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July 2016 Vol. 53 No. 11

BenBella Books, Inc.

The following review appeared in the July 2016 issue of CHOICE. The review is for your internal use only. Please review our Permission and Reprints Guidelines or email

Science & Technology
Health Sciences

2015-26608 CIP
Fossel, Michael. The telomerase revolution: the enzyme that holds the key to human aging, and will soon lead to longer, healthier lives. BenBella Books, 2015. 223p index ISBN 9781941631690, $24.95; ISBN 9781941631706 ebook, contact publisher for price.

Is aging a “disease” that can be “cured” by preventing the shortening of the end segments of chromosomes—telomeres?  According to Fossel (Cells, Aging, and Human Disease, 2004), a noted researcher on aging, this is the case.  The author begins by presenting a time line of the study and development of theories about the process of aging from their initiation to the present time.  This is followed by eight chapters that delve into those initial theories and the telomerase theory, why aging happens, and direct and indirect aging, concluding with a consideration of slowing and reversing the aging process.  While the level of presentation is fairly general, footnotes help guide the nonscientist, as does a six-page glossary of scientific terms.  A useful ten-page index assists with location of specific topics.  There are questions about aging that the telomerase theory answers, but the careful reader will find that many questions remain.  The Telomerase Revolution is a worthwhile addition to the collection of individuals or institutions with an interest in the biology of aging.

--L. A. Meserve, Bowling Green State University

Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals/practitioners; general audiences.