The Telomerase Revolution by Michael Fossel – Book Review

Title: The Telomerase Revolution

Author: Michael Fossel

Genre: Science Non-Fiction, Health

Blurb from Goodreads

Science is on the cusp of a revolutionary breakthrough. We now understand more about aging—and how to prevent and reverse it—than ever before.

Twenty years ago, there was still considerable debate of the nature of human aging, with a variety of competing theories in play. But scientific consensus is forming around the telomere theory of aging.

But some of our cells don’t age. Sex cells and stem cells can reproduce indefinitely, without aging, because they create telomerase. Telomerase re-lengthens the telomeres, keeping these cells young.

The Telomerase Revolution describes how telomerase will soon be used as a powerful therapeutic tool, with the potential to dramatically extend life spans and even reverse human aging.

My Review

What started off as an appealing look into the science behind ageing in the body soon descended into a diet self help book??? 

This book really works in the early stages as a thought experiment. Because right now that’s what a lot of this is, theory without actual trials.

But sadly the author from his impassioned standpoint began to preach to the reader too much. His writing suffered from a case of ‘overwrought dramatics’.

The theory is brilliant.

In very simplified terms, a chromosome is that molecule which carries genetic information within the body.

A telomere is a specific region on the end of a chromosome whose function is to protect the chromosome from degradation.

It is understood that every time a cell divides and replication of the chromosome occurs, part of the telomere is shortened as it is unable to be fully copied.

Understanding the reasons behind why our telomeres shorten and what implication that has on cellular ageing and gene expression etc is fascinating and makes for an interesting read. And it is definitely an area that needs further investment and research as scientists attempt to find treatments and cures for age-related diseases.

But towards the latter stages of the book it turned into a book about eating healthily (for your own genetic makeup) and it really jarred with me. The author at one stage made reference to his displeasure at a previous publication of his being shelved in the diet section of bookstores… If that book bears any similarity to this I can understand why that was the case!!

Sadly this one wasn’t completely to my liking. While the theory was sound the execution left me cold. I was not a fan of the writing style and I believe that the book flounders between wanting to be a more scientifically detailed text and an informative science based health book for the general public.

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