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The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging [NOOK Book]

Overview

In The Long Tomorrow, Michael R. Rose offers us an account of the modern science of aging, spiced with intriguing stories of his own career and leavened with the author's engaging sense of humor and rare ability to make contemporary research understandable to nonscientists. The book ranges from Rose's first experiments while a graduate student - counting a million fruit fly eggs, which took 3,000 hours over the course of a year - to some of his key scientific discoveries. We see how some of his earliest ...
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The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging

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Overview

In The Long Tomorrow, Michael R. Rose offers us an account of the modern science of aging, spiced with intriguing stories of his own career and leavened with the author's engaging sense of humor and rare ability to make contemporary research understandable to nonscientists. The book ranges from Rose's first experiments while a graduate student - counting a million fruit fly eggs, which took 3,000 hours over the course of a year - to some of his key scientific discoveries. We see how some of his earliest experiments helped demonstrate that "the force of natural selection" was key to understanding the aging process - a major breakthrough. Rose describes how he created the well-known Methuselah Flies, fruit flies that live far longer than average. Equally important, Rose surveys the entire field, offering colorful portraits of many leading scientists and shedding light on research findings from around the world. We learn that rodents given fifteen to forty percent fewer calories live about that much longer, and that volunteers in Biosphere II, who lived on reduced caloric intake for two years, all had improved vital signs. Perhaps most interesting, we discover that aging hits a plateau and stops - at least, it does so in fruit flies.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Rose, an authority on gerontology, uses evolutionary biology to frame the problem of aging, contrasting the drive to reproduce in youth with the ability to survive into old age. In short, according to his research, the Victorians were right: sex is death. The evolutionary pressure of reproducing at an early age seems to have the side effect of causing early aging. Rose's explanation of his theory is so clear, it seems ridiculous that anyone could have conceived of another explanation. But whether this theory will ever be used to slow down human aging is unclear. Rose relates the progress of aging research in an autobiographical format. So, interspersed with experiments on long-lived fruit flies, there are almost voyeuristic glimpses into Rose's own life: the suicide of his brother, the murder of his brother-in-law, the tragic end of his first marriage. The result is a book that flops between the evocative stories of one man's life in science and the somewhat drier explanation of that science. Nevertheless, Rose gives a balanced evaluation of the study of aging and sheds a little more light on one of biology's greatest mysteries. Agent, Faith Hamlin. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
As a graduate student, Rose (evolutionary biology, Univ. of California, Irvine) was reluctantly steered into research on the evolution of aging. After some early difficulties, he successfully bred "Methuselah" fruit flies with exceptionally long life spans and became hooked. Rose's innovative studies of the past 25 years have revealed much about the influence of natural selection on aging and have opened up several intriguing possibilities for extending human lives. Here he relates how many of his most significant discoveries were made, interlacing lucid explanations of their significance with interesting accounts of how his own sometimes difficult life experiences influenced his research, and frankly discusses his failures and successes. Rose believes that we are on the verge of being able to extend the human life span significantly, not through a process of breeding superpeople but by using our improved knowledge of evolutionary genetics to develop new biotechnologies that may be able to cure or at least postpone many late-life ailments. Although intended for lay readers, this well-written and entertaining book should also appeal to scholars; recommended for both academic and public libraries.-Marit S. Taylor, Auraria Lib., Denver Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
From the Publisher
"Engaging and illuminating.... Rose is successful both in capturing the imagination of young people with little exposure to formal science and in convincing advanced researchers in other fields that understanding evolutionary biology is important to their science and to their careers. This is a significant achievement."—American Scientist

"Well-written and entertaining.... Rose's innovative studies of the past 25 years have revealed much about the influence of natural selection on aging and have opened up several intriguing possibilities for extending human lives. Here he relates how many of his most significant discoveries were made, interlacing lucid explanations of their significance with interesting accounts of how his own sometimes difficult life experiences influenced his research, and frankly discusses his failures and successes."—Library Journal

"In this hugely enjoyable book, Rose provides a thorough but never too technical survey of one of the most instructive strands of the biology of aging—manipulating the rate of aging by accelerating evolution. If his attempt to extend his studies to mice had succeeded, we might be much closer now to extending human lifespan."—Aubrey de Grey

"Michael Rose is more qualified than anyone currently working in the field of aging to write about the evolutionary development of aging in biological organisms, and he presents us here with a clear, easy-to-digest overview of the field. We meet the leaders and the busy-bee scientists; the believers and the nay-sayers. His final summary of the possibilities for postponing human aging is one of the most accurate and believable to appear in recent years. But most of all, Rose gives us a sense of what it is like to be a living, working scientist. Far and away one of the best-rounded, deeply satisfying accounts of a scientist and his work I have read. Warts and all!" —William R. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Sex and the Origins of Death and A Means to an End

"Michael Rose has developed novel and important views on the future of human longevity that draw from his pioneering laboratory experiments and his deep understanding of evolutionary biology. Rose's leads his readers on a fascinating journey from fly cages to the Biosphere, and beckons to the future which may not be so far ahead." —Caleb E. Finch, ARCO/ Keischnick Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science, Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, and author of Chance, Development and Aging

"Rose is not only an original scientist—he was among the first to demonstrate the extraordinary plasticity of aging in fruit flies after just a dozen generations of selective breeding—he is also a superb writer, and this book can be understood by anyone who ever took high school biology. But even those of us who are professional scientists will enjoy reading this book because of the global perspective he provides on the whole field of gerontology. By carefully reviewing his decades-long career with all the blind alleys that are commonplace for anyone who pioneers a new field, Rose gives us this perspective." —L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group, and Stem-Cell Researcher at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198039860
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/15/2005
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 460 KB

Meet the Author

Michael R. Rose is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Irvine and is Director of the University of California Intercampus Research Program on Experimental Evolution.

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Table of Contents

1 The sphinx and the rabbi 1
2 Maynard Smith's shirts 5
3 Cell gang 13
4 The force 24
5 Goon show Einstein 28
6 Tiny methuselahs 39
7 The postman rings again 46
8 Cheshire cat cost 53
9 Birds and bees 63
10 Deadly serendipity 70
11 One can't be too rich or too thin 78
12 Many-headed monster 91
13 Woody Allen and superman 99
14 Not even oppenheimer 110
15 The long tomorrow 126
16 Travels with the boatman 135
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