The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business, and the Fountain of Youth (Hardback)
  • The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business, and the Fountain of Youth (Hardback)

The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business, and the Fountain of Youth (Hardback)

Hardback 224 Pages / Published: 03/05/2013
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People have searched for the fountain of youth everywhere from Bimini to St. Augustine. But for a steadfast group of scientists, the secret to a long life lies elsewhere: in the lowly lab worm. By suppressing the function of just a few key genes, these scientists were able to lengthen worms' lifespans up to tenfold, while also controlling the onset of many of the physical problems that beset old age. As the global population ages, the potential impact of this discovery on society is vast--as is the potential for profit.

With The Longevity Seekers, science writer Ted Anton takes readers inside this tale that began with worms and branched out to snare innovative minds from California to Crete, investments from big biotech, and endorsements from TV personalities like Oprah and Dr. Oz. Some of the research was remarkable, such as the discovery of an enzyme in humans that stops cells from aging. And some, like an oft-cited study touting the compound resveratrol, found in red wine--proved highly controversial, igniting a science war over truth, credit, and potential profit. As the pace of discovery accelerated, so too did powerful personal rivalries and public fascination, driven by the hope that a longer, healthier life was right around the corner. Anton has spent years interviewing and working with the scientists at the frontier of longevity science, and this book offers a behind-the-scenes look at the state-of-the-art research and the impact it might have on global public health, society, and even our friends and family.
With spectacular science and an unforgettable cast of characters, The Longevity Seekers has all the elements of a great story and sheds light on discoveriesthat could fundamentally reshape human life.

Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226020938
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 499 g
Dimensions: 231 x 155 x 28 mm


"Research, money, and ego are the basic ingredients in the modern-day quest to live longer--or forever. Ted Anton takes us into the laboratories and boardrooms in the worldwide competition for longevity, and with expertise and wit tells a wondrous story of contemporary science."

--Daniel S. Greenberg, author of Science for Sale
"If I live to be 150--and thanks to Ted Anton I now know how--I doubt I will ever read a book about the science of aging as enthralling as The Longevity Seekers."

--John Seabrook, author of Flash of Genius and Other True Stories of Invention

"Ted Anton has crafted an engaging, accessible examination of the quest to understand longevity. . . . [The Longevity Seekers] unwinds like a fast-paced thriller, as Anton recounts the highly competitive race in which scientists, research labs, and global drug companies engage in the search for a magic bullet to extend human life. Quirky, temperamental scientists butt heads. Wealthy venture capitalists seek to monetize scientific research. Scientific journals rush to publish unsubstantiated findings. Big pharma capitalizes on promising though nascent studies . . . A fascinating look at the players who have brought the notion of antiaging to the fore."-- (08/27/2013)
"An accessible insight into a complex research area . . . [The Longevity Seekers] is an easy and interesting read, with a clear, well-structured format, comprehensive notes section, and a very interesting summary of the timeline of developments."-- (02/17/2014)
"The Longevity Seekers is a must read. The characters are fascinating. And the stories behind the breakthroughs that have already occurred are gripping enough to compete with a mystery novel. Any one of the scientists profiled by Anton is likely to change the course of history. Having the opportunity to read the background behind the story, before it happens, is a privilege."-- (05/27/2014)

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