The Science of How and Why We Age
Uncovering the science behind how and why we age.
The aging of the world population is one of the most important issues facing humanity in the 21st century--up there with climate change in its potential global impact. Sometime before 2020, the number of people over 65 worldwide will, for the first time, be greater than the number of 0–4 year olds, and it will keep on rising. The strains this is causing on society are already evident as health and social services everywhere struggle to cope with the care needs of the elderly.
But why and how do we age? Scientists have been asking this question for centuries, yet there is still no agreement. There are a myriad competing theories, from the idea that our bodies simply wear out with the rough and tumble of living, like well-worn shoes or a rusting car, to the belief that ageing and death are genetically programmed and controlled.
In Borrowed Time, Sue Armstrong tells the story of science's quest to understand ageing and to prevent or delay the crippling conditions so often associated with old age. She focuses inward--on what is going on in our bodies at the most basic level of the cells and genes as the years pass--to look for answers to why and how our skin wrinkles with age, our wounds take much longer to heal than they did when we were kids, and why words escape us at crucial moments in conversation.This book explores these questions and many others through interviews with key scientists in the field of gerontology and with people who have interesting and important stories to tell about their personal experiences of aging.
Praise For Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age…
“Engrossing questions throng science writer Sue Armstrong's round-up of research on the biology of ageing. A rich, timely study for the era of 'global ageing'.” —Nature
“A fine introduction to the research and controversies about how we age.” —Times Literary Supplement
“Armstrong, a British science and health writer, presents, in crack Michael Lewis style, the high points of aging research along with capsule biographies of the main players.” —The New Yorker
“Complex, nuanced and cautious, yet it suggests we are on the brink of a revolution.” —The Sunday Times
“Ms Armstrong doesn't pretend that there is any one answer to the question of why we age as we do. The science she presents is a grab bag of divergent theories, each championed by a scientific subspeciality.” —Wall Street Journal
“As a seventy-five-year-old man I felt oddly rejuvenated by this book. Try it yourself!” —Professor Steve Jones
“Sue Armstrong's book humanely tackles ageing in a way that is grounded, philosophical and makes the most complex science accessible to lay people like me. While not dangling false hopes of innovatory medical cures, it is full of hope about the strides being made in gerontology and pharmacology. And while I may be getting older, the vigour of this book is life-enhancing.” —Claire Fox, Director of the Academy of Ideas and panellist on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze
“Authoritative, comprehensible and fun to read. The book ageing research has been waiting for.” —Richard Faragher, Professor of Biogerontology at the University of Brighton
“Borrowed Time gives a wonderful overview of the fast-evolving science of longevity. I thoroughly recommend this book as a primer on what will become a key industry in the next two decades or so.” —Jim Mellon, Chairman, Juvenescence Ltd.
Bloomsbury Sigma, 9781472936080, 272pp.
Publication Date: August 25, 2020