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3 January 2002
The Quest​ for Immortality: Science at the Frontiers of Ageing 
by S. Jay Olshansky and Bruce A. Carnes.
Norton, 254 pp., £19.95, August​ 2001, 0 393 04836 5
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... and that he subsequently ‘begat sons and daughters. We don’t know whether those first 187 years included a protracted adolescence, or how he fared towards the end of his life. Ira Gershwin’s splendidly execrable rhyme: ‘Who’d call dat livin’/When no gall’l give in/To no man what’s nine hundred years?’, suggests only one of many unenviable scenarios. Longevity is desirable only ...

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