Who We Are – And What Drives Us
"Gilgamesh went after death itself… It's the original hero's journey, which everyone in modern society is familiar with whether that's through Marvel movies or Star Wars…. It's literally the story of humanity, and we are blessed to be alive in this unique pivotal moment. We shouldn't take that for granted."
– Keith Comito, President, Lifespan.io
"It's important to look at biomarkers or aging clocks….They are the predictors of biological aging at every level: molecular, psychological, and societal. AI will give us the ability to identify specific areas where we can intervene…. Once you realize what kind of impact this field can have, and what kind of tragedy a delay could cause, stopping due to ethical arguments would be a crime against humanity."
– Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO, Insilico Medicine
So, where do we...
The Genomics Revolution
"I think the number one thing you can do for your happiness is look after your health. People invest in mobile phones; they invest in cars; they invest in holidays; but people neglect their own health.
I've seen people happily spend a couple of hundred pounds for a tracksuit. But for that same money, you can go and get a full blood works test… I think that putting a little bit of money aside every month to put into your health is probably one of the best things you can do."
– Eddie Hall, World's Strongest Man, Epigenetics Evangelist
My mother used to take pride in the fact that I was quite tall. At the age of ten I was already taller than her, and she's 5'3". I am now 5&apos...
Understanding aging, mastering longevity
"Any living organism is a far more complicated machine than anything that's man made, but that doesn't change the fact that the concept is still the same. Any machine's function is determined by its structure, and therefore, if you can restore the structure, then you're also going to restore the function."
– Aubrey de Grey, Chief Science Officer, SENS Research Foundation
I had the pleasure of meeting Professor Thomas Kirkwood at Newcastle University recently. He framed the question of why we age in terms of an organism's available resources. Known as the "Disposable Soma Hypothesis," it is based on the notion that there are always limited resources available to species: energy...
Spirituality, Immortality, and the "God Gene"
"When Galileo was saying in Rome in the Vatican that it was not the sun that went around the earth, but the opposite, they almost burned him alive. These ideas are even more revolutionary than evolution or astrophysics."
– José Cordeiro, Director of the Millennium Project
Dr Dean Hamer, the director of the Gene Structure and Regulation Unit at the National Cancer Institute in America, was one of the first scientists to explore the link between religious belief and a person's genetic make-up. In his study he asked volunteers 226 questions, in order to determine how spiritually connected they felt to the universe.
The higher their score, the greater a person's ability to believe in a greater spiritual force and, Dr Hamer found, the more likely they were to share the gene VMAT2.
Tim Spector, Professor of Genetic Epidemiology and Director of Twins Research at King...
The interviews coming up reflect an extraordinary blend of perspectives on life, death, and immortality, from civic, scientific, and societal viewpoints. José Cordeiro and Keith Comito carry the torch for living as long as possible with transhumanist flair and a deep sense of public service, while Aubrey de Grey and Alex Zhavoronkov represent some of the most unconventional, provocative, brilliant minds in science—uncompromising in their approach to challenge entrenched orthodoxy. Eddie Hall, the world's strongest man since 2017, has had a fascinating personal journey to understand what gave him his "superhuman" gifts—which helped wrench him from a dark period of depression as a teenager to a fulfilled life, aided, in part, by his fascination with how epigenetics can optimize health and well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the fracture lines of society and we need a new social contract founded on a more sustainable and compassionate value system. Our combined experience from the pandemic also shows just how connected planetary, animal, and human health is, and we need to factor this into all of our decision-making. To make sure everyone has access to the benefits of living longer healthier lives—the "longevity dividend"—will require a concerted action from all stakeholders in society. That includes you, me, and every single one of us.
The latest developments in science and technology will certainly give us more options for us to lead a healthier, longer, and hopefully happier life. But big questions remain on access to these developments, to translate potential into reality. How will we ensure everyone benefits? How can we ensure equitable distribution of the longevity dividend? To answer these questions, we need to understand...
- Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Human Mankind (November 2019): https://www.albin-michel.fr/ouvrages/sapiens-edition-limitee-9782226445506
- Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus: After God and Man, Algorithms Will Make the Decisions: https://www.ynharari.com/homo-deus-after-god-and-man-algorithms-will-make-the-decisions/
- Futurism, Dom Galeon, Peter Diamandis Thinks We're Evolving Toward "Meta-Intelligence" (January 2017): https://futurism.com/peter-diamandis-thinks-were-evolving-toward-meta-intelligence
- Nature, Alexey A. Moskalev et al., Transcriptome Analysis of Long-lived Drosophila melanogaster E(z) Mutants Sheds Light on the Molecular Mechanisms of Longevity (2019): https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-45714-x?fbclid=IwAR1bKMmRmPPhz5Nm3qIkK60CXYi7nTpYv06LVPx-KYMx9VRQEUrh9mxLhGU
- Technology Review, Antonio Regalado, More than 26 million people have taken an at-home ancestry test (February 2019): https://www.technologyreview...