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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: David O. Staats, MD (University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center)
Description: This single-authored book describes mechanisms involved in human aging, including inflammation, oxidation, infections, and obesity. Nutrition and inflammation have paramount roles in human aging.
Purpose: Its purpose is to review the mechanisms of human aging. This is an extremely important topic and the author achieves a masterful discussion of the topic.
Audience: All persons involved in aging research and the study of mechanisms of disease in humans — including all animal models — will find this a most useful book. The author is one of the world's leading experts in gerontology.
Features: The six chapters cover inflammation, infections, calorics, developmental influences on aging, genetics, and evolution of the human life span. The clarity of organization, the depth of thought, and the tone throughout are all simply outstanding.
Assessment: Standing with his monumental Longevity, Senescence and the Genome (University of Chicago Press, 1994), Caleb Finch has written another masterpiece. In the former book he looks at aging as a biological phenomenon and sees where we lie in comparison to aging in all other living things. In this book he lays out a unified field theory of aging. He discusses the mechanisms of aging and lays out the interactions of the extrinsic and intrinsic factors that affect human aging. Then, harkening back to the first book, he weaves in genetics, evolution, and development. His call for new models of aging, cognizant of these latter factors, will influence the next generation of human aging researchers.