There are better options if you want to go nuclear for propulsion. http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/718391main_Werka_2011_PhI_FFRE.pdf
It's not an unreasonable amount of mass to get into LEO, and so very elegant as a drive.
Eh.. There is indeed work being done on this. Google seawater greenhouse - Which is basically a way to engineer a cooler, wetter micro-climate and turn a net profit.
In this case they would have to change already existing law in a way that is blatantly against the interests of the majority and manage to do so it globally - because if any country defects from a policy of limiting top mods to the upper class, every country has to, or get buried 20 years later. This is not a winnable political struggle.
It can't actually - Medical patents are already borderline in terms of "political viability". A system of patents that gave the rich this kind of advantage would result in the end of patents. Heck, it is already law in many places that you cannot hold IP in human genes.
People are in general very, very bad at spotting signs of interest. This is not unique to you. - The non-verbal communication channel for "I'd like to get to know you in a romantic fashion" just does not work very well at all.
Trying to become adept at reading it is, of course, possible but unless you have sky high social intelligence to begin with, I do not recommend it.
What you need to do instead is figure out how to express unambiguous, unmistakable interest in a way that does not scare the shit out of potential romantic partners. If someone doesn't do this, the both of you are potentially running around as the unwitting participants in a real-life romantic comedy where everyone is interested, but also assume that the other party is not.
So, someone has to use their words. Be clear, be honest, be flattering (but still honest), don't make it an ultimatum, and leave their lines of retreat open, both literally and socially. Feeling cornered isn't a turnon for anyone.
Rejection is not the end of the world. You are asking a question, that is all, and unless you do so in quite uniquely repulsive a manner, all that will result is that you get an honest answer, which can only leave you better off.
First option doesn't exist. The third world is well and truely aware that science is a thing. As for the second.. Writing someone who is old, but not impaired by decay is very, very difficult, due to lack of examples, but I think this might be less of a leap than it seems. Necessity will force mobility upon our protag, and contact with various cultures will immunize against believing received wisdom without proof. Going from there to "reality is the final arbiter" isn't much of a leap.
.. Now I am trying to think what applicable skills someone really old might have to bring to the project of science, assuming she didn't win the cosmic lottery trice over and is both a genius and highly creative on top of unageing..
"Social-Fu, ninth dan"? Hypercompetency at organizing a group of people into working smoothly together is something which she could with very high plausibility have picked up simply from endless practice. Setting up a carpentry shop in Milan one decade, a china production in venice the next and so on conferring skills that do tranfer quite well to running a lab within budget and with abnormally low social frictions.
The thing is, how would you distinguish a world in which the female population of said high-school are missing five centimeters and 4 points of IQ due to dieting from the one we inhabit? Where do we get a baseline from? Arrgh.
Honestly, I think almost all media treatments of this entire topic will be extremely problematic in hindsight once an actual cure for senescence is found.
In this particular case, I'd expect her to become... very interested in biochemistry. That would be a much better plot, wouldn't it? One woman's fight to cure ageing because she knows for a fact it can be done, but at the same time trying to not end up strapped to a lab table. Heck, for the first period, the fact that women were massively overlooked in science would be outright helpful. - Getting hired at a place which does whatever she was currently investigating would be fairly simple, and then just have some random dude steal credit for whatever results she manages. Paper trail? What paper trail?
This is wrong - The body isn't a closed system, but an ongoing exporter of entrophy. There is no fundamental reason why "better repair mechanisms" wouldn't result in an permanent health. I don't like calling this immortality, because.. well, mishap and violence will still get you eventually, but the whole decay and slow dying thing isn't written into the laws of physics or even biology. It's just that Azathoth never had a reason to fix it.