The Long Tomorrow: How Advances in Evolutionary Biology Can Help Us Postpone Aging

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, Sep 15, 2005 - Science - 192 pages
The conquest of aging is now within our grasp. It hasn't arrived yet, writes Michael R. Rose, but a scientific juggernaut has started rolling and is picking up speed. A long tomorrow is coming. In The Long Tomorrow, Rose offers us a delightfully written account of the modern science of aging, spiced with intriguing stories of his own career and leavened with the author's engaging sense of humor and rare ability to make contemporary research understandable to nonscientists. The book ranges from Rose's first experiments while a graduate student--counting a million fruit fly eggs, which took 3,000 hours over the course of a year--to some of his key scientific discoveries. We see how some of his earliest experiments helped demonstrate that "the force of natural selection" was key to understanding the aging process--a major breakthrough. Rose describes how he created the well-known Methuselah Flies, fruit flies that live far longer than average. Equally important, Rose surveys the entire field, offering colorful portraits of many leading scientists and shedding light on research findings from around the world. We learn that rodents given fifteen to forty percent fewer calories live about that much longer, and that volunteers in Biosphere II, who lived on reduced caloric intake for two years, all had improved vital signs. Perhaps most interesting, we discover that aging hits a plateau and stops. Popular accounts of Rose's work have appeared in The New Yorker, Time magazine, and Scientific American, but The Long Tomorrow is the first full account of this exciting new science written for the general reader. "Among his peers, Rose is considered a brilliantly innovative scientist, who has almost single-handedly brought the evolutionary theory of aging from an abstract notion to one of the most exciting topics in science."--Malcolm Gladwell, The New Yorker

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Niecierpek - LibraryThing

An interesting memoir of a scientist who has spent his career researching how to postpone aging. He started with the premise that evolution was the ultimate controller of aging, and natural selection ... Read full review

The long tomorrow: how advances in evolutionary biology can help us postpone aging

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

As a graduate student, Rose (evolutionary biology, Univ. of California, Irvine) was reluctantly steered into research on the evolution of aging. After some early difficulties, he successfully bred ... Read full review


1 The Sphinx and the Rabbi
2 Maynard Smiths Shirts
3 Cell Gang
4 The Force
5 Goon Show Einstein
6 Tiny Methuselahs
7 The Postman Rings Again
8 Cheshire Cat Cost
12 ManyHeaded Monster
13 Woody Allen and Superman
14 Not Even Oppenheimer
15 The Long Tomorrow
16 Travels with the Boatman
Acknowledgments and Disclosures
Bibliographic Essay

9 Birds and Bees
10 Deadly Serendipity
11 One Cant Be Too Rich or Too Thin

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2005)

Michael R. Rose is Professor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Irvine and is Director of the University of California Intercampus Research Program on Experimental Evolution.

Bibliographic information