Reversing Human Agingby Michael Fossel
The first in-depth exploration of the exciting field of anti-aging medicine, Reversing Human Aging examines how aging starts and progresses through the body, the methods that medical scientists are devising to stop it, and what may happen when they succeed. Researchers studying DNA have located the cellular clock that controls human aging and are now on the verge of discovering how to turn the clock back to make us younger and keep us that way. Including a provocative examination of the medical, social, and cultural implications of anti-aging techniques, Reversing Human Aging shows how we will live for two to three hundred years longer, how age-related diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer's, and heart disease will be eradicated, and how the aging process will be prevented, if not reversedproviding a startling glimpse at our future.
Fossell (Clinical medicine/Michigan State Univ.) foresees a wonderful future in which not only will human aging be reversed but cancer will be vanquished and heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimer's prevented. The key, it seems, is learning how to manipulate the clock of aging, which has now been identified as the telemere, the end segment of DNA on chromosomes. Fossell reports that in the laboratory researchers have been able to reset the telemeric clock in cells. Next, he says, will come development of safe and effective means of doing so in human beings. He cheerfully predicts that within the next ten years telemerase inhibitors, which prevent cells from dividing, will provide a cure for cancer, and by the year 2015 telemerase inducers, which keep cells from aging and thus prevent degenerative diseases, will be available. Fossell devotes most of his text to explaining the basic mechanisms of aging on the cellular level, and he does this adroitly, using black-and-white drawings, simple analogies, and plain English. The consequences of a greatly enhanced life span (the actual number of years remains uncertain) are far less thoroughly considered. The author's predictions of how society might be transformed are diverting but simplistic, touching lightly on, among other things, population growth, the economy, retirement, education, the environment, marriage and the family, and crime and punishment. While acknowledging that there will be some problems, or "growing pains," as he calls them, his view is decidedly rosy, almost Panglossian.
Valuable for its lucid explanations of current knowledge about aging, and entertaining in its speculations about the future.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.78(w) x 8.99(h) x 0.85(d)
Read an Excerpt
THIS BOOK IS a promise and a warning. It is a promise of a time when we will live longer and much healthier livesof one hundred, two hundred, possibly five hundred years. It is also a warning of what could happen when we do. It tells little about diet, very little about coping with aging, and nothing about whether one should choose to age or not. What it says is that we will have a choice.
We will be able to prevent, even reverse, aging within two decades. At the same time, and as part of the same process, we will also cure most of the diseases that now frighten and destroy us. Cancer, a disease in which malignant cells refuse to age, will be among the first to go. Instead of being a source of terror and tragedy, it will become a bad memory, an inconvenience. Diseases that we think of as part of growing old could soon disappear. By profoundly increasing our "health span," we will also increase the human life span. When we do, we will change human society in ways we will applaud, ways we will regret, and ways we cannot foresee. This book is the story of how we are conquering aging and of what the consequences will be. It is the story of our hopes and our fears, and of change that will soon shake our world. We are about to change history forever.
Excerpted from Reversing Human Aging. Copyright © 1996 by Michael Fossel, Ph.D., M.D.
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