SCIENCES

Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age

Bloomsbury. Feb. 2019. 272p. notes. bibliog. index. ISBN 9781472936066. $28. SCI
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Science journalist Armstrong (P53: The Gene That Cracked the Cancer Code) presents the state of current research on aging, beginning with the universal hallmarks of getting older—problems that develop with genes and their expression, proteins, nutrient processing, mitochondria, stem cells, and inflammation—and shows how scientists are exploring each in hopes of discovering ways to slow or reverse the aging process. While there are many promising laboratory models for achieving this, most cannot yet be tested on humans. Prescription drugs already on the market for use in other conditions have also demonstrated promise in ameliorating some of these effects in some human patients. Armstrong devotes several chapters to the efforts underway to understand and treat Alzheimer's disease, one of the most feared aspects of aging.
VERDICT Armstrong uses an informal style to explain complicated research in lay-friendly terms. Her book will be of interest to everyone who hopes to live a long, healthy life.

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