The Long Tomorrow

The Long Tomorrow : How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging

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The conquest of aging is now within our grasp. It hasn't arrived yet, writes Michael R. Rose, but a scientific juggernaut has started rolling and is picking up speed. A long tomorrow is coming.
In The Long Tomorrow, Rose offers us a delightfully written account of the modern science of aging, spiced with intriguing stories of his own career and leavened with the author's engaging sense of humor and rare ability to make contemporary research understandable to nonscientists. The book ranges from Rose's first experiments while a graduate student--counting a million fruit fly eggs, which took 3,000 hours over the course of a year--to some of his key scientific discoveries. We see how some of his earliest experiments helped demonstrate that "the force of natural selection" was key to understanding the aging process--a major breakthrough. Rose describes how he created the well-known Methuselah Flies, fruit flies that live far longer than average. Equally important, Rose surveys the entire field, offering colorful portraits of many leading scientists and shedding light on research findings from around the world. We learn that rodents given fifteen to forty percent fewer calories live about that much longer, and that volunteers in Biosphere II, who lived on reduced caloric intake for two years, all had improved vital signs. Perhaps most interesting, we discover that aging hits a plateau and stops.
Popular accounts of Rose's work have appeared in The New Yorker, Time magazine, and Scientific American, but The Long Tomorrow is the first full account of this exciting new science written for the general reader.
"Among his peers, Rose is considered a brilliantly innovative scientist, who has almost single-handedly brought the evolutionary theory of aging from an abstract notion to one of the most exciting topics in science."--Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker
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Product details

  • Hardback | 174 pages
  • 154 x 236 x 24mm | 480.82g
  • Oxford University Press, USA
  • Oxford, England, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195179390
  • 9780195179392
  • 1,744,028

Review quote

"Engaging and illuminating.... Rose is successful both in capturing the imagination of young people with little exposure to formal science and in convincing advanced researchers in other fields that understanding evolutionary biology is important to their science and to their careers. This is a significant achievement."--American Scientist
"Well-written and entertaining.... Rose's innovative studies of the past 25 years have revealed much about the influence of natural selection on aging and have opened up several intriguing possibilities for extending human lives. Here he relates how many of his most significant discoveries were made, interlacing lucid explanations of their significance with interesting accounts of how his own sometimes difficult life experiences influenced his research, and frankly discusses his failures and successes."--Library Journal
"In this hugely enjoyable book, Rose provides a thorough but never too technical survey of one of the most instructive strands of the biology of aging--manipulating the rate of aging by accelerating evolution. If his attempt to extend his studies to mice had succeeded, we might be much closer now to extending human lifespan."--Aubrey de Grey
"Michael Rose is more qualified than anyone currently working in the field of aging to write about the evolutionary development of aging in biological organisms, and he presents us here with a clear, easy-to-digest overview of the field. We meet the leaders and the busy-bee scientists; the believers and the nay-sayers. His final summary of the possibilities for postponing human aging is one of the most accurate and believable to appear in recent years. But most of all, Rose gives us a sense of what it is like to be a living, working scientist. Far and away one of the best-rounded, deeply satisfying accounts of a scientist and his work I have read. Warts and all!" --William R. Clark, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of Sex and the Origins of Death and A Means to an End
"Michael Rose has developed novel and important views on the future of human longevity that draw from his pioneering laboratory experiments and his deep understanding of evolutionary biology. Rose's leads his readers on a fascinating journey from fly cages to the Biosphere, and beckons to the future which may not be so far ahead." --Caleb E. Finch, ARCO/ Keischnick Professor of Gerontology and Biological Science, Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, and author of Chance, Development and Aging
"Rose is not only an original scientist--he was among the first to demonstrate the extraordinary plasticity of aging in fruit flies after just a dozen generations of selective breeding--he is also a superb writer, and this book can be understood by anyone who ever took high school biology. But even those of us who are professional scientists will enjoy reading this book because of the global perspective he provides on the whole field of gerontology. By carefully reviewing his decades-long career with all the blind alleys that are commonplace for anyone who pioneers a new field, Rose gives us this perspective." --L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder, Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group, and Stem-Cell Researcher at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine
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About Professor of Evolutionary Biology Michael R Rose

Michael R. Rose is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Irvine and is Director of the University of California Intercampus Research Program on Experimental Evolution.
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