The Telomerase Revolution
by Michael Fossel
Hardcover: 312 pages
Publisher: BenBella Books
Released: Oct. 6, 2015
Source: ebook review copy from the publisher through NetGalley.
Book Description, Modified from Goodreads:
Dr. Michael Fossel has been in the forefront of aging research for decades and is the author of the definitive textbook on human aging. In The Telomerase Revolution, he takes us on a detailed but highly accessible scientific journey, providing startling insights into the nature of human aging.
Instead of the common idea that “we accumulate damage, therefore we age,” the reality is the opposite: our cells age and so we begin to accumulate damage. The latest research shows so-called “ageless” cells contain telomerase—an enzyme that maintains telomeres and adds back segments lost during replication. Essentially, it is the telomere that controls how well our cells repair themselves over time.
The Telomerase Revolution explains simply how we came to understand the ways aging and age-related diseases work, what we can do about them now, what we will be able to do to cure and prevent these diseases.
The Telomerase Revolution explains the telomere theory of aging and how this knowledge may lead to prevention of age-related diseases. Overall, the author was able to clearly explain scientific ideas at a level that the general public can understand. He's not trying to impress people with his knowledge but convey information that he's excited about.
He explained various ideas people have held about what causes aging, then he described the telomere theory of aging and addressed some common misconceptions. He dismisses claims that special foods, meditation, and such can reverse aging and described the only valid telomerase-based product that's currently available. He talked about recent research and attempts toward developing clinical interventions involving telomerase. I found these chapters very interesting and informative.
He described the telomere view of diseases caused by the direct aging of various systems (like the immune system, muscles, skin, etc.) and diseases caused by indirect aging damage (atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease, then Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease). A basic knowledge of physiology is helpful with these "aging" chapters. He ended by explaining the latest efforts toward developing telomerase-based therapies and what people can do until these become more effective and available.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
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