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hereas some of my contemporaries may be satisfied to embrace aging gracefully as part of the cycle of life, that is not my view. It may be ‘natural,’ but I don’t see anything positive in losing my mental agility, sensory acuity, physical limberness, sexual desire, or any other human ability. I view disease and death at any age as a calamity, as problems to be overcome.” So writes Ray Kurzweil in this brave new handbook to the human machine.
According to Kurzweil and coauthor Dr. Terry Grossman, we are in the early stages of multiple profound revolutions spawned by the intersection of biology, information science, and nanotechnology. With the decoding of the human genome, many new and powerful technologies are emerging: rational drug design (drugs designed for very precise missions, with little or no side effects), tissue engineering (regrowing our cells, tissues, and organs), reversal of aging processes, gene therapy (essentially reprogramming our genetic code), nanobots (robots the size of blood cells, built molecule by molecule and placed in our bodies and bloodstreams to enhance every aspect of our lives), and many others. Some of these transformations will bear fruit before the ink is dry on this book. As a result, many experts, including the authors, believe that within a decade we will be adding more than a year to human life expectancy every year thereafter.
Bridging the gulf between life today and the distant future—a fantastic voyage nearly all of us can take—will be made possible in three steps. Bridge One involves aggressively applying what we know now, sooner rather than later, to dramatically slow down the aging process. The authors describe how you can, in effect, reprogram your biochemistry to change the ancient programs in your genes. They provide guidance on which supplements will contribute to your health and enhance your vitality based on your particular situation. Bridge Two relies on advances in biotechnology that will allow you to directly intervene to stop disease and actually reverse aging. Finally, in a couple of decades, nanotechnology, Bridge Three, will enable us to vastly expand our physical and mental capabilities by directly interfacing our biological systems with human-created technologies.
Voyage is truly breathtaking--a concise yet comprehensive journey that
accurately recounts the past and present state of our collective knowledge
in the diverse fields of biology, medicine, and information technology.
Whether you are driven by intellectual curiosity or concern for your own
personal wellness, you will find this book fascinating and educational.
A must read.”
“This visionary book provides
a state-of-the-art synthesis of the latest evidence on aging and what
you can do to live better and live longer. Highly recommended.”
“Fantastic Voyage gives us
a wonderful and exciting vision of what new advances in the biological
and physical sciences will bring to the health and quality of human life.
Kurzweil and Grossman’s program of simple lifestyle modifications
to forestall chronic disease is so comprehensive that anyone can find
easy-to-implement actions that will enhance their health.”
“A wake-up call to even the
most health-conscious people, Fantastic Voyage boldly challenges conventional
wisdom about aging and illness and offers groundbreaking solutions to
remain young and healthy indefinitely.”