The Long and the Short of It

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Author :
Release : 2013-11-01
Genre : Science & Nature
Kind : ebook
Book Rating : /5 ( reviews)


Book Synopsis The Long and the Short of It by : Jonathan Silvertown

Download or read book The Long and the Short of It written by Jonathan Silvertown. This book was released on 2013-11-01. Available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle. Book excerpt: “[A] whimsical book on aging . . . the author mixes art, science, and humor to brew a highly readable concoction, presenting one aging theory after another.” —Publishers Weekly

Everything that lives will die. That’s the fundamental fact of life. But not everyone dies at the same age: people vary wildly in their patterns of aging and their life spans—and that variation is nothing compared to what’s found in other animal and plant species.

With The Long and the Short of It, biologist and writer Jonathan Silvertown offers readers a witty and fascinating tour through the scientific study of longevity and aging. Dividing his daunting subject by theme—death, life span, aging, heredity, evolution, and more—Silvertown draws on the latest scientific developments to paint a picture of what we know about how life span, senescence, and death vary within and across species. At every turn, he addresses fascinating questions that have far-reaching implications: What causes aging, and what determines the length of an individual life? What changes have caused the average human life span to increase so dramatically—fifteen minutes per hour—in the past two centuries? If evolution favors those who leave the most descendants, why haven’t we evolved to be immortal?

The answers to these puzzles and more emerge from close examination of the whole natural history of life span and aging, from fruit flies, nematodes, redwoods, and much more. The Long and the Short of It pairs a perpetually fascinating topic with a wholly engaging writer, and the result is a supremely accessible book that will reward curious readers of all ages.

“Captivating and enlightening.” —The New York Times Well Blog