A scientific thriller by six-time Hugo Award winner Ben Bova
Luke Abramson, a brilliant cellular biologist who is battling lung cancer, has one joy in life: his 10-year-old granddaughter, Angela. When Angela is diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given less than six months to live, Luke wants to try a new enzyme, Mortality Factor 4 (MORF4), that he believes will kill Angela's tumor.
However, the hospital bureaucracy won't let him do it because MORF4 has not yet been approved by the FDA. Knowing Angela will die before he can get the treatment approved, Luke abducts her from the hospital with plans to take her to a private research laboratory in Oregon.
But Luke is too old and worn down to flee across the country with his sick granddaughter, especially with the FBI on their trail. So he injects himself with a genetic factor that stimulates his body's production of telomerase, an enzyme that has successfully reversed aging in animal tests.
As the chase weaves across the country from one research facility to another, Luke begins to grow physically younger, stronger. He looks and feels the way he did 30 or 40 years ago. Yet his lung cancer is not abating; if anything the tumors are growing faster.
And Angela is dying.
©2014 Ben Bova (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks
I understand that Novak was not a good guy but was never developed enough to the point where I think he would've gone on to try to rape the doc Tamara. That ending could have been much better.
It's easy to bond with these characters and some might think the premise far fetched. But I've written a lot about health care and it would be short-sighted not to believe that money rules the world.
I really liked just about every aspect of the story including the main character's view on the economics of his discovery. I really wished the underlying technology for life extension were based on SENS research or pretty much anything except the obviously incorrect views about telameres and aging. It's an outdated and scientifically false assumption that telameres have anything to do with the aging process. Aging is the consequence of the damage caused by metabolic processes. Besides that one issue, this story is great and I really loved the main character's renegade attitude.
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