The Longevity Seekers: Science, Business, And The Fountain Of Youth

Hardcover | May 1, 2013

byTed Anton

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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.
 

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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 controll...

Ted Anton is professor of English at DePaul University. He is the author, most recently, of Bold Science and has written for Chicago magazine, the Chicago Tribune, and Publishers Weekly.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:May 1, 2013Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226020932

ISBN - 13:9780226020938

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

A Note on Purpose
Preface

Part 1. From Obscurity, 1980–2005
1 “Greater Than the Double Helix Itself,” 1980–1990
2 The Grim Reaper, 1991–1993
3 Sorcerer’s Apprentices, 1991–1996
4 Race for a Master Switch, 1989–2000
5 Money to Burn, 2000–2003
6 Longevity Noir, 2003- 2004
7 Betting the Trifecta, 2005–2006

Part 2. Defying Gravity: The Battle to Find a Drug for Extending Health, 2005–2013
8 Sex, Power and the Wild: The Evolution of Aging, 2001–2008
9 The Rush and Crisis, 2008–2010
10 Live Long and Prosper, 2009–2011
11 Centenarians in the Making, 2011–2013
12 Fountains of Youth, 2013–
13 Reimagining Age

Epilogue

Acknowledgments
Longevity Gene Timeline
List of Longevity Genes

Notes
About the Author
Index

Editorial Reviews

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.”