Ageless is a guide to the science driving biology's biggest story: why we get old, and how we can stop it.
Ageing – not cancer, not heart disease – is the world's leading cause of death and suffering. We accept as inevitable that as we get older our bodies and minds begin to deteriorate, and we are increasingly likely to be struck by dementia or disease. Ageing is so deeply ingrained in human experience that we never think to ask: is it necessary?
Biologists, on the other hand, have been investigating that question for years.
Ageless introduces us to the cutting-edge research that is paving the way for a revolution in medicine. It takes us inside the laboratories where scientists are studying every aspect of the cell – DNA, mitochondria, stems cells, our immune systems, even age genes that have helped animals to a tenfold increase in lifespan – all in an effort to forestall or reverse the body's decline.
Computational biologist Andrew Steele offers reality-based hope, explaining what is happening as we age and practical ways we can help slow down the process. He reveals how understanding the scientific implications of ageing could lead to the greatest discovery in the history of medicine – one that has the potential to improve billions of lives, save trillions of dollars, and transform the human condition.
Andrew Steele is a scientist, writer and campaigner. After a PhD in physics from the University of Oxford, he decided that ageing was the single most important scientific challenge of our time and switched fields to computational biology. He has worked at the Francis Crick Institute, using machine learning to decode our DNA. He lives in London.
"Steele is a superb guide to the wilder fringes of real medicine [...] He understands that ageing is an experience to be lived meaningfully and fully, as well as a fascinating medical problem to be solved. His vision is very tightly controlled [...] I heartily recommend Ageless. It's modest in scope, and generous in detail. It's an honest and optimistic contribution"
"Ambitious and energetic [...] Give[s] a startling round-up of the biological factors that make us age and the emerging techniques to tackle them [...] Writing with the vim of a Bill Bryson and the technical knowledge of a scientist, Steele gives us a chance to grasp what's at stake in this dazzling, daunting age where big data meets human biology"
"What if we had a cure for getting old? A bold young scientist argues that medicine and technology will stop bodily decay [...] Fascinating"
– The Times
"Ageless employs a scientific vocabulary – autophagy, amyloids, adducts and countless other specialised terms abound. But the book is nevertheless accessible, its style chatty and engaging [...] This is an enthralling book [...] Ageless is a rich and exciting exploration of that surprisingly intriguing topic we'd rather not talk about: old age"
– Irish Times
"A fascinating read with almost every page bursting with extraordinary facts [...] Steele is not a crank or a snake-oil salesman. He's not a 'wellness' YouTuber. He doesn't work for Goop. He's a biologist [...] We can take what he says seriously"
– Mail on Sunday
"There are some incredible revelations in this book. The science is fascinating [...] What Steele says is both revolutionary and important – life-changing in the true sense of the word. His thinking is bold, visionary, utopian"
– The Herald
"A fascinating book delivering an education into the ageing process and an insight into the possibilities of the future"
– Tim Lovejoy
"Ageless is an outstanding, totally accessible exposition of why ageing can and should be understood as a medical problem, and of how the world's leading medical researchers are solving it. An absolute tour de force, it will surely save many lives by inspiring new recruits to join this crusade"
– Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation
"An immensely important book. Steele surveys the biology of human ageing, as well as the cutting-edge research on how to prevent it. The first person to achieve immortality may already have been born. Is it you?!"
– Professor Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins
"This is an essential book for anyone interested in the fast-developing science of longevity"
– Jim Mellon, Chairman of Juvenescence
"Ageless is a fascinating, stimulating and pleasingly practical guide to the science of ageing and how we might be able to bend the arrow of biological time to improve our health"
– Kat Arney, author of Rebel Cell: Cancer, Evolution and the Science of Life
"Few issues can be more important for our future than ensuring we age as well as possible. Ageless explains the extraordinary achievements and promise of current scientific research around longevity. Read it and prepare to think differently about your future"
– Andrew Scott, Professor of Economics, London Business School and co-author of The 100-Year Life
"In his book Ageless, Andrew Steele describes how the field of ageing biology moved from hope to promise. This is a masterful roadmap for interested lay people, scientists at large and also geroscientists like myself – I was surprised how much I learned"
– Nir Barzilai, founding director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
"A fascinating look at how scientists are working to help doctors treat not just one disease at a time, but the ageing process itself, helping us all to lead longer, healthier lives"
– Sanjay Gupta, Associate Chief of the Neurosurgery Service at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Associate Professor of Neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN
"A rigorous yet enjoyably readable, spellbinding tale"
– George Church, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School