is is that they get accelerated downward downward where the biomass is y and they Ram into the biomass and rip it apart it doesn’t sound that extraordinary when you hear it except no one else had thought about it I think I think fantastic stuff is simple in

Hindsight and none of the big scientists who were working Round the Clock to figure out how to get the sugars out no they were all messing with things like sulfuric acid and steam explosion and crazy stuff like that which is very expensive all that stuff’s expensive electron beams are

Inexpensive his inventive use of the accelerators caught the attention of investors who saw a potential goal mine in the technology they gave Med off’s company zyo hundreds of millions of dollars allowing him to scale up and build this Factory in Moses Lake Washington so he could turn his invention into reality

It’s scheduled to be fully operational this spring here agricultural residue like these corn cobs is trucked in from nearby Farms ground up blasted by the electron accelerator and then combined with a proprietary enzyme mix this process met off’s remarkable invention releases plant sugars that he’s now using to make products he claims will

Solve some of the world’s most intractable problems affecting not just the environment but also our health one of of the plant sugars is called xylos and medof says it could reduce obesity and diabetes since it is consumable and low in calories xylos is called wood sugar and it has an unusual property

That your oral bacteria cannot use it so it won’t Decay your teeth sugar that doesn’t Decay your teeth yes Hallelujah you know it’s healthier sugar it doesn’t do the same things to you so you can drink all the coke you don’t have to drink diet Coke anymore and it would

Taste the same yeah of course it tastes the same T tastes like real sugar that’s so I tried it myself trust but verify if I did that I wouldn’t die no you wouldn’t die it’s just sweet I mean it’s just oh very sweet yes yes so that’s

Very sweet it’s getting a little crowded in here Craig with the investor funds medof also opened a $45 million testing facility in Wakefield Massachusetts a far cry from the garage and he hired more than 70 scientists and Engineers who have come up with a sugar-based product aimed at another impervious

Problem some call it a plague the accumulation of plastic debris you have said that plastic should be outlawed yes the Plastics that are being used should be because all they’re doing is accumulating in this enormous amount of ocean that’s being despoiled but if you take a plastic bag y or a a plastic

Bottle of Diet Pepsi or whatever um and throw it away it could be there for 500 years more most Plastics are made from petroleum medof makes plastic from Plants it seemed to us that his product was hard to distinguish from regular plastic except in one key way chemical

Engineer David jablonsky says that zyl O’s bioplastic invention can be programmed to disintegrate over specific time spans ranging from years to as quickly as 11 weeks you can just take this and you can find this is very degraded oh and falling apart so in 11 weeks it’s it’s already on its way to

Disintegrating that is correct perhaps met off’s most consequential Discovery is how to extract the plant sugars and convert them into environmentally friendly biofuels ethanol gasoline and jet fuel and I’m told that you call this thing a still it is a still it’s it’s actually making alcohol right now alcohol that

You can drink or you can put in your car or you can do both oh there we are on the road again so Marshall I am driving a huge truck yeah on biomass fuel uh doesn’t feel any different than normal gas to me no it wouldn’t no metos ethanol is much

Better than regular corn ethanol in terms of greenhouse gas emissions 77% better according to a study that was independently reviewed yeah it’s a very einsteinian uh uh solution you know I I have einan really I like Einstein yeah I was first a little bit skeptical uh it

Seems almost too good to be true you had never heard of him I’m sure of that I I had not heard of him Robert Armstrong the former head of mit’s chemical engineering department joined zyo’s board of directors after medof told him about the Electron Beam accelerator his inventive way of breaking down biomass

Uh the Electron Beam is truly a GameChanger I was told that it’s the Holy Grail getting access to the sugars people at MIT are working on on it people in the National Labs but nobody’s gotten it done yet has zyo done it zyo

Has done it yeah he knew I did a job of course MIT couldn’t get it done he’s right about that he outsmarted MIT and now he’s lured some pretty powerful men to his board of directors including former Shell oil executive Sir John Jennings and three former cabinet secretaries Steve Chu of the Department

Of energy George soulz former Secretary of State and former Defense secretary William Perry well I thought he was another Thomas Edison another Thomas Edison another Thomas Ed a genius very eccentric genius but a genius who had come up with this totally revolutionary idea he definitely is a

Character I come from a world of characters in my scientific world but he’s not a scientist uh but he has all the attributes of many success uccessful scientists you have to believe in yourself you have to say this is going to work is there enough biomass to supply enough of this ethanol or

Gasoline in the world it can make a significant dent a possible 30% dent in the petroleum Market according to a report by the department of energy but the question is can Marshall medoff scale up his operation enough to compete with the oil industry what is in doubt

In my mind is how long it’s going to take breaking into these huge industrial markets established markets with established companies that’s going to be a big undertaking it it won’t turn off oil and gas overnight obviously it won’t turn off coal it won’t turn off nuclear

It won’t turn off all the other sources of of energy but it will find its place and I think it will find it relatively quickly because of all all the boxes that it ticks one of those box boxes is that cyose fuels could be easily dropped into the pumps at existing gas stations

You wouldn’t have to change anything I can just put it right in my car just like we did with the truck and and also go right up to the pump and get it the same way exactly Transportation fuels that are clean green plastic that disintegrates sugar that doesn’t rot

Your teeth it’s hard to believe but it all flowed from the mind of the most unlikely of amateur scientists who was inspired not by any academic laboratory but by his own musings at Walden Pond

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