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Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality

Why We Die: The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality

Author Venki Ramakrishnan
Publisher William Morrow
Publication Date 2024-03-19
Section New Hardcover - Nonfiction / Biology
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780063113275

A groundbreaking exploration of the science of why and how we age and die—from Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Venki Ramakrishnan.

The knowledge of death is so terrifying that we live most of our lives in denial of it. Throughout human history—from the immortal afterlife of Judeo-Christian thought to the cycle of reincarnation posited by many Eastern religions—we have developed beliefs that allow us to avoid recognizing its finality. One of the most difficult moments of childhood must be when each of us first realizes that not only we but all our loved ones will die—and there is nothing we can do about it.

Or at least, there hasn’t been. Today, we are living through a revolution in biology. Giant strides are being made in understanding why we age—and why some species live longer than others. Could we eventually cheat disease and death and live for a very long time, possibly many times our current lifespan?

Venki Ramakrishnan, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and former president of the Royal Society, takes us on a riveting journey to the frontiers of biology, asking whether we must be mortal. Covering the recent breakthroughs in scientific research, he examines the cutting edge of efforts to extend lifespan by altering our genetic makeup. But might death serve a necessary biological purpose? What are the social and ethical costs of attempting to live forever?

Why We Die is a narrative of uncommon insight and beauty from one of our leading public intellectuals.

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