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Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 22, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
In this excellent and very readable book, Weiner presents a status report of research progress on extending life, and he faces the question of living forever. In his search for answers, he has the aid of Aubrey de Grey of Cambridge University, a scientist who bubbles with ideas. I was fortunate at one time to be in an online discussion group on aging that included Aubrey de Grey. The stimulation he brought was amazing. Now, you can read some of his thinking, as related by Weiner, along with the setting in which it occurred.
Aubrey de Grey suggests that unlimited life is certainly on the way. His arguments are good, and I note that a growing number of researchers have concluded that aging cells wear out much like the parts of our automobiles. We can combat some of this wear by replacing vital organs, but the real feat is to get those defective control genes replaced or working again. Researchers are finding and working on some of the genes. As a result, they have extended, and even doubled, the life spans of creatures in the laboratory. Thus, much longer life is possible.Read more ›
As we've come to learn more about evolution and the processes of life, we have begun to gain some insight into the mechanisms of aging. It is deeply built into the way our biology works. Four billion years of evolution mean that there's a lot to untangle. Weiner takes us into the labs of many biologists and experimentalists, each working on one small key to the puzzle. He examines the bitter debate between the "skin-ins", those who study biology at the molecular level, and the "skin-outs", who study the emergent properties of complete ecosystems. All of this is written in an engaging style that will inform any reader with a modicum of scientific curiosity. Weiner knows his literature as well, often referring to relevant passages in ancient Chinese and Indian poetry or classical Western thought. I really AM going to have to get to Dante some day.
Most scientists are modest in characterizing their own knowledge and the impact it will have on human lifespans. A few more years might be a reasonable expectation. But there are those (as there always have been) who assume that we can achieve virtual immortality with just a few small steps. In Weiner's book, the stand-in for this point of view is a man named Aubrey de Grey.
De Grey is a genuine character, of a type that's somewhat familiar to me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the better popular science books I've read. The author has a remarkable ability to make genetics on the molecular level comprehensible to the non-specialist, and... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Jon Corelis
You people are idiots! The only way to achieve eternal life is through the salvation of Jesus Christ! Every heard of him? Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
The author chooses a sort of winding scenic route through the world of research addressing the possibility of extending human life way past a mere hundred years or so--and appears... Read morePublished 20 months ago by Ulfilas
This is a fascinating book about scientists engaged in a new field called “immortality science.” It has to do with new research into extending the human life span and... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Clifford D. Conner
This book combined the best of fiction and non-fiction writing. It had an intriguing central character surrounded by specific scientific information about the history and present... Read morePublished on January 24, 2014 by Annette A. Holm
Purchased for my son's birthday. Delivery was timely and book was in great condition. My son is quite enthralled by the contents and is happy with the purchase.Published on September 5, 2013 by Angela Hood
Well written. An exciting peek into the future of human striving for immortality! I thorougly enjoyed the weaving of pure science with the author's excellent story telling... Read morePublished on March 21, 2013 by Michael Rushnak
Fascinating, improbable, hopeful, scary, Sci Fi? Easy to read in spite of medical terminology. The mystery of it all pulls you along. Read morePublished on March 7, 2013 by P. Like