Further reading

Below is an evolving list of helpful websites, newsletters, books and magazine articles that I’ve consulted in my research. By all means, if you have suggestions, send them my way.


Ending Aging: The Rejuvenation Breakthroughs That Could Reverse Human Aging in Our Lifetime Aubrey de Grey and Michael Rae

Dr. de Grey, a researcher based at Cambridge, is one of the most bullish anti-aging researchers in the world, and he’s convinced that some combination of biotechnology and scientific innovation will be the key to eliminating death. This book discusses various ways that the human body “breaks down” and offers ideas on how we might be able to “repair” these malfunctions and degenerations, to leave us young into an “indefinite future”.

The CR Way: Using the Secrets of Calorie Restriction for a Longer, Healthier Life Paul Mcglothin and Meredith Averill

The definitive guide to the calorie restriction lifestyle, written by the leaders of the Calorie Restriction Society. A guide to research, purported benefits and practical application of an ultra-low calorie diet. The book doesn’t offer a balanced examination of the lifestyle, but it’s a good start for simple nuts and bolts.

The American Holistic Health Association Complete Guide to Alternative Medicine William Collinge

A guide that includes scientific research and case studies to describe eight different “alternative” health approaches: Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, mind/body medicine, osteopathy, chiropractics and massage therapy. Collinge is obviously “pro” alternative medicine, but his guide offers pros and cons to each approach, and lists the credentials to look for when seeking a practitioner.

Lessons from the Edge : Extreme Athletes Show You How to Take on High Risk and Succeed Maryann Karinch

An interesting, informative primer on different extreme sports, including common endeavors like sky diving and new sports like urban luging. Each chapter includes details on training and technique, as well as the latest technology that has either made the sport possible or made it safer and easier for amateurs to try.

Trick or Treatment: The Undeniable Facts about Alternative Medicine Edzard Ernst and Simon Singh

A helpful counter-balance to Collinge’s book, because the authors (one a science writer, the other a complimentary medicine practitioner) examine research and clinical trials on alternative health practices, and draw mostly skeptical conclusions about their merits. Safety is also discussed at length, as many “alternative” practitioners aren’t trained or licensed, and supplements are rarely FDA-approved.

Websites and Blogs

The Longevity Meme: http://longevitymeme.com/

The ultimate online guide to anti-aging, with an archive of research and news stories, as well as an RSS feed for the latest updates. Calorie restriction, cryonics, biotechnology and stem cells are only a few of the topics covered. Whatever area of anti-aging you’re interested in, Longevity Meme will have information and helpful links.

Quack Watch: http://www.quackwatch.org/

A non-profit organization that investigates “questionable” health claims, debunks pseudoscience, reports illegal health marketing and offers advice to those who have been fooled by “quack” medicine. Browse tips on spotting quack medicine, read victim case reports and law suits, search through a massive database of health products, services and theories.

I Am Biotech: http://iambiotech.org/

A blog maintained by a group of biotechnologists and scientists, who cover everything from recent breakthroughs to biotech funding and the latest news stories on biotech topics (like biofuel and stem cell research).

PhysOrg.com: http://www.physorg.com

A collection of breaking news on science, health and medicine, written for scientists and doctors but with reader-friendly language. The website posts over 100 articles a day and is a partner of Scientific American Magazine.

JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association: http://jama.ama-assn.org/

A weekly medical journal that publishes peer-reviewed studies and articles. If you can maneuver through the technical, academic writing, this is a good way to stay on top of the very latest in research.

Extreme Fitness: http://www.extremefitness.com/

A discussion forum for those interested in the extreme side of exercise, from bodybuilding to ultrarunning. Also includes forums on supplements, health products and medical treatments/surgeries.

Nerdy Science Blog: http://science.kukuchew.com/

A blog for nerds, by nerds. Bloggers post on science news as well as new products and research in biotechnology, psychology, medicine, alternative health, and more. The bloggers stay anonymous, so best to double check anything by referring to a more authoritative source.

Health News Service: http://www.healthy.net/scr/Healthynews.asp

A breaking news site devoted to alternative health updates, but that includes studies from more mainstream organizations as well. A nice mix of western medicine and complementary medicine, and a large archive of searchable news stories. The site is not run by health practitioners, so another one to double check against a second source.

Listservs and Newsletters

To Your Health: www.toyourhealth.com/newsletterhelp/TYH

An email newsletter with articles on alternative and complementary health practices.

Harvard Medical School: HEALTHbeat@hms.harvard.edu

E-News from Harvard, with updates on recent research and medical breakthroughs.


This is just a sampling of features (which I will continue adding to) from magazines that often touch on my topic. In particular, I’d recommend reading or visiting online: Wired, Psychology Today and Discover Magazine.

Julian Dibbell, “The Fast Supper,” New York. Oct. 23, 2006

Barry Commoner, “Unraveling the DNA Myth: The spurious foundation of genetic engineering.” Harper’s, Feb. 2002

Caroline Abraham, “The quest for the test tube of youth,” Globe & Mail. Jan. 9, 2009

Gary Wolf, “Futurist Ray Kurzweil Pulls Out All the Stops (and Pills) to Live to Witness the Singularity,” Wired. March 2008.

Josh McHugh, “Drug Test Cowboys: The Secret World of Pharmaceutical Trial Subjects,” Wired. April 2007.

Jonathan Van Meter, “About Face,” New York. Aug 3, 2008.

Marcelle Fishler, “Promoting Plastic Surgery: Party Style.” New York Times. June 29, 2008.

Alec Wilkinson, “No Obstacles: Navigating the World by Leaps and Bounds.” The New Yorker. April, 2007.

Lauren Slater, “Dr. Daedalus: A radical plastic surgeon wants to give you wings.” Harper’s. July 2001.

Kathleen McGowan “Typically Twisted,” Psychology Today. Feb. 2008.


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