240 pages, 25 b/w illustrations
Science is on the cusp of a revolutionary breakthrough. We now understand more about ageing – and how to prevent and reverse it – than ever before. Twenty years ago, there was still considerable debate of the nature of human ageing, with a variety of competing theories in play. But scientific consensus is forming around the telomere theory of ageing. The essence of this theory is that human ageing is the result of cellular ageing. Every time a cell reproduces, its telomeres (the tips of the chromosomes) shorten. With every shortening of the telomeres, the cell's ability to repair its molecules decreases. It ages. Human ageing is the result of the ageing of the body's trillions of cells. But some of our cells don't age. Sex cells and stem cells can reproduce indefinitely, without ageing, because they create telomerase. Telomerase re-lengthens the telomeres, keeping these cells young.In The Telomerase Revolution, Dr Michael Fossel, who has been at the forefront of ageing research for decades, provides startling insights into the nature of human ageing and describes how telomerase will soon be used as a powerful therapeutic tool, with the potential to dramatically extend life spans and even reverse ageing.
"A fascinating story that pulls together at last a single coherent theory of how and why growing old leads to so many different forms of illness. It also offers a tantalizing promise that we might soon know not only how to cure and prevent age-related diseases, but how to reset the aging process itself. Michael Fossel is a radical optimist."
– Matt Ridley, author of Genome and The Rational Optimist
Telomere theory of aging timeline
1. Theories of aging
2. The telomere theory of aging
3. Why we age
4. The search for immortality
5. Direct aging: avalanche effects
6. Indirect aging: innocent bystanders
7. Slowing aging
8. Reversing aging
About the author
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Dr. Michael Fossel earned both his PhD and MD from Stanford University, where he taught neurobiology and research methods. Winner of a National Science Foundation fellowship, he was a clinical professor of medicine for almost three decades, the executive director of the American Aging Association, and the founding editor of Rejuvenation Research. In 1996, he wrote the first book on the telomerase theory of ageing, Reversing Human Aging. He is also the author of Cells, Aging, and Human Disease and co-author of The Immortality Edge. He currently teaches The Biology of Aging at Grand Valley State University and is working to bring telomerase to human trials for Alzheimer's disease.