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Time of Our Lives: The Science of Human Aging (Anglais) Relié – 28 novembre 2002

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

Of the many recent books on why and how we age, this is one of the best written. Kirkwood explains complex scientific concepts in a clear, entertaining, and personal way. (Library Journal)

A conversational, intelligent look at the current understanding of how and why biological aging occurs, along with some suggestions for how to stay healthy in old age....Kirikwood is an amiable, intelligent guide at the forefront of a fast-changing field. His is an entertaining and informative look at our current understanding of aging. (Kirkus Reviews)

[Kirkwood] conveys scientific matters lucidly and thought provokingly, posing good questions to show what is definitely known, disposing of myths, and pointing out where more information is to be ascertained. (Booklist)

Kirkwood is a charming, chatty guide, who leavens his text with vivid metaphors and fun facts. (The New York Times Book Review)

Présentation de l'éditeur

As recent articles about "the graying of America" suggest, a demographic revolution is well underway. The number of people living into extreme old age is increasing dramatically. By the year 2050 one in five of the world's population, including the developing countries, will be 65 or older, a fact which presages profound medical, biological, philosophical, and political changes in the coming century. In Time of Our Lives, Tom Kirkwood unfolds some of the deepest mysteries of medical science while demolishing some of the most persistent misconceptions. He overturns the almost universally held belief that aging is either necessary or inevitable--it isn't--and debunks the idea that there exists a "death gene" that evolved to inhibit population growth. Instead, Kirkwood shows that we age because our genes, evolving at a time when life was "nasty, brutish, and short," placed little priority on the long-term maintenance of our bodies. With such knowledge, along with new insights from genome research, we can devise ways to target the root causes of aging and of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and osteoporosis. Expanding his thesis of the "disposable soma," developed over twenty years of research, Kirkwood makes sense of the evolution of aging, explains how aging occurs, and answers fundamental questions like why women live longer than men. He even considers the possibility that human beings will someday have greatly extended life spans or even be free from senescence altogether. Beautifully written by one of the world's pioneering researchers into the science of aging, Time of Our Lives is a clear, original and, above all, inspiring investigation of a process all of us experience but few of us understand.

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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4 commentaires
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A good and concise book on human aging for non-scientists. 6 avril 2000
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I recently finished reading this book and found it to be quite interesting and helpful in understanding why and how we all age. I think Tom Kirkwood did a very good job in explaining the biological mechanisms and processes behind aging - at a level comprehensible to the general reader - without oversimplifying or neglecting the necessary subject matter.
The book starts by talking about the social aspects and worldwide (also historical) statistics of human aging. Then the author introduces a theory of aging and gives an overview about the evolutionary, biological, physiological, and biochemical concepts and mechanisms, which is necessary to understand the aging process. In doing this, he also explains many aspects of cancer. The later chapters try to clarify the reason behind the gender- and geography-related differences in life expectancies. Finally, the last two chapters talk about the "do"s and "don't"s of "making more time". The bibliography section at the end of the book directs more interested readers to specific and more advanced sources about the material covered in the book.
Although this book was generally fast-reading, I had to re-read some looong sentences two or even three times in order to put their heads and tails together. Also, I found the last two chapters a little anticlimactic. I guess I was expecting more than "don't smoke, eat right, exercise" type of recommendations. The author doesn't make many predictions about longevity enhancement in the future, but the short science fiction story at the end of the book kind of serves for this purpose.
Still, the book deserves a five star rating in my humble opinion because it successfully explains a very complicated process to the layman without using scientific jargon. Also, the author does not go out on a limb and make unfounded or crazy predictions (like many famous science authors cannot resist the temptation of doing).
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Answers many questions and presents the latest data 14 août 2000
Par A Lover of Good Books - Publié sur
Format: Relié
If you've ever wondered why we can live to 80 years while our pets or livestock can expect to live for only a small fraction of that span, you'll find the explanations in "The Time of our Lives" very satisfying.
The best part of this book is its exploration of what aging is, in biological terms, and how different modes of aging can be explained by Darwinian theory. This is not a book on how to live longer, but rather a book on what scientists are learning about the mechanisms and reasons for aging.
Kirkwood writes in a lighthearted and readable style, but unlike many popular science writers, he gives his reader total respect. In areas where I keep up with medical research, (like the long-term effects of HRT) I found his book to be right up to date with the research published within the last year.
Best of all, he has no "do this and live for ever" prescription--a nice change from most other books about aging available nowadays, which seem to have been written under the sponsorship of supplement manufacturers.
A pleasant and informative read!
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Breezy anecdotal style punctuated by dagger-thrusts 23 décembre 2002
Par Robert Hughes - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Don't be misled by the first few chapters. The style is relaxed, discursive, and laced with entertaining anecdotes which sometimes seem a little off-subject.
The "disposable soma" theory of aging emerges in Chapter 6. The author first proposed this theory in a paper published in Nature in 1977, and he argues a convincing case. It is a simple but highly plausible theory, like Darwin's theory of evolution, and it defines a framework within which other theories of aging can be understood.
DNA and cells are constantly under attack. They are under attack from such things as ultraviolet radiation, viruses, free oxygen released by normal mitochondrial metabolism, and the odd hiccup during DNA-copying. We have defences against these attacks: the immune-system, anti-oxidants, and a form of DNA proof-reading under which "cells could in principle be as accurate as they liked". BUT all these defences come at a cost. The germ cells are indeed protected at any cost: that is why life goes on forever. But it would be a waste of energy to protect the somatic cells in a way that would prolong life beyond the point at which accidental death would claim almost every individual. The maximum length of time that a member of a species would normally survive in the wild determines the degree of protection which the genes of the species are prepared to pay for.
The irony is that we might be shortening our lives by drowning our bodies with oxidants generated by burning far more calories than we evolved to handle. If only those excess calories could be diverted into improving our internal "repairs & maintenance" and so lengthen our lives instead!
An excellent book, as iconoclastic in its way as Richard Dawkin's "Selfish Gene", though not as melodramatic.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Time of Our Lives 8 juin 2009
Par Michelle R. Mcquage - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I received my product in great time! The book was in great condition, as promised. Great seller!
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