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Book and Media Reviews
July 1, 2009

Aging, Biotechnology, and the Future

JAMA. 2009;302(1):94-95. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.961

It is common knowledge that, in nearly all developed countries, the number of persons older than 65 years is increasing, both in absolute terms and as a proportion of the general population. By some estimates, the number of those older than 65 years will double in the United States in the next 2 decades. While there have always been attempts to prolong longevity, there is now an increased interest—and ability—to improve the quality of those added years. Aging, Biotechnology, and the Future is based on a forum held in 2005 that was sponsored by the National Institute on Aging and the Jesuit Institute of Boston College and that drew scholars from the fields of medicine, law, biology, psychology, gerontology, nursing, philosophy, ethics, and religion. The focus was on the intersection of biotechnology and aging and on how new technologies can affect the life span and the concerns of aging.