Aging: The Paradox of Life: Why We Age / Edition 1

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For centuries people have been puzzled by the inevitability of human aging. For most of the second half of the twentieth century aging remained a mystery, or an unsolved biological problem. At the end of the 20th century a remarkable scientific discovery emerged. It was not a single discovery in the usual sense, because it was based on a series of important interconnected insights over quite a long period of time. These insights made it possible for the very first time to understand the biological reasons for aging in animals and man. It can already be said, however, that the many observations and insights that explain aging will not be accepted as established knowledge for a long time. The field is still full of scientists, and non-scientists, who are just happy to go on speculating about the "mystery" of aging. The aim of this book is to dispel ignorance by explaining in non-technical language what are the reasons for aging and the myth of excessive prolongation of life.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This is a single-authored discussion of aging, its causes, mechanisms, and implications, written for a lay public.
Purpose: Its purpose is to explain the mechanisms of aging and to dispel exaggerated claims of anti-aging medicine. These are worthy objectives and the book meets them all in style.
Audience: The book is written for a lay audience. The author is one of the world's experts in aging and achieves a masterful synthesis in this book.
Features: This is a lay distillation of the author's Understanding Ageing (Cambridge University Press, 1995), with added thoughtful editorial comments. The broad extensive knowledge of this author is plainly evident in this pleasurable compact book. Explanations of why and how we age, the nature of aging in the biological kingdom, and the false hopes of anti-aging medicine are woven into a coherent, easily digestible form. There is a very well annotated list of references and a helpful glossary. The elegant British style of biological writing evident here makes this book a particular pleasure to read.
Assessment: For those working in the field of aging without an extensive biomedical background, this is a really excellent read.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402056406
  • Publisher: Springer Netherlands
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: 2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 134
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Acknowledgements     xi
Author's Note     xiii
Longevity     1
Body Architecture     7
Maintenance of the Body     15
Multiple Causes     27
The Ancient Origins of Ageing     37
Mice and Men     45
How Many Genes?     55
The Evolution of Human Longevity     63
Myths of Life Extension     71
Doctors' Dilemma     77
The Modulation of Longevity     85
Ageing and the Angels     91
Longevity, Population Pressure and Warfare     97
Dialogue between Life and Death     103
The Road to Discovery     109
Resolution of the Paradox     115
Selected References     123
Glossary     125
Index     129
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