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Aging: a Natural History

by Ricklefs, Robert E.

  • ISBN: 9780716750567
  • ISBN10: 0716750562

Aging: a Natural History

by Ricklefs, Robert E.

  • List Price: $32.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Scientific American Library
  • Publish date: 03/01/1995
  • ISBN: 9780716750567
  • ISBN10: 0716750562
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Description: The process of aging is familiar to, and usually dreaded by, all of us. We all know what it feels like to grow older, but what exactly is aging, why does it happen, and can anything be done to slow or prevent it? An original treatment of human aging that draws on biomedical research and the natural history of animals and plants, Aging: A Natural History describes this biological phenomenon in fascinating detail, helping the reader to understand its complex processes. In the aging patterns of humans and many other species, biologists Robert E. Ricklefs and Caleb E. Finch find some answers to why aging must exist at all, and why it is so spectacularly different in different species. The authors ask a variety of compelling questions: How can processes that lead to death be such an integral part of life itself? Why do some species tend to die at an early age when close relatives may live much longer? Why do many species age, when others seem not to? And, perhaps most importantly, why is aging, which is so detrimental to the individual, maintained by natural selection? Finally, the authors consider the prospects for prolonging human life and improving the quality of life at older ages. Concluding that aging is induced both by environmental factors and by the biochemical processes normally present in all cells, they show aging to be an inevitable yet alterable part of life - a natural process that may limit activity but is not necessarily debilitating.
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