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Defying Death: Medicine?s Journey Toward Immortality

Defying Death: Medicine's Journey Toward Immortality 

S&L Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-1-6782-0514-0
Format: Hardcover
Go to eBook
Author: Bruno Leone and Michael A. Leone
Publication Date: 2023
Number of Pages: 144
Dewey Code: 613.2
Interest Grade Level: 9-college
Reading Grade Level: 9-college

Defying Death: Medicine's Journey Toward Immortality is an attempt to outline where medicine has traveled in the past and to chart where it may be heading in the future. More specifically, this work endeavors to illustrate how advances in modern medical technology often leave in their wake increases in human life expectancy. In the words of the researchers at the UK's Tony Blair Institute of Global Change, “One of humanity's greatest success stories of the past century is the increase in global life expectancy as a result of the social and medical advancements that have dramatically improved basic living conditions and reduced vulnerability to infectious diseases."

As we ponder this exciting odyssey in medical science, one telling question begs to be answered: Is this a story without an ending? That is, will every new century or millennium fashion its own singular contribution to the additional number of years each human's body and mind can expect to survive? And will this continue indefinitely? Or does the story of humanity reach a chapter (or perhaps, “Grand Finale” in which the body will no longer be needed. Could it be that the collective consciousness of humanity will reside and hopefully even flourish on the hard-drive of a computer (or some other such device), creating an almost endless future ? one that a growing number of distinguished scientists, scholars, and transhumanists believe is humanity's ultimate fate?

“A thought-provoking overview on the subject of human longevity. Within the context of history, the authors examine medical science's ever-growing list of discoveries—from the macroscopic to the microscopic—though each was woven into a series of pathways leading toward a future of expanding life expectancies. The presentation is penetrating and insightful and dares to consider the question: Will it ever be possible for human beings to live indefinitely?”
Noah Mehr, M.D., Department of Pathology, University of Chicago

“The book Defying Death: Medicine's Journey Toward Immortality by the father and son co-authors Bruno Leone and Michael A. Leone is a fascinating mix of history, evidence, and speculation. It starts with the story of the first physicians and ends with what would have seemed science fiction decades years ago. Indeed, several current fiction authors fascinate precisely because they transform the human mind into a disembodied being resulting in credible drama. Specialists in aging research have long been skeptical of eternal, ageless life but as the Leones show, that skepticism is eroding under the weight of new evidence. And that is the remarkable value of Defying Death. As the history unfolds the emerging data expands and provides the reader with common sense non-technical language explaining both the information but also its importance. The most compelling human examples are diseases which can be countered by gene editing, amplified by the increasing evidence that genetic (epigenetic) interactions with social, economic, and environmental factors drive premature disease, disability, and mortality. In each of these examples, interventions, be they reactive or preventive, provide both health and wellbeing and result in longer life spans and fewer years of dependency. This is precisely the point the authors make in the opening chapters where they describe the emergence of germ theory and the development of antibiotics and vaccines. This justifies and explains the title of the book. Medical efforts to make life better have progressed to the point where some authors see immortality as the ultimate possibility. And the authors do an admirable job of explaining why. In summary this is an exceptionally informative book in which both anti-aging true believers and skeptics can agree catalogues the relevant information with accessible language. A second volume is sure to come.”
Gary Kennedy, M.D., Director of Geriatric Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Montefiore Medical Center