Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Aging

Hardcover | July 1, 1999

byTom Kirkwood

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As recent articles about "the graying of America" suggest, a demographic revolution is well underway. The number of people living into extreme old age is increasing dramatically. By the year 2050 one in five of the world's population, including the developing countries, will be 65 or older, afact which presages profound medical, biological, philosophical, and political changes in the coming century. In Time of Our Lives, Tom Kirkwood unfolds some of the deepest mysteries of medical science while demolishing some of the most persistent misconceptions. He overturns the almost universally held belief that aging is either necessary or inevitable--it isn't--and debunks the idea that there exists a"death gene" that evolved to inhibit population growth. Instead, Kirkwood shows that we age because our genes, evolving at a time when life was "nasty, brutish, and short," placed little priority on the long-term maintenance of our bodies. With such knowledge, along with new insights from genomeresearch, we can devise ways to target the root causes of aging and of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and osteoporosis. Expanding his thesis of the "disposable soma," developed over twenty years of research, Kirkwood makes sense of the evolution of aging, explains how aging occurs, andanswers fundamental questions like why women live longer than men. He even considers the possibility that human beings will someday have greatly extended life spans or even be free from senescence altogether. Beautifully written by one of the world's pioneering researchers into the science of aging, Time of Our Lives is a clear, original and, above all, inspiring investigation of a process all of us experience but few of us understand.

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As recent articles about "the graying of America" suggest, a demographic revolution is well underway. The number of people living into extreme old age is increasing dramatically. By the year 2050 one in five of the world's population, including the developing countries, will be 65 or older, afact which presages profound medical, biolog...

Tom Kirkwood is Professor of Biological Gerontology at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester-Newcastle Joint Center on Aging. He is a member of several international editorial boards and scientific committees, an adviser to the World Health Organization, and winner of the Heinz Karger Prize on cellular aging. Mr....
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.09 × 6.3 × 1.18 inPublished:July 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195128249

ISBN - 13:9780195128246

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Table of Contents

PrefaceThe Funeral SeasonAttitudes to agingWhat's in a name?Longevity recordsThe unnecessary nature of agingWhy aging occursCells in crisisMolecules and mistakesOrgans and orchestrasThe cancer connectionMenopause and the big bangEat less, live longerWhy do women live longer than men?The Genie of the GenomeIn search of Wonka-ViteMaking more timeEpilogueNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"Kirkwood is a charming, chatty guide, who leavens his text with vivid metaphors and fun facts."--The New York Times Book Review