The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution

The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution

by David Stipp

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781617230080
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/29/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 825,497
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

For more than 30 years, David Stipp has written about various topics within the fields of science, medicine, and biotech for such publications as Fortune and The Wall Street Journal. He has extensively researched the science of aging, as well as the Pentagon’s concern regarding climate change, childhood lead poisoning, and the effect of birth order on personality. He is the author of The Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution.

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"An engaging account of the burgeoning field dubbed gerontology." —-The Wall Street Journal

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Youth Pill: Scientists at the Brink of an Anti-Aging Revolution 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Niecierpek on LibraryThing 5 months ago
I did not finish the book, even though I had only about 50 pages to go. I found it somewhat irritating to read- Stipp seemed to be constantly going off topic providing extensive researchers¿ bios every time he discussed a research attempt, and then some more bio and anecdotes so that I was frequently losing sight of the issues at hand.He did discuss interesting research, and I wish he did it in a more linear fashion. We all age, but animals age at different rates, some die after very short lives, some after very long. Aging is not written in stone, though. Fish, for example, show no signs of deterioration with age, a phenomenon that is called `negligible senescence¿. A fish (350 pound pike) was pulled out of a German lake that was supposedly 267 years old, and a 405 year old clam was pulled out near Iceland. Some fished out whales have been estimated to be over 100 years old, and one over 200.So, why must we age? What¿s the evolutionary advantage of aging and death? Death is easy - we already know from Darwin- species that don¿t change don¿t have a survival edge. Aging- that¿s a different story. Here is what the going theory is now:A late-acting gene that causes damage would be heavily favoured by evolution if it also boosts the odds of successful reproduction early in age even if the gene¿s early benefit is tiny and the late damage comparatively large. In other words, the vibrancy of youth leads to the decline and fall later in life.So, the prediction is that those who live past 100 shouldn¿t have been very vigorous as young adults as they most probably lacked those genes. Bingo in case of my grandmother who was a rather sickly individual when young ¿ TB in early adulthood- yet she lived to be 101. Very interesting.Also, according to this principle, organisms that have a lot of babies at an early age should age quickly and those who delay reproduction and have fewer offspring would live longer and age at a slower rate. That¿s true about my grandmother too.There is also the disposable soma theory- our bodies are disposable gene carriers. Once the genes cannot be transmitted anymore we are disposable. If an organism puts a lot of energy into proper protein production (man), that organism lives longer, and has babies later. If it¿s hasty and sloppy, it has babies earlier and dies earlier (mouse).There have been many other promising studies on free radicals, dwarfism, slow metabolism, high and low cholesterol and resveratrol- a compound in red wine that has been found to significantly prolong the lives of mice on high fat diet mimicking our own rich industrial society diet, but nothing of big consequence really. What has really saddened me is that research shows that exercise does not slow down aging. Well, it makes one feel better at least!The whole research into aging, as presented in the book seems to me a little bit like groping in the dark. Gerontology apparently does not enjoy the same prestige or the same funding as other areas like let's say cancer research, and consequently it seems to be making a bit more haphazard progress as well.
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David Stipp, who writes for Forbes magazine among others, has succeeded in capturing the personality of the medical researchers that are seeking new ways to extend lifespan and healthspan. He ends the book with a hopeful discussion of the research behind a promising drug, rapamycin, that may one day lead to a prescription for a longer healthier life.