Cracking the Aging Code The New Science of Growing Old-And What It Means for Staying Young

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2016-06-14
  • Publisher: Flatiron Books

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A revolutionary examination of why we age, what it means for our health, and how we just might be able to fight it.

In Cracking the Aging Code, theoretical biologist Josh Mitteldorf and award-winning writer and ecological philosopher Dorion Sagan reveal that evolution and aging are even more complex and breathtaking than we originally thought. Using meticulous multidisciplinary science, as well as reviewing the history of our understanding about evolution, this book makes the case that aging is not something that “just happens,” nor is it the result of wear and tear or a genetic inevitability. Rather, aging has a fascinating evolutionary purpose: to stabilize populations and ecosystems, which are ever-threatened by cyclic swings that can lead to extinction.

When a population grows too fast it can put itself at risk of a wholesale wipeout. Aging has evolved to help us adjust our growth in a sustainable fashion as well as prevent an ecological crisis from starvation, predation, pollution, or infection.

This dynamic new understanding of aging is provocative, entertaining, and pioneering, and will challenge the way we understand aging, death, and just what makes us human.

Author Biography

Theoretical-biologist Josh Mitteldorf has a PhD from UPenn. He runs the website AgingAdvice.org, and writes a weekly column for ScienceBlog.com. Mitteldorf has had visiting research and teaching positions at various universities including MIT, Harvard, and Berkeley.

Dorion Sagan is a celebrated writer, ecological philosopher and theorist. His essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in Natural History, Smithsonian, Wired, New Scientist, and The New York Times, among others.

Table of Contents

Preface: What This Book Is About
Prologue: Your Inner Stalker (written by Dorion Sagan)
Introduction: How a Lifelong Obsession with Aging and Health Became My Career (written by Josh Mitteldorf)
You Are Not a Car: You Body Does Not "Wear Out"
The Way of Some Flesh: The Varieties of Aging Experience
Darwin in a Straitjacket: Tracing Modern Evolutionary Theory
Theories of Aging and Aging of Theories
When Aging Was Young: Replicative Senescence
When Aging Was Even Younger: Apoptosis
The Balance of Nature: Demographic Homeostasis
So We All Don't Die at Once: Wiles of the Black Queen
Live Longer Right Now
The Near Future of Aging
All Tomorrow's Parties

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