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Long for This World: The Strange Science of Immortality Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 22, 2010
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“Bizarre, fascinating, and fun.” (Rebecca Skloot, author of THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS )
“A great trip.... Weiner writes engagingly [and] explores the fractured, fuzzy science and pseudoscience of immortality.” (Abraham Verghese, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW )
“I love this book. It is a mesmerizing blend of vivid (sometimes hilarious) reporting, wide-ranging scholarship, and the thoughtful probing of a great mystery. Like everything Jonathan Weiner does, it is far more than the sum of its parts.” (James Gleick )
“Jonathan Weiner has done it again. In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, one of our finest science journalists explores the shadowy sword hanging over us all, weaving together the latest research with time-tested cultural wisdom. Will we ever live forever? And would we even want to?” (Jonah Lehrer, author of HOW WE DECIDE )
“A brilliant and improbably funny look inside the mind-bending science of immortality.” (Village Voice )
“Taxes may be inevitable, but death? Maybe not so much, suggests Jonathan Weiner, one of our finest science writers, in this searching and surprisingly witty look at the scientific odds against tomorrow.” (Timothy Ferris )
“LONG FOR THIS WORLD is a rich and fascinating study of the longing for immortality and our lingering doubts about the possibility of surpassing our mortal limits.” (Simon Critchley, author of THE BOOK OF DEAD PHILOSOPHERS )
“In LONG FOR THIS WORLD, Jonathan Weiner brings his immense talents--his masterful prose, his deep reporting, and his ability to see connections across the human experience--to one of science’s most intriguing frontiers: the science of aging.” (Carl Zimmer, author of THE TANGLED BANK: An Introduction to Evolution and PARASITE REX )
“The promise of eternal youth is both tantalizingly close and far-fetched in this fascinating primer on longevity research . . . . An engrossing tour of cutting-edge research . . . . Weiner’s erudite, elegant exposition of the underlying science is stimulating yet sobering.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) )
From Publishers Weekly
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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
I purchased Weiner's study deliberately after Publisher's Weekly reviewers referenced the unevenness of the text, curious about the nature of a medical journalist's imperfection;... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Joanne Marinelli
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 13 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 on July 9, 2014 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 on May 24, 2014 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 on April 2, 2014 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