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Durk Pearson, born in 1943 in Illinois, is best known for coauthoring a series of books on longevity, beginning with Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach.
While a student at MIT, he was a member of the MIT Science Fiction Society and one of the writers for the early underground comic God Comics. Pearson graduated from MIT with a triple major in physics, biology, and psychology.
Pearson has patents in the area of oil shale and tar sands recovery, lasers, holography and supplement formulations. Pearson assisted with equipment design and experiments for NASA's Space Shuttle. Pearson is also an International Society for Testing and Failure Analysis honoree.
Pearson and Sandy Shaw are the coauthors of Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach (ISBN 0-446-51229-X, Warner Books, 1982), The Life Extension Companion (Warner Books), The Life Extension Weight Loss Manual, and Freedom of Informed Choice: FDA v. Nutrient Supplements, (Common Sense Press, 1993). He and Sandy Shaw have co-authored numerous articles on Life extension, cognitive enhancement, Anti-aging, Weight loss, and other aspects of nutrition.
Pearson and Shaw wrote, designed the stunts, and acted as technical advisors for a 1978 episode of The Wonderful World of Disney, called "Black Holes, Monsters That Eat Space and Time." They acted as scientific and technical advisors and received screen credits for the Clint Eastwood movie Firefox. They received screen credits for acting as technical advisors for Douglas Trumbull's movie Brainstorm, starring Natalie Wood. In 1988 Steve Sharon, Pearson and Shaw authored the thriller The Dead Pool, which was later sold to Warner Bros. and made into a Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry film. Pearson and Shaw make a cameo appearance in the funeral scene.
Pearson and Shaw in a civil action challenged the constitutional validity of several U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") regulations that require sellers of dietary supplements to obtain FDA authorization before labeling such supplements with "health claims". In ruling against the FDA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the supplement health claims were constitutionally protected free speech.