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Ageless Quest: One Scientist's Search for the Genes That Prolong Youth 1st Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Science can be like sausage-sure, you like it, but you're better off not knowing how it's made. But with the arrival this year of a number of tell-all science memoirs, readers can't help but take a peek, deriving a certain lurid thrill. Given the potentially explosive subject matter, one would expect Guarente's account of his pursuit of a genetic "cure" for aging to dish up controversy, but it doesn't. Rather, this slim book delivers pure work-a-day science, without any insider dramatics. Guarente, a biologist at MIT whose work on aging has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Boston Globe, does gripe now and again about such things as the hardships of the tenure track. But the balance of the book details the author's intellectual adventure, touching along the way on theories of aging and the workings of the biotech industry. At the heart of his story is a gene called SIR2, which has been found to slow aging in yeast in animals. Could it eventually be used on humans? Possibly. Guarente views aging as a disease that someday might be treatable with new drugs, which raises further provocative questions about the ripple effect treatment could have on population, economics and other social factors. But the author, who excels as a diarist but less as a popular-science pitchman, leaves these questions largely untapped. This, admittedly, makes for sedate though quite amiable, utilitarian reading.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Part autobiography, part social commentary, part science, [Ageless Quest] does an excellent job of explaining and extolling the use of model organisms for research into ageing... Ageless Quest conveys some quite difficult ideas and complex experimental results with a clarity and freshness that deserve to make it widely read. Nature Ageless Quest is a personal account of a rich and active academic life, in which descriptions of the scientific work that led to the discovery of Sir2, a potentially important biochemical factor that influences life's clock, are mixed with autobiographical sketches. The book is reminiscent in more than one way of Jim Watson's classic, The Double Helix, in that it paints an accurate picture of how scientific research was, and is, done: the excitement, the frustrations, the fear of competitors and the race for 'high-impact' publications. Ageless Quest is, therefore, not just a book about ageing, nor just about genes and proteins; it is also about people, and the nitty-gritty of doing science at the end of the twentieth century. One of the most endearing features of this little book, which can be read over the course of a weekend (or during a lengthy run of a native gel, to put it in scientists' time-units as well), is that its author pays tribute to the many people he has worked with over the years; or, to be more precise, to the dedicated and eager young scientists who have worked for him - a noteworthy difference. EMBO reports Basically a personal account of research into aging, including descriptions of his students and postdocs and their work at the laboratory bench, the book is a pleasure to read. The author writes with the clarity of a first-class journalist, an infectious enthusiasm and an eye for the revealing anecdote. Although the relevance of Sir2 and survival mechanisms discovered in short-lived laboratory organisms to aging in mammals is still questionable, I am convinced that by opening this avenue of research, Guarente and kindred spirits have done much to draw outstanding scientists into aging research, thereby shaking this file dout of its stuffy reputation. That alone makes Ageless Quest and the story of its simple pursuit a timely contribution to the growing literature on why and how we age. Nature Genetics --Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; 1st edition (December 3, 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 164 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0879696524
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0879696528
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8.34 x 0.76 x 5.7 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    5.0 out of 5 stars 3 ratings

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