Must we age?
A long life in a healthy, vigorous, youthful body has always been one of humanity's greatest dreams. Recent progress in genetic manipulations and calorie-restricted diets in laboratory animals hold forth the promise that someday science will enable us to exert total control over our own biological aging.
Nearly all scientists who study the biology of aging agree that we will someday be able to substantially slow down the aging process, extending our productive, youthful lives. Dr. Aubrey de Grey is perhaps the most bullish of all such researchers. As has been reported in media outlets ranging from 60 Minutes to The New York Times, Dr. de Grey believes that the key biomedical technology required to eliminate aging-derived debilitation and death entirely - technology that would not only slow but periodically reverse age-related physiological decay, leaving us biologically young into an indefinite future - is now within reach.
In Ending Aging, Dr. de Grey and his research assistant Michael Rae describe the details of this biotechnology. They explain that the aging of the human body, just like the aging of man-made machines, results from an accumulation of various types of damage. As with man-made machines, this damage can periodically be repaired, leading to indefinite extension of the machine's fully functional lifetime, just as is routinely done with classic cars. We already know what types of damage accumulate in the human body, and we are moving rapidly toward the comprehensive development of technologies to remove that damage.
By demystifying aging and its postponement for the non-specialist listener, de Grey and Rae systematically dismantle the fatalist presumption that aging will forever defeat the efforts of medical science.
©2015 SENS Research Foundation (P)2016 SENS Research Foundation
I know of the narrator's work in podcasting, and she really nails this. She has a PhD in biochemistry, and the enthusiasm of the narration demonstrates a real familiarity with the material. The science can get pretty dense in this book, but Stephanie's voice always keeps you engaged.
As of the time of writing this review, I've only listened to about a third of the book. This is a dense subject, and if you have an interest in life extension (as I do), you'll want to take your time with it. The introductory section lays out the book's arguments in a broad sense before delving deeper into the details of cell biology and the causes of aging-related damage.
De Grey also smashes any argument against pursuing the goal of ending aging, but, admittedly, I was already convinced of the urgency of his project before I started listening. It's bold, but there is no reason why humans should die as early as we do, and all avenues must be exploited to end this menace. De Grey shows the way in demonstrating how cell damage occurs and how it can eventually be reversed.
The one major fault in this book is that it was published nearly a decade ago, and there have been further advances in understanding and possibly treating aging since then. I would love to see a revised and fully updated version.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this audiobook from the narrator.
I had an interest in this guy before I bought the audiobook and wanted to know more. As a non scientist (yet) with a background in computer science (like him) I was curious to hear about his work because even with my extremely limited knowledge in this field, it has for a long time been a theory of my own (like many of my others, someone else had already thought of it!) .
I have now bought my dad a print copy for Christmas, though my mum is heavily in the pro aging trance. On a personal level I would like to to everything in my power to provide my young son every opportunity to live as long as he chooses (unless he dies of something else first), and he is keen to have me live a fair old stretch too.
The science by now has probably even advanced further than we read here so I have been attacking life with renewed hope that after I have raised my son (born later in life) that I can, when I have free time again (home educating self employed single mum...hectic!) retrain and help out myself, now I know I've possibly got an extra few decades.
My only fear is (backed up from my personal discussions with friends and family) that the pro aging trance is heavily ingrained especially (more so really) in - how can I say this - the less educated and open minded people (of whom there are a hell of a lot).
I will definitely have to re-listen several times because in places it seemed "a bit technical" for my ears but it was an excellent book, and I would highly recommend it to everyone.
Good luck Dr De Grey, and thank you.
"Probably the most important developments ever"
A fascinating and exciting insight into developments and progress in the most fundamentally important area of human existence.
It it so good to have well meaning individuals push so hard to prevent suffering. As opposed to so many works of fiction that appear to encourage it.
Good Luck To Sens! When your efforts are understood you will receive the pats on the back that you deserve.
Report Inappropriate Content