Merchants of Immortality - Chasing the Dream of Human Life Extension
Publisher: Mariner Books
A Discover Best Science Book of the Year: “A fascinating, accurate and accessible account of some of [the] contemporary efforts to combat aging” (The New York Times). Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist Named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times, San Jose Mercury News, and Library Journal An award-winning writer explores science’s boldest frontier—extension of the human life span—interviewing dozens of people involved in the quest to allow us to live longer, better lives. Delving into topics from cancer to stem cells to cloning, Merchants of Immortality looks at humankind’s quest for longevity and tackles profound questions about our hopes for defeating health problems like heart attacks, Parkinson’s disease, and diabetes. The story follows a close-knit but fractious band of scientists as well as entrepreneurs who work in the shadowy area between profit and the public good. The author tracks the science of aging back to the iconoclastic Leonard Hayflick—who was the first to show that cells age, and whose epic legal battles with the federal government cleared the path for today’s biotech visionaries. Among those is the charismatic Michael West, a former creationist who founded the first biotech company devoted to aging research. West has won both ardent admirers and committed foes in his relentless quest to promote stem cells, therapeutic cloning, and other technologies of “practical immortality.” Merchants of Immortality breathes scintillating life into the most momentous science of our day, assesses the political and bioethical controversies it has spawned, and explores its potentially dramatic effect on the length and quality of our lives. “Timely and engrossing . . . This is top-drawer journalism.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review “A carefully documented examination of how society deals with life-and-death matters.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review “An important survey of the entire landscape of the science aimed at extending human life.” —Newsday “[This] highly readable and important book . . . provide[s] new insights into the intersection of science and politics.” —The Washington Post
Available since: 06/18/2003.
Print length: 448 pages.