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100 Plus: How the Coming Age of Longevity Will Change Everything, From Careers and Relationships to Family and Faith by Sonia Arrison

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CHAPTER 3
Mother Nature and the Longevity Revolution
THE NEXT TIME you’re at a cocktail party, try asking the other guests what a Stanford University aeronautics student has in common with a farmer in Illinois. If no one can guess, try making the question easier by asking what a United Airlines 737 jet and a John Deere tractor have in common. The answer is a precision global positioning system (GPS).
Tractors have come a long way since manufacturer John Deere started out in 1837 forging his first steel plow. If Deere were alive today, he would certainly be surprised to see tractors help drive themselves. Indeed, farming is not an occupation that springs to mind when one thinks about GPS. Yet in 1993 Michael O’Connor, then a PhD student at Stanford, ...

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