Your Name

Instructor’s Name


Works Cited

Research topic: Is there a viable way to extend one’s life beyond the current human lifespan?


In my search for information on how to extend one’s lifespan, I did a keyword search using the terms “anti-aging” and “research.” This approach returned no hits, so I changed my search terms to “aging” and “research”. This search query enabled me to locate five books on the SNAP online catalog. I brought up one book’s bibliographic record on the SNAP catalog and found that I should be using the Library of Congress Subject Headings: “Aging-nutritional aspects”, “Low-calorie diet” and “Aging physiology” to search for additional books on this topic. When I did so, I came across Kurzweil and Grossman’s book.

Kurzweil, Ray and Terry Grossman, Fantastic Voyage: Live Long Enough to Live

Forever. New York: Penguin, 2004. Print.


I hadn’t heard of Ray Kurzweil before, so I conducted a Google search and learned that he went to M.I.T. (Massachusett’s Institute of Technology) and he invented speech-recognition software that blind people now use. He also invented the music synthesizer, which allows one person to create the sounds of a complete orchestra. He has received many national and international awards, including the 1994 Dickson Prize (CarnegieMellonUniversity’s top science prize0, Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from MIT, and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. In all, he has received twelve honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents. He has also written several books including The Singularity is Near, The Age of Spiritual Machines, The 10% Solution for aHealthy Life and The Age of Intelligent Machines. Kurzweil is considered to be a futurist, thinker and entrepreneur. Co-author, Terry Grossman, M.D. is a longevity medical expert and an anti-aging specialist. He wrote the book, The Baby Boomer’sGuide to Living Forever.


Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman have teamed up to produce a visionary book that contains a synthesis of the latest evidence on aging and they provide advice on what any person can do to add years to their life. Claiming that immortality is within our grasp, the authors outline a program that includes eating a balanced, low-glycemic-index diet, taking advantage of the benefits of drinking alkaline water, and consuming powerful anti-aging nutritional supplements. Chapter titles include “You Can Live Long Enough to Live Forever,” “The Problem with Sugar (And Insulin),” “The Promise of GTenomics,” and “Cleaning Up the Mess: Toxins and Detoxification.” In addition, Kurzweil and Grossman devote two full chapters to heart disease and how to prevent it, as well as cancer prevention and detection. They also provide the reader with details of each of their personal longevity programs in Chapter 10 (Ray) and Chapter 17 (Terry). While this book is written for the general public, the first few chapters are more technical in nature as the topic of nanotechnology and decoding the genome are explored. A knowledge of basic science is assumed. While there is detectable bias on the part of both authors regarding the expectation that technology will continue to advance at such a phenomenal rate of speed that humans will virtually live forever (as nanotechnology is predicted to advance significantly in the next twenty years), Kurzweil and Grossman may not be far off. They do comprehensively lay out the case that simple lifestyle modification can forestall chronic disease, and who knows, the 1960’s science-fiction thriller Fantastic Voyage shifted the public’s attention from space travel to even more fascinating travel inside the human body.


The book was written in 2004, so it is now seven years old. With discoveries being made in the areas of biotechnology, genomics and nanotechnology daily, some aspects of the book may already be outdated. Kurzweil and Grossman have remedied this by the creation of a website, which includes excerpts from the book and a link called “Health Research and News” which features up-to-date articles.


The book met my information need and answered my research question. Kurzweil and Grossman provided me with a clearer understanding of what a person must do by way of lifestyle changes in order to prolong their lifespan. It was very comprehensive and thorough both in its explanation of why various actions are required for optimal health, as well as scientific and scholarly in its vast amounts of supporting research. The chapter notes, located at the end of the book, cover from pages 380-442 and provide any skeptic with hard scientific evidence for Kurzweil and Grossman’s claims.