Publisher description for Merchants of immortality : chasing the dream of human life extension / Stephen S. Hall.


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Counter Aging, cancer, stem cells, cloning -- this book's themes are the stuff of headlines and of our greatest fears and hopes. Stephen Hall delves behind the headlines to reveal just how close scientists are to fulfilling these hopes and fears. Merchants of Immortality tackles hard questions: How close are we to cloning humans? Will Parkinson's disease and diabetes be wiped out before we get old? How long might our children live?
Hall's account of life-extension technology is as dramatic as it
is authoritative. He spotlights a close-knit but fractious band of researchers and entrepreneurs who work in a netherworld between profit and the public good. Hall tracks the science of aging back to
its father figure, the iconoclastic Leonard Hayflick, who discovered the mechanism that makes cells age and whose epic battles with the federal government cleared the path for today's biotech magnates. Chief among those is the protean Michael West, a charismatic former creationist who founded the first company devoted to aging research
and who has won ardent admirers and foes with his relentless quest for "practical immortality."
Merchants of Immortality breathes scintillating life into the most momentous science of our day, traces its contrarian origins, and explores its potentially vast effect on the length and quality of our lives.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Longevity Popular works