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Long-form series on Slate examines the science of longevity

By Michael Krebs     Sep 14, 2013 in Internet
In Laura Helmuth's longevity series on Slate, she explores why we live so long in a long-form examination and invites the Slate audience to share their stories on what saved their lives.
Laura Helmuth, Slate's science and health editor, has recently embarked on a long-form study on the matter of longevity - one of Slate's editorial "Fresca" programs.
Slate Frescas are sabbaticals that were put in place in 2009 by the editorial leadership to allow Slate's journalists to explore issues and topics that they find compelling.
"I don't know if you know this, but everyone on my staff has to take a month a year away from their job where they work on a long project -- it's just an imposed sabbatical," Slate's editor in chief David Plotz told Advertising Age in a 2011 interview. "You can't not do it. The only requirement is you have to do a project over that month that takes advantage of the medium we're in."
Helmuth's series, Two Lives, launched earlier this month and has been sponsored by Prudential Financial in association with Prudential's broader longevity campaign. The Two Lives program covers the science of longevity, from the questions behind infant mortality to overall longevity, including the debate on how long people can live.
The series is supported on Twitter, using the hash tag #notdeadyet as an anchor.
In one of her latest installments, published on Thursday, Helmuth shares 50 stories from Slate readers who answered her question: What saved your life?
"The most commonly cited lifesavers were antibiotics and medical interventions during childbirth," Helmuth reported. "Lots of people are alive thanks to emergency appendectomies. Others have ongoing life support from pacemakers, asthma inhalers, or insulin pumps. Some were treated with antivenins for snakebite. Many people had horrible accidents in childhood (one poor guy inhaled a sewing needle) and are lucky they ever made it to adulthood."
In addition to their sponsorship of Helmuth's series, Prudential Financial has an embedded content marketing program on Slate, known as The Living Longer Project. The Prudential content hub resides within Slate's content management system and incorporates Slate's longevity editorial alongside the wealth of content that Prudential's marketing team is creating on the topic.
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