Friday, June 21, 2024

Cambridge scientist explores aging

Posted by Elena del Valle on June 5, 2024

Why We Die

Why We Die

Photo: Harper Collins Publishers (William Morrow)

In Why We Die The New Science of Aging and the Quest for Immortality (William Morrow, $32.50) Venki Ramakrishnan, co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (for his work on the structure of the ribosome) and former president of the Royal Society, explores human mortality in a science and research oriented and thought provoking book.

In the book he asks what purpose we serve once we pass our reproductive years. Why do grandparents exist, he asks, for example. He explains that in the causes of aging known to date the processes are so interlinked and complex it’s difficult to separate causes and effects.

He wonders if living forever would be a good thing. He zeroes in on scientific research that has caught his attention from among many studies. And he presents the case that there would be social and ethical costs of attempting to live forever.

The 310-page book published in 2024 is divided into 12 chapters. Ramakrishnan leads the research team at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.