2021-06-07 - Interview Dr. David Sinclair - Lex Fridman Podcast - Extending the Human Lifespan Beyond 100 Years

    From Longevity Wiki



    0:00 the following is a conversation with david sinclair he is a professor in the department of genetics at harvard
    0:06 and co-director of the paul f glenn center for the biology of aging at harvard medical school he's the
    0:12 author of the book lifespan and co-founder of several biotech companies he works on
    0:18 turning age into an engineering problem and solving it driven by a vision of a world where
    0:24 billions of people can live much longer and much healthier lives quick mention of our sponsors
    0:30 on it clear national instruments and i simply safe and lino'd
    0:36 check them out in the description to support this podcast as a side note let me say that longevity
    0:41 research challenges us to think how science and engineering will change society
    0:47 imagine if you can live a hundred thousand years even under controlled conditions like in a spaceship say
    0:53 then suddenly a trip to alpha centauri that is uh 4.37 light years away
    0:58 takes a single human lifespan and on the psychological maybe even philosophical level as the horizons of
    1:06 death drifts farther into the distance how will our search for meaning change does meaning require
    1:12 death or does it merely require struggle reprogramming our biology will require
    1:18 us to delve deeper into understanding the human mind and the robot mind
    1:23 both of these efforts are as exciting of a journey as i can imagine this is the lex friedman podcast and
    1:30 here is my conversation with david sinclair i usually feel like the

    Staying young at heart

    1:35 same person when i was 12 like when i right now as i think about myself i feel
    1:42 like exactly the same person that i was when i was 12 and yet
    1:48 um i am getting older both body and mind and still feel like time hasn't passed
    1:53 at all do you um feel this tension in yourself that you're the same person
    1:59 and yet you're aging yeah i have this tension that that i'm still a kid but that helps in my career
    2:05 scientists need to have a wonder about the world and you don't want to grow up 12 year olds and even younger
    2:11 i would say 6 7 year olds i've still got that boy in me and i can look at things it's a gift i
    2:17 think that i can see things for the first time if i choose to and then explain them as i would to a 60
    2:22 or 6 year old because i i am that mentally but on the other hand i'm getting older right i run a lab of 20 people at harvard i've
    2:29 got a book i've got uh you know science to do companies to run and so i have to
    2:34 and on most days just pretend to be a grown up and and be mature but i definitely don't feel that way
    2:40 there's uh there's something i really appreciated in opening your book you talked about your grandmother
    2:46 and on this kind of theme on this kind of topic uh she first of all had a big influence
    2:53 on you my grandma mother had a big influence on me he also mentioned this poem by the
    3:00 author of winnie the pooh allen alexander milne maybe i can
    3:05 read it real quick because i on the topic of being children when i was one i had just begun when i
    3:12 was two i was nearly new when i was three i was hardly me when i was four i was not much more when
    3:19 i was five i was just alive but now i am six i am as clever as clever so i think i'll
    3:26 be six now forever and ever um so this idea of
    3:34 being six and staying six forever being youthful being curious being
    3:39 childlike this and other things what uh
    3:44 influence has your grandmother had in your thinking about life about death about uh love
    3:53 yeah i was getting misty-eyed as you read that because that that poem was read to me very often if not every day by my
    3:59 grandmother who partially raised me and she was as much a bohemian as an
    4:04 artist philosopher and she's one of those people that wouldn't talk about the little things
    4:09 she said i hate small talk don't talk to me about politics or the weather yeah talk to me about
    4:15 human beings and culture so i was raised on that and this poem was one that she read to me
    4:20 often because she knew that the mind of a child is precious
    4:26 it's honest uh it's pure and she grew up during the second world war and in
    4:32 hungary and budapest witnessed the worst of humanity she was trying to save a whole group of jewish friends in her
    4:40 apartment saw what happened after the world war which was um there was the the russians were in
    4:47 control and locals weren't necessarily treated well if they were rebellious which she was
    4:52 and then there was the revolution in 56 which she was part of and had to escape the country so she saw what can happen
    4:58 when humans do their worst and her words to me expressed in part through that poem was
    5:05 david always stay young and innocent and have wonder about the world
    5:11 and then do your best to make humanity the best it can be and that's who i am that's what i live
    5:18 for that's what i get up in the morning to do is to leave the world a better place and show to whoever's watching us
    5:23 whether it's aliens or some future human historian that we can do better than we did in the 20th century

    Bringing people back to life

    5:31 you know we mentioned offline this idea of bringing people back to life through um through artificial
    5:36 intelligence sort of i don't know if you've seen videos of basically animating people back to life
    5:45 meaning uh whether it's for me personally i've been working on specifically about albert einstein
    5:51 but also alan turing isaac newton and richard feynman
    5:56 and it's it's an opportunity to bring people that meant a lot to others in the world and uh
    6:04 animate them and be able to have a conversation with them at first to try to visually
    6:12 visually explore the the full richness of character that they had
    6:17 as they struggle with the ideas of the modern age sort of it's less about bringing back their mind and more
    6:24 bringing back the the visual quirks that made them who they are and then maybe in the future it's using
    6:31 the textual the visual the the the video the audio data to actually
    6:37 compress down the person for who they are and be able to generate text there's a few
    6:42 companies there's replica which is a chat engine that was born out of the idea of bringing
    6:48 the the founder uh lost her friend uh to uh he he got ran over by a car
    6:55 and the initial reason she founded the company was trying to just have a conversation with
    7:02 her friend she trained a machine learning uh natural language system
    7:07 on the text that they exchanged with each other and try she had a conversation with him sort of after he was gone uh and it's
    7:14 very the the conversation was very trivial it was obvious that it's uh you know a ai agent but it
    7:21 gave her solace it made her actually feel really good and that's the way i wonder if it's
    7:27 possible to bring back people that are that means something to us personally not just einstein but
    7:34 people that we've lost and in that way achieve a kind of small artificial
    7:41 immortality i don't know if you think about this kind of stuff uh well i'd definitely think about a lot of things
    7:46 that that one's a really good one there's a great black mirror episode about the the wife who brings back the
    7:51 the boyfriend or husband i think one of the challenges with bringing back richard feynman would be to to capture his sense of humor but that
    7:58 would be awesome um but yeah bringing back loved ones would be great especially if uh if it's you're they're young and uh they die
    8:06 early though it may hold you back from moving on that's another thing that could happen as a negative
    8:11 but i think that's great and i also think that it's going to be possible especially when we're recording some of
    8:16 us every aspect of our lives whether it's our face or uh things we see right
    8:22 eventually one day everything we see can be recorded and then you can you can build somebody's experience and
    8:29 and thoughts uh speech and and you will have replicas of everybody
    8:34 um at least digitally and physically you could do that too one day but that that's a good idea especially
    8:40 because there are people that i'd like to meet and i think it's easier than building a time machine one person i'd love to meet
    8:45 is benjamin franklin really well i wouldn't go back in time um i would but i'd prefer to bring him
    8:52 into the future and say can you believe we have this thinking machine in our pockets now
    8:58 and he just see the look on his face as to where humanity has come because i think of him as a modern guy
    9:03 that just was before his time yeah so you're you're thinking benjamin franklin the scientist
    9:08 not benjamin flanken the political thing because he'd be very upset with congress right now right so maybe talk to him about science
    9:15 and technology not uh not politics or maybe just don't get him on twitter because he'll be very
    9:20 upset with human civilization you know i wonder what their personalities are like isaac newton it does seem complicated to
    9:28 figure out what their personality is like even friedrich nietzsche who i also thought about feynman is
    9:34 we just have enough video where we get the full kind of um i mean it shows you
    9:41 how important it is to get not the official kind of book level presentation of a
    9:47 human but the authentic the full spectrum of humanity you mentioned collecting data
    9:53 about a person collecting the whole thing the whole of life the ups and downs the embarrassing stuff the
    9:59 beautiful stuff not just the things that's condensed into a book and then with finding you start to see that a little bit
    10:05 through conversations you start to see peaks of like that genius and then through stories about him from
    10:12 others and then certainly you uh the sad thing about alan turing for example
    10:17 is there's very little if any uh recording of him in fact i haven't
    10:22 been able to find recording allegedly there's supposed to be a recording of him doing some kind of radio broadcast but i
    10:29 haven't been able to find anything and so that that's that's that's truly sad that it feels like it makes you
    10:36 realize how the upside how nice it is to collect
    10:41 data about a person uh to capture that person there's that's the upside of the
    10:47 modern internet age the digital age that that information uh yeah creates a kind of immortality
    10:55 the and then you can choose to highlight the best parts of the person maybe throw away the ugly parts and celebrate them even after
    11:02 they're gone so that's a really interesting opportunity you um you've also mentioned to me offline

    Wearables and tracking health data

    11:07 that you're really excited about all the different wearables and all the different ways we can collect
    11:13 information about our bodies about uh well the whole thing is what's most
    11:19 exciting to you in terms of collecting the the biological uh data about a human being
    11:27 well so i'm a biologist i find animals and humans as machines very interesting it's one of
    11:34 the reasons i didn't become an engineer or a surgeon i wanted to understand how we actually are built
    11:40 and so i think a lot about machines merging with humans and the first of
    11:47 that are the bio wearables and so i talked a lot about this i wrote about it um in life span the book and
    11:53 pictured a future where you would be monitored constantly so that you wouldn't suddenly have a
    11:58 heart attack you'd know that was coming or you you wouldn't go to the doctor and they don't know if it's
    12:04 you need an antibiotic or not um long term how old are you how to fix
    12:09 things what should you eat what should you take what should you do these devices i predicted would be
    12:15 smarter better educated than you than your physician and would augment them and then there'd be a human that would
    12:20 just tick off to see if that it's correct and they approve i also was predicting in the book that
    12:27 we would have video conferences with our doctors and that medicines would be delivered initially by courier but eventually by
    12:33 drones and get it to you sometimes in an emergency and that we could even have pills that were synthesized or delivered
    12:40 um in your kitchen and combined certainly what's amazing about that is that what
    12:46 are we now two years since the book came out even less and that future is basically here
    12:51 already covered uh 19 accelerates accelerated that incredibly
    12:56 so where we're at now in society is if you if you want to pay for it you can have a blood test that will detect cancer 10 20 years earlier than it would
    13:03 before it forms a tumor you can of course do your genome very cheaply for less than a hundred dollars now
    13:10 there are bio wearables already i wear this ring from aura that i have number of years of data i've
    13:17 been doing blood tests for the last 12 years with a company called inside tracker which i consult for and so i have all of that
    13:23 data as well and there's 34 different parameters on my testosterone my blood glucose my
    13:28 inflammation and i use all that data to of course i wear a watch that that
    13:33 measure things as well i use that data to keep my body in optimal shape so i'm
    13:39 now 51 and according to those parameters i'm at least as good as someone in their early
    13:44 40s and i if i really work at it i can get my biochemistry down to early to mid 30s though i like to you
    13:52 know now eat a little dessert once in a while so that's the future we're in right now
    13:58 anyone can do what i just said but in the very near future just in the next few years
    14:04 you can be wearing wearables so i'm currently wearing a little what's called a bio sticker uh this one
    14:12 i just put on last night uh it's about an inch long a few millimeters yeah
    14:18 people just listening it's uh san diego's chest yeah it's just the how does it attach it's just kind of
    14:24 it sticks on sticks yeah so on one side you have an on button that you press the lights come on flashes four times
    14:29 it's good to go it immediately syncs to your phone and this one uh the it's called a bio button
    14:36 a nice name and there's a there's another one that i have that i haven't tried yet that does ekg on your heart um this is
    14:41 mainly for doctors to monitor patients that go home after a heart attack or surgery but that's medical grade fda approved
    14:47 device so there will be a day in fact it's already here that doctors are using these to get patients
    14:53 to go home and save a week in hospital two thousand dollars at least for each patient
    15:00 that's massive safe um savings for the hospital but ultimately what i'm excited about is
    15:06 a future that isn't that far off where everybody certainly in developed
    15:11 countries eventually these will cost a few cents and rechargeable the only cost will be the software subscription that can be monitored
    15:17 constantly and to give an idea what this is measuring me at a thousand times a second is my vibrations as i speak
    15:26 my orientation it can already has told me this morning how i slept where i slept what side i slept on
    15:33 uh we've got sneezing coughing body temperature heart rate heart of other parameters of
    15:40 the heart that would indicate heart health these these data are being used to now
    15:47 to predict sickness so eventually we'll have just in the next
    15:52 year or so the ability to predict whether something or diagnose whether something is pneumonia
    15:58 or just a rhinovirus that can be treated or not right this is really going to not just
    16:05 revolutionize medicine but i think extend lives dramatically because if i have if i'm going to have a
    16:10 heart attack next week and that's possible this device should know that and i'll be in hospital before i even have it
    16:16 maybe you can talk a little bit about inside tracker because i saw that there's some really cool things in there
    16:22 like it actually so maybe you can talk about i guess that you're collecting blood and to give it the data so
    16:30 and it has like basic recommendations on how to improve your life so we're not just talking about diseases
    16:36 right like anticipating having a particular disease but it's almost like guiding your trajectory to
    16:41 life how to whether it's extend your your life or just live a more fulfilling like improve the
    16:47 quality of life i suppose this is the right way to say it what how does inside tracker work uh
    16:52 what the heck is it because i thought there was also pretty cool yeah what is it is it something other people can use
    16:58 you can definitely use it uh you can sign up it's consumer it's like a company consumer facebook
    17:03 company it is yes uh and i also want to democratize the
    17:08 ability to to just take a mouth swab eventually we don't need to have a blood test necessarily but for now it's a blood test and and
    17:15 you'd go to a lab core request in the u.s it's also available overseas you can upload your own data
    17:21 for a minimal cost and get the algorithms the ai in the background to take that data plot
    17:28 where you are against others in your age group as in terms of health and longevity by your age they call it no
    17:34 inner age but also it provides recommendations and this isn't just a bunch of bs it sounds like
    17:40 it might be to say i'll go eat this or go to that restaurant and order that but it's actually based on
    17:46 they basically this company has entered hundreds now it would be thousands of scientific
    17:51 papers into their database and hundreds of thousands of human data points and they have
    17:56 tens of thousands of individuals that have been tracked over time and anonymously that data is used to say
    18:02 what works and what doesn't if you eat that what works if you take that supplement what works and i was a co-author on a paper that
    18:09 showed that the recommendations for food and supplements um
    18:15 was better than the leading drug for type 2 diabetes that's so cool the idea that you can
    18:20 connect like skipping the human having to do this work you can connect the scientific papers
    18:27 almost like meta-analysis of the science connected to the individual data
    18:32 and then based on that sort of connect your data to whatever the proper group is within the
    18:38 whatever the scientific paper is to make the suggestion of how how like how that work
    18:44 applies to your life and then that ultimately maps to like a recommendation what you should do with your life
    18:51 like it all like this giant system that ultimately recommends you should drink more coffee or less
    18:58 right and and we'll have the genome in there as well you can upload that yeah uh and so so these programs will know us
    19:04 way better than we do and and our doctors as well the idea of going to a doctor once a year for an
    19:09 annual checkup and having you know males get a finger up their butt and uh you know you cough that that to me is
    19:15 a joke that's medieval medicine and that's very soon going to be seen as medieval
    19:21 yeah it's um to me as a computer science person it's always upsetting to go to the
    19:28 doctor and just look at him and like realize you know nothing about me
    19:33 like you you're you're you're making your like opinions based on like it is very valuable
    19:40 years of intuition building about basic symptoms but you're just like it is medieval
    19:45 they're very good at it in fact doctors in medieval times are probably damn good at working with very little
    19:53 but the thing is i'd rather pref for a doctor that doesn't really know
    19:59 what they're doing but has a huge amount of data to work with well you're right and many of my good
    20:04 friends are doctors i work at hard so i'm not against the profession at all yeah but i think that
    20:10 they need just as much help as anyone else does we wouldn't drive a car without a dashboard we wouldn't think of it so why
    20:16 would doctors do the same if we could we step back to the big profound philosophical

    How to solve aging

    20:22 both tragic and beautiful question about age how and why do we age is it uh
    20:30 from an engineering perspective he said you like the biological machine is that a feature or a bug of the
    20:35 biological machine it is both a bug and a feature uh evolutionary speaking we
    20:43 only live as long as we need to to replace ourselves efficiently if you're a mouse you're only going to
    20:48 live two and a half years three years you're probably going to die of starvation predation freezing in the winter so they they divert most
    20:56 of their resources to reproducing rapidly but they don't put a lot of energy into preserving their soma which
    21:02 is their body conversely a baleen type of whale a bowhead whale in particular will live
    21:08 hundreds of years because they're at the top of the food chain and they can live as long as they want so they breed slowly and build a body
    21:14 that lasts we're somewhere in between because we've you know we've really only just come out of the savannas where we
    21:19 could be picked off by a cat we were pretty wimpy going back six million years ago
    21:25 uh so we we actually need to evolve quicker than evolution will and that's
    21:30 why we can use our oversized brains and intuition to give us what evolution
    21:36 not only didn't give us but took away from us you know we're pathetic look at our bodies these arms if any of us even the
    21:42 strongest person in the world went in a cage with a chimpanzee the chimp could knock that person's head off no question so we're pathetic so we
    21:48 need to engineer ourselves to be healthier and longer lived so getting to aging we we can do better
    21:55 right whales do way better we're trying to learn how whales do that and if you ask really anybody in the
    22:02 field now professor they'll say there are eight or nine hallmarks of aging which are really it's
    22:08 a it's a word for causes of aging so that you probably have heard of some of these your
    22:13 listeners will have a loss of telomeres the ends of the chromosomes like their little
    22:19 ends of um shoelaces that kind of thing they get too short cells stop dividing becomes senescent
    22:24 they they become they put out what are called mitogens that cause cancer and inflamma inflammatory molecules that's
    22:31 another aspect of aging cellular senescence another one is loss of the energetic so mitochondria the
    22:36 battery packs wind down there's a whole bunch stem cells
    22:41 proteostasis well these are our achilles heels that i'm talking about that are common amongst all life forms
    22:47 really but if you wanted me to jump to the chase as to where what is the upstream defining factor if
    22:54 we boil it down what do we get so most biologists would say you can't boil it down
    22:59 it's too complex i would say you can boil it down to an equation which is the preservation of information
    23:05 and lost due to entropy i.e noise and that is the basis of my research
    23:12 it originally came out of discoveries in yeast cells where i went to mit in the 1990s you studied
    23:17 bread i kind of did i studied the uh the makers of bread a little yeast called
    23:24 saccharomyces cerevisiae which at the time was one of the hottest excuse the pun uh organisms to work on yes
    23:30 but they we we figured out in the lab why yeast cells get old and found genes that control that
    23:36 process and made them live longer which was an amazing four years of my life
    23:42 one of those genes had a name with an acronym sir2 now the two is irrelevant
    23:49 the s-i-r is important and the most important letter out of all of those three is i which stands for information silent
    23:57 information regulator number two when you put more copies of that gene in just put in one more copy
    24:02 the yeast cells lived 30 longer and suppressed the cause of aging which was the dysregulation of information in the
    24:08 cell and then so fast forward to now i've been looking in humans and mice because they live
    24:15 shorter and cheaper to study where the loss of information in our bodies is a root cause of aging
    24:22 and i think it is your boldness in viewing biology in this way is
    24:28 fascinating because that also leads to a kind of
    24:34 uh it's almost like allows for a theory of aging like like you could boil it
    24:41 down to a single equation and it leads to a perhaps a metric that allows you to optimize
    24:47 aging sort of in the fight against entropy to figure out which mechanisms like you
    24:53 said the the silent information regulator which mechanisms allow you to preserve information
    24:58 now without like without injecting noise without without creating entropy without
    25:04 creating degradation of that information for some reason converting biology
    25:11 which i thought was mostly impossible into an engineering problem feels like it makes it amenable to
    25:18 optimization to solving problems to creating technology that can
    25:23 whether that's genetic engineering or ai it makes it uh possible to uh
    25:29 create the technology that would improve the the degradation of information and aging
    25:36 is there more concrete ways you think about the kind of information we want to preserve and also is there good ideas about
    25:45 regulators of that information about ways to prevent the distortion and degradation
    25:52 of that information right so that we have some information regulated genes in our bodies we have seven of them
    25:58 uh certain one through seven they're called and we found in in mice one way to slow down the loss of
    26:03 information is to just give more of these um to up regulate these genes so we we
    26:09 made a mouse that has more of this so t1 gene turned it on and that slowed down the aging of the brain
    26:15 and preserved their information now what information am i talking about you might ask well again you can simplify biology
    26:21 there are two types of information in the cell primarily the one we all read about and know about is the dna the
    26:28 genome and that's base four information atcg the four chemicals that make up the various
    26:34 sequences of the genome billions of letters and that also degrades over time but
    26:40 what's been fascinating is that we find that that information is pretty much intact
    26:45 in old animals and people you can clone a dog one of my friends in l.a just cloned his dog three times
    26:50 so this is doable right it means that the genome can be intact but what's the other type of information
    26:56 it's the epigenome the regulators of the genetic information
    27:01 and physically that's really just how the dna is wrapped up or looped out for the cell to access it
    27:06 and read it so it's similar to an excuse this analogy but it's a good one um a compact disc or
    27:13 a dvd those pits in the foil are the digital information that's the genome
    27:19 and the epigenome is the reader of that information and in in a different cell you'd read different
    27:24 music different songs different symphonies and that's what gets laid down when we're
    27:30 in the womb and that gives makes a skin skin cell forever a skin cell and not a brain cell tomorrow
    27:36 thank god otherwise our brains wouldn't work very well but over time what we see is that the brain cells start to look more
    27:41 like skin cells and the kidney cells start to look more like liver cells and they what we call x differentiate
    27:48 this is a term that we use in my lab but isn't yet widely used but we needed a term to explain this and that those
    27:54 that process of x differentiation the loss of the reader of the the cd or the dvd
    28:01 we liken that to scratches on the dvd so that the reader cannot
    28:07 fully access the information now we can slow down the scratches as i mentioned we can turn on these genes we
    28:13 can even put in molecules into the cell or even eat them and turn on those pathways which
    28:19 which my father and i have been trying to do for about a decade to slow things down but the question
    28:25 that i've had is is there a repository of information still in the body
    28:30 because anyone who knows anything about the loss of information or even has tried to copy a cassette tape or
    28:36 photocopy or xerox anything knows that over time you you lose that information irreparably
    28:41 so i've been looking for a backup copy inspired largely by claude shannon's work at mit as well in the 1940s
    28:49 his theory mathematical theory of communication is just brilliant and so i've been looking for what he called the observer
    28:55 which is the backup copy we today might call that the tcpi pro tcp ip protocol of the internet that
    29:01 stores information in case it doesn't make it to your computer it will fill in the gaps and we've been
    29:07 spending about the last five years to try and find if there really is a backup copy in the body to reset the epigenome and polish those
    29:14 scratches away that's incredible so finding the backup so whenever there are too many scratches
    29:20 pile up you can just write a new version like right that not every new version
    29:26 but go to the backup and restore it right that's really all we're talking about it's not that hard
    29:32 once you know the trick and for people that actually remember uh like dvds and scratches on them how
    29:39 frustrating it is that that's a brilliant metaphor for aging
    29:45 and then the the reader is uh is the thing that skips and then it
    29:51 could destroy your experience the richness of the experience that is uh listening to your favorite song
    29:57 right but in biology it's even worse because you'll lose your memory your kidneys will fail you'll you'll get diabetes your heart will fail
    30:03 and we call that aging and age-related diseases so it's it most people forget that
    30:09 diseases that we get when we get old are 80 to 90 caused by aging and we've been trying to
    30:14 fix things with band-aids after they occur without even generally talking about the root cause of the problem
    30:21 is there um the scratches do those come from

    Why do we age?

    30:28 are those programmed or are they failures meaning is it so if it's
    30:35 by design then there's like a encoded timeline schedule that the body's just
    30:42 on purpose degrading the whole thing and then there's the just the wear and tear of like the scratches
    30:48 and a disc that happen uh through time which which one is it that's the source of aging
    30:53 uh it's more akin to wear and tear there isn't a program um getting back to evolution there's no selection for aging we're not
    31:01 designed to age we just live as long as we need to and then we're at the whim of entropy basically second law of
    31:06 thermodynamics stuff falls apart we live a bit longer than age 40 only because there are robust resilient
    31:12 systems but eventually they fail as well current limit to the human lifespan where they completely fail is 122.
    31:19 uh but so it's and i but i don't like to think of it as wear and tear because there's there's two aspects to it there's a
    31:26 system that's built to keep us alive when we're young but actually ghost comes back to bite us
    31:32 as we get older and we call this this issue antagonistic pleiotropy what's good for
    31:38 you when you're young can cause problems when you're older so we've been looking what what is the
    31:44 cause of the main causes of the noise and we've come we found two of them definitively
    31:49 the first one is broken chromosomes when a chromosome breaks the cell has to panic because that's
    31:55 either going to cause a cancer or kill the cell there's only two outcomes it's pretty much a problem uh and so what the cell
    32:02 does is it reorganizes the epigenome in a massive way
    32:07 what that leads to is think of it as a tennis match or a ping pong game the proteins are the bowls and they
    32:14 now leave where they should be which is regulating the genes that make the cell type whatever it is
    32:19 and they have to they have a dual function they actually go to the break the chromosome will break and fix that
    32:25 and then they come back you might ask well why is it set up that way well it's a beautiful system it coordinates gene
    32:31 expression the control systems with the repair you want them coordinated problem is as we get older this ping
    32:37 pong game some of the balls get lost they don't come back to where they originally started uh and that's what we think is the main
    32:44 noise for aging and we've also the other cause of aging that we found is is cell stress
    32:50 we damage nerves and they age rapidly so you that's the other issue there's probably others
    32:56 smoking chemicals for example we know accelerates biological age pretty dramatically
    33:02 but the question is can you slow that down or can you reset them to get those ping-pong balls to go back to where they
    33:07 originally started in the game and we think we've found a way to do that what can you give me hints
    33:13 uh whose fault is it and the ball's not coming back is it the proteins themselves like are they are they starting again
    33:20 i've been obsessed with the protein folding problem from the ai perspective so is it the proteins or is it something else well we know who hits the balls
    33:27 um and recruits them so that the brake uh is recognized by proteins who send
    33:33 out a signal uh through phosphorylation is typical way cells talk
    33:38 to other proteins and that recruits those repair factors those ping-pong balls to
    33:44 the brake so the cell's actively doing this to try and help itself but we don't know
    33:50 who's to blame for them not coming back um that could just be a flaw in the
    33:56 quote-unquote design i don't think that there's something saying well one percent of you you bowls
    34:02 proteins never go back i just think it's hard to reset a system that's constantly changing
    34:07 we have in our bodies close to a trillion dna breaks every day
    34:12 and imagine that over 80 years what damage that does to our epigenomic information now we know that this is well i should
    34:20 we never know anything in biology but we have strong evidence that this is true because we can
    34:25 mess with animals we can create dna breaks and tickle them with a few breaks maybe
    34:31 raise it by threefold over background levels of normal breakage and if we're right those mice
    34:37 should get old and they do we can actually we've we've created these breaks in a way that's
    34:43 titratable we can it's like a rheostat we can send it to 11. you know i drove my tesla here i'm a big
    34:49 fan of of spinal tap two going to 11. if we go to 11 we can make a mouse old in a matter
    34:54 of months we prefer to go to a level of about four and it gets old in 10 months
    35:00 but it's definitely old it's got all of the hallmarks of aging it's got diseases it looks old its skin
    35:06 is old it's got gray hair but importantly we can now measure age by looking at the scratches we can look at the epigenome we can
    35:12 measure it and use machine learning to give us a number and those mice are 50 older than normal
    35:19 so you can replicate the aging process in a controlled way you can all i mean in a way that you i mean you
    35:24 could accelerate it in a controlled way and measure how much
    35:29 exactly it's aging and that gives you step one of a two-step process to when you can
    35:35 then figure out what how can we reverse this and now we're reversing those mice is there a good
    35:41 i love what you said i mean in biology you really don't know it's it's such a beautiful mess uh
    35:48 is is there is there ideas how to do that is that on the genetic engineering level is that uh

    Genetic reset switch that reverses aging

    35:55 like what can you mess with is it going to the trying to discover the backup copies
    36:02 and restoring from them like what's if it's it's possible to convert it into natural language words
    36:08 what are the ideas here what is the observer and how do we contact it exactly what's the observer and how do
    36:13 you contact or if there's other ideas how to reverse the the the boss getting
    36:19 lost process yeah well you you can slow it down slow it but we found a reset switch recently we
    36:26 just published this in the december 2020 issue of nature
    36:32 and what we found is that there are three embryonic genes that we could put into the adult
    36:38 animal to reset the age of the tissues and it only takes four to eight weeks to work
    36:43 well and we can take a blind mouse that's lost its vision due to aging neurons aren't working well towards the
    36:49 brain reset those neurons back to a younger age and now the mice can see again these
    36:55 three genes are famous actually because they're a set of four genes discovered by shinya yamanaka who won
    37:01 the nobel prize in 2016 for discovering that those four genes when turned on
    37:07 at high levels in adult cells can generate stem cells and this is i think well
    37:13 known now that we can create stem cells from adult tissue but what wasn't known is can you partially take age back without becoming
    37:20 a tumor or generating a stem cell in the eye which would be a disaster and the answer is yes there is a system
    37:25 in the body that can take the age of a cell back to a certain point but no further safely and reset the age
    37:33 and uh we're now using that to reset the age of the brain of those mice that we age prematurely
    37:39 and they're getting their ability to learn back this is really exciting right like
    37:44 what's uh what's the downside of this well the downside is if you overdo it and you don't get it right
    37:50 uh you might cause tumors but we do we do it very carefully and we also know
    37:55 that in the eye it's very safe yeah we also injected these we deliver them by viruses so
    38:02 we can control where and when they get turned on and in this paper we've published that
    38:08 if we put high levels in the mouse into their veins throughout the body they don't get cancer for over a year
    38:14 so i'm so optimistic that we're going into human studies in less than two years from now is there

    AI in biology

    38:20 a place where ai can help sorry to inject one of the things i'm
    38:27 very excited about i'm passionate about so uh deep uh google deep mind
    38:33 recently had a big breakthrough with alpha fold two but also half a fold two years ago with um
    38:41 achieving sort of uh state-of-the-art performance on the protein folding
    38:47 problem single protein folding but it also paints a hopeful picture of
    38:52 what's possible to do in terms of simulating the folding of proteins but also simulating biological systems
    38:59 through ai is there something to you combined with this brilliant work on
    39:05 the biology side that you're hopeful about where ai can be a tool to help where isn't that a
    39:11 tool and if you're not using ai right now in biology you're getting left behind we use it all the time we're using it to generate these
    39:16 biological clocks to be able to read those scratches we're using it to predict the folding of
    39:23 proteins so we can target molecules and modulate their activity we're using it to assemble
    39:28 genomes of different species what else we use it to predict the longevity of a
    39:35 mouse based on how it reacts to certain things hearing eyesight generally frailty so we
    39:41 have we just put out a paper last year on that um the other thing we can use it for which
    39:46 is a little off the track here but we use it for predicting which microorganisms are in your body
    39:53 actually not predicting telling you so our daughter natalie was infected with
    39:59 lyme disease a few years ago almost went blind from it and the test took four days and i thought
    40:05 just give me the dna for my spinal fluid i'll go tell you what's in it if it's lyme disease or not they refused and so at that point i said
    40:11 this has to be done better so i've started a company that now can take a sample of any
    40:16 part of your body it's typically done now with transplant liver transplant patients to detect
    40:22 viruses that come out of their organs but that's that's another area that ai is extremely
    40:27 important for um i i think if you're not in five years if you're not using
    40:33 you know deep learning you've got a problem because the amount of data that we generate now as biologists
    40:38 is just terabytes can be terabytes per week it'll eventually be terabytes per day and then we just go from there and i
    40:44 actually have trouble recruiting enough bioinformaticians a lot of our work is
    40:49 now just number crunching a part of that is collecting the data

    Health data

    40:55 which is kind of something we've talked a little bit about but is there something you can say
    41:00 about how we can like can collect more and more data not just on the one person level
    41:07 like for you to understand your like various markers but to create
    41:14 huge data sets to understand how we can detect certain pathogens detect certain
    41:21 properties characteristics of whether it's aging or all the other ways the human body can fail
    41:27 it seems like with the with biology there's a kind of privacy concerns that well actually not
    41:34 privacy concerns it's almost like regulation that kind of prevents like hospitals and
    41:39 sharing data um you know i'm not sure exactly how to say it but it
    41:45 seems like when you look at autonomous vehicles people are much more willing to share data
    41:50 when you look at human biology system people are much less willing to share data is there a hopeful path forward where we can
    41:57 share more and more data at a large scale that ultimately ends up helping us
    42:02 understand the human body and then treat problems with the human body so we are right in the middle
    42:08 we're living through what's going to be seen as one of the biggest revolutions in human health through the gathering of data about our
    42:15 bodies and 20 years ago people didn't want to go on social media they're worried about it now
    42:20 you have to if you're a kid that's for sure same with medical records these are
    42:25 becoming all digitized and and expanded ultimately we're going to
    42:31 even if we don't want to have to be monitored there's going to be a court case that i
    42:37 bet two three years from now someone's going to say how come my father died from a heart attack you had these biosensors 20 bucks
    42:44 and you didn't use it lawsuit right there and suddenly all hospitals have to give you one of these there will be a
    42:49 reversal like to where it's your fault if you don't collect the data that's brilliant
    42:55 that's and that's absolutely right i mean that's absolutely right that's the frustration
    43:01 i feel when going to the doctor is like you're it's almost negligent
    43:08 to not collect the data because you're making if there's something really wrong with me
    43:13 and you're making decisions based on very few tests that's almost negligent when you have
    43:19 the opportunity to collect a huge amount more data well like let me tell you something yeah like the
    43:25 i've got this inside tracker data for for myself over a decade and you'd think my doctor would roll his
    43:31 eyes at this oh he's gone to a consumer company blah blah blah i had my first checkup in a year with
    43:36 him through video conference and he was running
    43:42 blind he really didn't know what was going on with me he asked the usual things how am i sleeping how am i eating these
    43:48 kind of usual things and i said well i've got new tests back from inside tracker and he said
    43:54 great i'd love to see them so i share screen and we look at the graphs look at the data
    43:59 and he's loving it because he cannot order these tests willy-nilly so i said well let's order a
    44:06 hba1c blood glucose levels because i'm very interested in that that tracks with longevity and he says well
    44:12 i have no reason to order that do you have a family history no uh are you have any symptoms of
    44:18 diabetes no well i can't order the test i almost wanted to reach through the computer and strangle him um
    44:23 but instead you know i i pay a little bit to get these tests done and then he looks at them so that's now the way consumer health is
    44:30 going is that you can get better data than your doctor can and but they like you to do that quick human question maybe you can
    44:36 educate me i've i think doctors sometimes have a little bit of an ego
    44:42 i understand that the doctor is super experienced a lot of things but this is a fundamental question of human
    44:48 variability like i know a lot of specific details about like um i mean depending of course what we're
    44:54 talking about but there's a i bring a lot of knowledge and if i have data with me then i have
    44:59 like several orders of magnitude more knowledge and i think there's an aspect to where the doctor has to
    45:06 put their expert hat like take it off and actually be a curious
    45:13 open-minded person and study and look at that data do you think it's possible to sort of
    45:18 change the culture of the medical system to where the doctors are almost as you said are excited to see the data
    45:25 or that's already happening it's really happening now we've probably lost the last generation um that they're no hopers but
    45:32 so i teach at harvard medical school and they're excited about this they're excited about aging which is a
    45:37 new aspect to medicine oh wow we can do something about that and then yeah all this data what do we
    45:43 do with it there's still the traditional pathology and all that stuff which they need to know but time will change their
    45:50 their uh mindset i'm not worried about that and like we were discussing this isn't a
    45:56 question of if it's just a matter of when and it's you know i have a front row seat on all of this
    46:02 i had breakfast with with the ceo who uh is making this happen uh just
    46:07 yesterday i can tell you for sure that most people have no idea that this revolution
    46:13 is occurring and is happening so quickly uh if you're running a hospital and you can save two thousand dollars per
    46:20 cardiac patient what are you gonna do you have to use it otherwise you know the hospital down the road's
    46:25 gonna be beating you um and there are large hospital aggregations so there's ascension and
    46:31 others that just have to go this way for budgetary reasons and right now the
    46:38 u.s spends what is 17 of their gdp on healthcare for let's say one of these
    46:44 buttons on my chest cost 20 bucks it's rechargeable and it can predict people's health and save on antibiotics
    46:50 prevent heart attacks how many billions if not trillions of dollars will that save over the next decade
    46:58 yeah so when the public wakes up to this they'll almost demand it like this this should be this should be accepted everywhere this is obvious
    47:04 it's gonna save a lot of money it's gonna improve the quality of life well and the cfos of hospital yeah groups will have to and insurance
    47:12 companies are going to want to get in on this so now that gets to privacy right if
    47:17 should an insurance company have access to your data i would say no but you could voluntarily show them
    47:23 some of it if they give you a discount and that's also being worked on right now
    47:28 i hope we do create kind of systems where i can volunteer to share my data and i can also
    47:34 take the data back meaning like delete the data request the deletion of data and then maybe policy creates rules to
    47:41 where you can share data you could delete the data and i think if i have the option to
    47:48 delete all my data that that a particular company has then i'll share my data with everyone
    47:55 like i feel like uh if the if uh because that gives me the tools to be a
    48:02 consumer an intelligent consumer of giving of awarding my data to a company that
    48:07 deserves it and taking it back when the company is misbehaving and in that way encourage as a consumer
    48:14 in the capitalist system encourage the companies that are doing great work with that data
    48:20 well yeah health care data security is is number one on on my mind uh inside tracker
    48:26 made sure that that was true but you know these buttons on your chest there's very private stuff they can probably tell
    48:33 if you're having sex one night right so this is not the kind of stuff you want leaked yeah so i don't know whether it's
    48:38 blockchain or just for yourself i don't want this public life i guess it depends on how you how
    48:44 how you go but yeah uh you know there there's a lot of stuff you don't want out there and this definitely has to be number one
    48:51 because it you know it's one thing to have your credit card information stolen it's another thing health records are permanently out there
    48:57 yeah so there's on the biology side super exciting ways to um to slow aging but there's also on the


    49:04 lifestyle side i've recently did a 72 hour fast it's just an opportunity to take a pause and
    49:09 be you know appreciate life think about like there's something about fasting that um
    49:16 encourages you to reflect deeper than you otherwise might the time kind of
    49:22 slows and you also realize that you're human because your body needs food and you start to see your
    49:29 is almost as a machine that that takes food and produces thoughts and then
    49:35 and then ends briefly i mean there you start to depending who you are if you're like engineering minded you
    49:41 start to think of this whole thing as a kind of yeah as a machine and then also feelings fill this machine
    49:50 uh feelings of gratitude of love but also the uglier things of jealousy and greed
    49:57 and hate and all those kinds of things you start to think okay how
    50:03 how do i manage this body to create a rich experience all that comes from fasting for me anyway but there's also health benefits
    50:10 to fasting i intermittent fast a lot i eat just one meal a day
    50:15 most of the time is there something you can say about the benefits of fasting in your own life
    50:20 and in general the anti-aging process well you're a philosopher too sorry i
    50:26 apologize no i'm impressed uh through renaissance man uh it's it's a joy to be here
    50:31 uh so when it comes to fasting this is you know being abstinence is one of the the oldest ways to improve health right
    50:38 probably they knew this 5000 plus years ago so that's not new but what we're
    50:43 figuring out is what is optimal and how does it work and one of the things we helped contribute to
    50:49 which i can speak to with some authority is that these longevity genes we work on we showed back in the early 2000s are
    50:56 turned on by fasting and at least in yeast we were the first to show that how calorie restriction
    51:02 fasting works to extend lifespan that was the first for any species something similar happens in our bodies
    51:08 when we're hungry or put our bodies under any other perceived adversity such as running
    51:14 our bodies think wow we're getting run chased by a cyber save tooth cat or something if we're
    51:19 really hot or cold these probably also work to put our bodies in this defensive state to activate these genes in the way
    51:26 that whales do and mice don't and so hunger is the best way to do that
    51:31 in fact i don't think you have to feel hungry you can get used to it but if there was one thing i would
    51:36 recommend to anybody to slow down aging would be to skip a meal or two
    51:41 a day now it doesn't mean you don't have to live well you can go out i go to restaurants i eat regular food i try to be as healthy as
    51:48 possible but i've gone from skipping breakfast most of my life now to skipping lunch as well and i have
    51:56 my physique back that i had when i was 20. i feel 20 mentally i'm much sharper i don't
    52:02 feel tired anymore i sleep well so i'm a huge fan of the one meal a day thing uh where i'm not good at is going
    52:08 beyond one day but have you ever fasted longer than uh than them 24 hours i tried doing two
    52:16 days i might have made it to the third and given up i'm i just find that i'm i'm not ver i don't
    52:22 have a lot of willpower i also hate exercise so i'm not sure how long i'm going to live but i've managed to do one meal a day so
    52:29 if i can do that seriously anybody can do that um to your listeners and viewers i would say
    52:35 don't try to do it all at once you can't go from snacking and eating three meals a day to what i
    52:41 do easily work your way up to it but also compensate with drinking if you like tea if you like coffee put some milk in it
    52:48 um that's fine you can fill your stomach up with with liquids uh diet sodas i get criticized for
    52:53 drinking but i'm going to continue to have those but then you know i power through the day i definitely don't feel tired i
    52:59 don't have a lag anymore but give also give it at least two weeks because you there's a habit as well having something
    53:05 in your mouth chewing feeling that fullness you can break that habit and within two three weeks you'll have done it
    53:12 absolutely so i'm not actually even that strict about it you said that soda uh yeah people are very kind of weirdly
    53:18 strict about fasting the rules and the fasting like for example i i drank
    53:23 uh element electrolytes when i was fasting and that has like five calories and so technically it's uh
    53:30 not fasting or people will say like if you drink coffee there's caffeine and they'll say that's technically not
    53:36 fasting because there's some kind of biological effects of caffeine whatever of course there's like biological benefits that you can argue
    53:43 about but there's also just experiential benefits just calorie restriction broadly has a
    53:48 certain experience to it that like for me personally just as you said has made me feel really good
    53:55 that said like especially uh i've gained quite a bit of weight uh like maybe even
    54:01 like 15 pounds something like that since i moved to austin texas and i i still keep the same diet but
    54:09 i eat a lot of meat in that one just because it's delicious because it's
    54:14 also the the the amazing people i met in texas it's just there's like a camaraderie a
    54:21 friendship of love to the people that like makes you really enjoy the uh the atmosphere of eating the
    54:28 brisket and the meat is this joe rogan insisting joe is i mean he's very different
    54:33 uh joe loves bread and pasta like he knows that his body
    54:40 feels best doing keto or carnivore so that's what he usually tries to stick
    54:46 to but he also does not hold back and he'll just eat pasta when he does
    54:52 pasta and he sort of enjoys life in that way i can't i don't know how to enjoy life
    54:57 in that way i also love pasta but i'm just not going to enjoy it because i know
    55:03 i i know my body ultimately does not feel good with pasta so it's a funny kind of dichotomies i i
    55:09 would like to uh cheat i guess by eating more meat than i you know like
    55:17 overeating uh on the things that i know my body feels good on as opposed
    55:22 to eating stuff i shouldn't like cake and all those kinds of things i tend to um i tend to find happiness in
    55:30 overeating the good stuff versus eating the bad stuff and the that's the
    55:36 kind of balance him he's like [ __ ] it every once in a while you got to enjoy
    55:42 it and and then also coupled with that for him uh is just exercise like then faces
    55:49 demons the next day and just like burn a huge amount of calories which is i mean
    55:55 whatever whatever is up with that guy's mind there's an there's a ability to fully
    56:02 experience life which is represented by the pasta and the ability to just like fight the
    56:08 demons which is represented by all the crazy kettlebells and and running the hills and all this kind of stuff that he does that takes a lot
    56:15 out of you doing that kind of insane exercise and i think i'm more like you at least
    56:20 towards your direction is like i really hate exercise so i do it but i
    56:25 really hate it and so it's a balance that you have to strike is there something you could say about


    56:31 the diet side of that for you personally but in general in order to achieve
    56:37 calorie restriction like for me eating i know it may not
    56:43 sound healthy but eating carnivore eating mostly meat has been has made me feel really good
    56:50 both mentally and physically is there something you could say about the kinds of diets
    56:56 that may improve longevity but also enable calorie restriction well sure i mean the first thing that's
    57:03 important to know is that while many people are interested slash obsessed with
    57:09 what they eat the data that's come out of animal studies at least is it's far more important when you eat
    57:16 than what you eat and this was a fantastic study a few years ago by my friend rafael de cabo at the national
    57:22 institutes of health in bethesda and he had 10 000 mice on different diets hoping to find the perfect mix of
    57:28 carbs protein and fat and it turns out that the only ones that lived longer were the ones that only ate
    57:34 once a day and so that if we're we're not mice but i think that we're close enough to mice
    57:40 that this tells us a lot but okay but i still think the best bang for the longevity buck is to do both well eat
    57:48 less often and eat the right things now i'll preface this to say i'm not a nut about this i will eat
    57:55 occasional very occasionally a dessert usually i steal from others which doesn't count right
    58:00 exactly but you've got to live life right what's what's a long life if it's not enjoyable anyway but what i've i also found and this is
    58:07 i'll get to your question a second but my microbiome right now and stomach is at a point where if i try to overeat
    58:14 on a steak which i did a couple of days ago i actually had a chicken uh a fried chicken specifically
    58:22 for two days i felt terrible i couldn't sleep it wouldn't go down so i'm now at a point where even if i
    58:27 want to binge on meat and fried foods i just can't it just feels bad
    58:32 but what what do i recommend well what the data says which i try to follow is that
    58:38 plant-based foods will will be better than meat-based foods and i know that there are a lot of people disagree
    58:43 but one of the facts is there's a few facts one is that people who live a long time tend to eat those type of diets mediterranean okinawa
    58:50 diet they're eating mostly plants with a little bit of meat and not a lot of red meat and the other
    58:56 fact is that in animals we know that there's a there's a mechanism that's called mtor little m capital tr that responds
    59:03 to certain amino acids that are found in more abundance in meat and when it responds it actually
    59:08 shortens lifespan and the converse if you starve it of those three amino acids uh in mostly in meat
    59:15 then it extends lifespan and there there's a drug called rapamycin which some people are experimenting with
    59:21 that does that so you might be able to you know i'm just saying this here from my colleagues we don't know the results
    59:27 here but you could potentially take a rapamycin-like drug and counteract the effects of meat on in
    59:32 the long run don't know we should try that actually we could do that in the lab but uh getting to the bottom of this
    59:39 what i think is going on is that just like testosterone and growth hormone you will get temporary
    59:45 maybe not temporary um immediate health benefits you'll feel great you'll get more muscle
    59:50 energy but the problem is i think it's at the expense of long-term health and longevity
    59:57 well this is actually something i worry about in terms of long-term effects or
    1:00:04 the the cost in terms of longevity it's very difficult to know how your choices affect your longevity
    1:00:09 because the impact is down the line like just because something makes me feel
    1:00:16 good now like eating only meat makes me feel good now i wonder what are the costs down the
    1:00:21 line well think about what i i was saying about the trade-offs between growth and reproduction which is what a
    1:00:27 mouse does and a whale that grows slowly reproduces slowly lives a long time
    1:00:32 it's called the disposable soma theory um kirk would just uh propose that in the 70s what meat
    1:00:39 probably does is put you in the mouse category super fertile grow fast heal fast
    1:00:44 and then if you want to be a whale you should restrict meat uh and do things that promote the
    1:00:51 preservation of your body is it uh difficult to eat a plant-based
    1:00:56 diet that uh you perform well under so uh mentally and physically just
    1:01:02 almost i'm asking uh almost like a anecdotal question unless you know the science
    1:01:09 uh well the science is still being worked out but from the synthesis of everything i've read i try to
    1:01:16 eat a diet that's definitely full of leafy greens uh particularly spinach is great because
    1:01:22 it's got the iron that we need plenty of vitamins i also
    1:01:27 try to avoid too much fruit and berries particularly fruit juice
    1:01:33 definitely avoid that sugar high spiking your sugar is not healthy in the long run
    1:01:39 the other thing that's interesting is we discovered what are called what we call xeno hormetic molecules let me unpack
    1:01:46 that because it's terrible name and i take full responsibility with my friend conrad howitz the xeno means cross
    1:01:52 species and hormesis is the term that what doesn't kill you makes you live longer
    1:01:59 and and and be healthier and so we're getting cross species health improvements by molecules
    1:02:05 that plants make and plants make these molecules when they're also under adversity or perceived adversity for instance uh
    1:02:13 i understand if you want really healthy or good oranges you can drive nails into the the bark of
    1:02:18 the tree before you harvest same with wine you typically want them to be dry before you harvest
    1:02:24 or covered in fungus and that's because these plants make these colorful and xenohemetic molecules that make
    1:02:31 themselves stress resistant turn on their sirtuin defenses the sir genes remember
    1:02:37 and when we eat them we get those same benefits that's the idea and we've evolved to do so this isn't a
    1:02:42 coincidence it's my theory our theory that we want to know when our food supplies
    1:02:48 is under adversity because we need to get ready for a famine and so we hunker down and preserve our
    1:02:53 body and by eating these colored foods so practically speaking if it's full of color or if there's been some chewing by
    1:03:00 a caterpillar caterpillar organic grown locally in local farms i'll eat that
    1:03:05 versus a watery insipid uh light-colored um lettuce that's been grown in
    1:03:12 california so you want vegetables that have suffered you want the david goggins as the vegetables that's the xenochromatic molecules i
    1:03:19 love that tone i'm gonna take that one with me thank you yeah
    1:03:24 oh i follow him on instagram is always screaming so you want the that he's basically uh the the
    1:03:31 the xeno-harmonic version of a human um i like it so these are the molecules
    1:03:37 that are representative of the stress that's been um that a plant has been under yeah the
    1:03:44 best example of that is resveratrol which many people including myself take as a supplement grapes or grape
    1:03:51 vines produce that in abundance when they're dried out or they have too much light or fungus
    1:03:56 and that we've shown activates the so2 enzyme in our bodies which remember is
    1:04:02 what extends lifespan in yeast and slows down aging in the brain that's beautiful yeah i tend to avoid fruit
    1:04:08 as well so green veggies anything that's not very sweet so i would just say you're relatively
    1:04:14 low like you try to avoid sugary things as well yeah i'm fairly militant about
    1:04:20 that um i rarely would add sugar to anything occasionally i would um
    1:04:26 eat a slice of cheesecake but that would be you know maybe once or twice a year you have to give in occasionally but
    1:04:33 yeah anything that's sweet i would rather substitute something like stevia if i need a sugar hit


    1:04:40 what about exercise your favorite topic is there uh is there anybody talking
    1:04:47 about it yeah okay great is there benefits to longevity from exercise well no doubt that's
    1:04:54 that's proven um just like fasting it's pretty clear that that works uh for example there are studies of
    1:05:00 cyclists it was something like people that cycle over 80 miles a week
    1:05:06 have a 40 reduction in a variety of diseases certainly heart disease so that that's not even a question but
    1:05:11 what's interesting is that we're learning that you don't need much to have a big benefit it's an asymptotic curve
    1:05:17 and in fact if you overdo it you probably have reduced benefits particularly if you start to wear out joints that kind of thing
    1:05:23 but just 10 minutes on a treadmill a few times a week getting your lose your breath get hypoxia because it's cold
    1:05:28 seems to be very beneficial for long-term health um and that's the kind of exercise that
    1:05:34 i like to do aerobic though i do enjoy uh lifting weights so that is what i call my exercise which
    1:05:40 has other benefits including maintaining hormone levels male hormone levels
    1:05:46 but also really why i do it is i want to be able to counteract the effects of sitting for
    1:05:52 most of the day yeah and as you get older you lose muscle mass it's a percent or so a year
    1:05:57 and i don't want to be frail when i'm older and fall over and break my hip which is which happens every 20 seconds
    1:06:02 in this country so maintaining that strength but also doing the cardio for the longevity for
    1:06:08 the avoiding the heart disease yeah i definitely just like with fasting
    1:06:13 have the philosophical benefit of running long and running slow i enjoy because it kind of clears the mind and
    1:06:19 allows you to think and actually listen to brown noise as i run it really helps
    1:06:24 remove myself from the world and just like zoom in on particular thoughts what is brown noise it's like white
    1:06:30 noise but deeper so like the white noise is like shh and then brown noise is more like
    1:06:38 like ocean that sounds great i might try that yeah yeah it's a small sweet thing probably
    1:06:44 i'm not sure there could be signs to this i need to look this up i've been meaning to but i've when i started uh
    1:06:52 this is maybe like five years ago i started listening brown noise when i work and uh the first time i listened to it
    1:06:58 something happened to my mind where it just went like zoomed in
    1:07:03 to like in a way that it felt like really weird like how how precisely was able to sort
    1:07:11 of remove the distractions of the world and really help my mind obviously like the
    1:07:17 mind is trying to focus and then it just enabled that process of trying to focus on a particular problem i don't know if
    1:07:24 this is generalizable to others people should definitely try it if you're listening to this maybe it's just my own mind but
    1:07:31 it's funny like it made me brown noise made me realize that there's probably
    1:07:36 hacks out there that work for me that i should be constantly looking for it's almost like
    1:07:42 um an encouraging and motivating of event that maybe there's other stuff
    1:07:49 out there maybe there's other brown noise like things out there that truly like almost immediately make me
    1:07:55 feel better i don't know if it's generalizable to others but it does seem that it's the case that there's probably for
    1:08:02 many others things like that that could be discovered and so it's always disappointing when i find
    1:08:09 things in life that i wish i had found earlier like i got lasik
    1:08:14 eye surgery a few years ago and the first thought i had like the next day when i woke up is like
    1:08:21 damn it why didn't i do this way earlier there's other stuff of that nature that um they're yet to be
    1:08:29 discovered so it pays to explore yeah though you have a different mind you have quite a beautiful mind so i
    1:08:34 suspect brown noise helps you focus and because you're probably all over the place if you don't control it
    1:08:40 yeah exactly i mean it's something about it it's a programmer thing i don't the programming is a really difficult
    1:08:47 um mental journey because you have to keep a lot of things in mind
    1:08:52 you have to uh so you're constantly designing things and you have to be extremely precise by
    1:08:58 making those things concrete in code you also have to look stuff up on the
    1:09:04 internet to sort of feed like information and looking up stuff on the internet
    1:09:10 internet is full of like distracting things so you have to be really focused in the way you look stuff up in pulling that information in so it
    1:09:17 requires a certain discipline and a certain focus that uh i've been very much exploring
    1:09:23 how to do like i do it really well in the morning coffee is involved all those kinds of things you're trying to optimize
    1:09:30 uh keeping very positive inspired no social media all those kinds of things and trying to optimize for and everybody
    1:09:36 has their own kind of little journey that they try to understand you get this from like writers
    1:09:41 when you read about the habits of writers like the habits they do in the morning
    1:09:47 they usually write like two three four hours a day and that's it it's like they optimize that ritual and
    1:09:53 then there's always hunters thompson so uh
    1:09:59 sometimes it pays off to be wild what about the sleep how important is sleep for


    1:10:05 longevity i would guess based on the evidence that
    1:10:10 it's really important and because we don't know for sure but what we know from animal studies
    1:10:16 is the following if you restrict sleep from a rat for just two weeks it'll develop type 2 diabetes it's that important
    1:10:24 so that's the main thing what we also know is at the molecular level that if you disrupt your
    1:10:31 sleep wake cycle so we actually have proteins that go up and down that control our sleep wake all of us most of our cells do that if
    1:10:39 you disrupt that you'll get premature aging and guess what the opposite is true that as you get older
    1:10:45 that cycle the the amplitude becomes diminished and this is why it's harder to get to
    1:10:50 sleep as you get older and then you've got all sorts of problems and i think what's going on is this positive
    1:10:56 feedback loop which is is a disaster in your old age which is um
    1:11:01 right you're aging you can't at this moment totally prevent that and then it's disrupting your sleep then you get not
    1:11:07 enough sleep and then that's going to accelerate your aging process um and so it's known that that people
    1:11:12 who are shift workers are more susceptible to certain age-related diseases so your
    1:11:17 bottom line you definitely want to work on that it's one of the reasons i have this ring on my finger which helps me optimize my sleep and learn
    1:11:24 what i do the day before if it was a bad idea and i'll stop doing that like eating a fried chicken
    1:11:31 i see you're still carrying the burdens of that decision but is yeah you know sleep is one of
    1:11:37 those things that's making me wonder about the variability between humans a little bit and how
    1:11:43 science is often focused on like it's not often focused on high
    1:11:50 performers in a particular way and it's looking at the aggregate versus the individual cases
    1:11:57 for example like for me i don't know what the exact hours are but like power naps are incredible
    1:12:06 i tend to look at the metric of stress and happiness and joy and try to optimize those so
    1:12:13 decreasing stress increasing happiness and using sleep as just one of the tools
    1:12:18 to do that because like hitting the five six seven eight nine hour mark or whatever the
    1:12:25 correct mark is i find that to be stress inducing for me versus
    1:12:30 stress relieving like thinking about that i i feel best if i sleep sometimes for
    1:12:36 eight hours sometimes for four hours and then power nap and as long as i have a stupid private
    1:12:42 usually smile on my face that's when i'm doing good as opposed to getting
    1:12:47 a perfect amount of sleep according to whatever the latest blog post is and i also pull
    1:12:54 all-nighters still i also think there's something about the body like as long as you do it
    1:13:01 regularly it's not as stress-inducing like you know what you know what it is the reason i pull
    1:13:07 all-nighters isn't for like i'm playing diablo 3 or something is because i'm doing something i'm truly
    1:13:13 passionate about well i can also love video games but i'm doing something i'm truly passionate about
    1:13:18 and it's almost like there's the jocko willing feeling of when i'm up at seven a.m and i haven't slept all
    1:13:24 night and still i'm working on it there's a kind of a celebration of the human spirit that i really enjoy it
    1:13:30 like uh and that's happiness and to sort of then and i usually don't tell that kind
    1:13:37 of stuff to people because their first statement will be like you should get more sleep
    1:13:42 it's like no i'm doing stuff i love you should get more love in your life
    1:13:47 bro that's right so but that said in aggregate when you look at the full span of life
    1:13:55 it's probably you should be getting a consistent amount of sleep and it
    1:14:01 seems like it's in that seven eight hour range yeah but it's similar to food
    1:14:06 it it's the quality not the quantity right and and when you get it so i i look at my my data pretty often
    1:14:14 and what makes a difference to me is not the amount of hours but the quality the depth and the deep sleep
    1:14:20 is what what'll do it so if i have a lot of alcohol before going to sleep and i can see my heart rate being
    1:14:26 different but what really kills me is that i don't get a lot of that deep sleep and i wake up you know barely remembering stuff
    1:14:32 so that like you say if you're happy and contented and you're not don't have these cortisol chemicals going through your
    1:14:37 body you will more naturally get into that deep state and even if you just get four hours way better than eight hours of none of that
    1:14:45 yeah yeah that's beautiful and some of that could be genetic for me i just i just fall asleep like this if you want
    1:14:52 me to fall asleep right now i can do it it's it's no um i have no problem with the combined with coffee i just had two
    1:14:58 energy drinks i could probably uh sleep so that i don't know if that's genetics or
    1:15:04 it's kind of um i don't know what it is or maybe that i don't have kids that i'm single so i don't have uh
    1:15:10 i'm almost listening to some kind of biological signal versus societal signal on when i'm supposed to
    1:15:16 go to sleep so i just go to sleep whenever i feel like going to sleep well that's because you're
    1:15:21 self-employed so most people don't have that luxury but we're lucky the two of us that we can make our own hours yeah
    1:15:27 um but yeah it's super important and those people who have the shift work i mean they they really
    1:15:33 need to to change the way that works because they're literally killing those people
    1:15:38 is there something you can say about the the mind and stress
    1:15:45 uh in terms of effect on longevity sort of um because i don't know if you
    1:15:51 think about it this way but when you talk about the biological machine it's always these mechanisms
    1:15:56 that don't are not necessarily directly connected to the brain or the operation of the brain like
    1:16:02 what's the role about stress and happiness and uh
    1:16:08 yeah the sort of higher cognitive things going on in the brain on longevity right well that's a great
    1:16:15 point that the brain is is the center for longevity actually we we do know that first start when when
    1:16:21 i'm stressed i can see mentally stressed then i can see it in my body
    1:16:27 heart rate hormones it's clear you know that's no true surprise so you've got to work on
    1:16:32 your brain first and foremost if you are totally freaked out agitated uh
    1:16:38 all the time you will live shorter i'm certain of it you know i keep fish i'm a big
    1:16:46 aquarium guy and you can see the difference between the the fish that's having a good time and dominant
    1:16:51 and one that gets picked on yeah it just looks like crap you don't want to be that the little fish getting picked on if you can help
    1:16:58 it so i used to be extremely stressed as a kid i was a perfectionist very shy always worried about being a
    1:17:04 failure if i didn't get an a plus you know i was crying in my bedroom that kind of sad existence i got into my 20s then in my
    1:17:12 30s and realized that's not the way to live so i've worked very hard to get to this point
    1:17:17 where i almost never get stressed never there's nothing that i've never gotten angry in my lab i've
    1:17:23 got 20 kids sometimes it's like a most of the time it's like a kindergarten um i
    1:17:29 haven't lost my temper i very calm but that's intentional um and i don't worry about stuff
    1:17:34 millions of dollars billions of dollars at stake sometimes keep it cool it's only life we're all
    1:17:40 headed to the same place anyway don't worry about it um but the the to answer your question i think
    1:17:46 in a better way if you manipulate the brain of an animal i'll give you an example if we turn on
    1:17:51 this cert gene that i mentioned sir one we a good friend of mine that wash you shiny my did this
    1:17:58 they upregulate the operate of that gene just in the neurons of the animal
    1:18:03 it lived longer so that's sufficient to extend lifespan we also know that you can manipulate the
    1:18:08 part of the brain called the hypothalamus which leaches a lot of chemicals into the body
    1:18:13 and proteins most of which we don't know yet but just changing the inflammation of that little organ
    1:18:20 or part of the brain is sufficient to make animals live longer as well so get your brain in order first before
    1:18:26 you tackle anything else i would say so you kind of mention this with the


    1:18:32 inside tracker there's a ability to take blood measurement and then infer from that
    1:18:39 a bunch of different things about your body how you can improve how you can improve the longevity and
    1:18:44 you've also mentioned saliva and more efficient ways
    1:18:49 to uh to get data uh what does that involve what's the future
    1:18:56 of data collection look like yeah for the human biological system right well yeah the the issue with with
    1:19:01 blood is you need someone to take it it's it i mean or you prick your finger which hurts yes so you gotta have something
    1:19:06 better so i think what the future looks like is that you'll spit onto a little piece of paper and stick it in a
    1:19:12 machine and it'll it'll do that for you but we're not there yet so the intermediate um
    1:19:18 future that that i'm building right now is that you would take a swab of the inside of your mouth which
    1:19:24 is the easiest way to take cells out of your body and just ship them off okay so called a buckle swab
    1:19:30 um i think we we became very used to that right right now because of covert people don't like going to the doctor as much they don't
    1:19:36 like going out they just want to have home tests and so that i think is the next 10 years where you'll get a kit in the mail
    1:19:43 you'll swab your cheek stick it back in an envelope send it off and you know a week later you have either a
    1:19:48 doctor's report or a health recommendation and what can you get off a cheek swab well you can get
    1:19:55 anything you can get hormones stress levels stress hormones blood glucose levels you
    1:20:00 can also tell your age reasonably accurately doing that actually quite accurately and those
    1:20:06 clocks cannot just tell you how you're doing over time but can be used to give you
    1:20:11 recommendations to slow that process down because some people sometimes are 10 years older biologically than their
    1:20:16 actual chronic chronological age i mean why does it matter how many times the
    1:20:21 earth's gone around the sun seriously who cares about birthdays it's how long your body's clock has been ticking and how fast
    1:20:28 so i could take a cheek swab from you today lex take it back to my lab and we then by tomorrow tell you how old
    1:20:35 you are biologically based on what we call the epigenetic clock
    1:20:41 and you might be freaked out you might be happy but either way we can advise you on how to improve the
    1:20:47 trajectory because we know that smoking increases the speed of that clock we also know that fasting and people who
    1:20:53 eat the right foods have a slower clock without that knowledge you're flying blind
    1:20:58 but i like the idea of a swab because it's it's just so easy we've a lot of us have done something like that for covert tests it's not even i've been doing a
    1:21:04 non-stop a rapid antigen test so let me say that particular one
    1:21:09 rapid antigen test they've been a source of frustration for me because like everybody should be doing it
    1:21:14 it's so easy we've also been working in my lab on democratizing these tests to bring them down from a few hundred bucks
    1:21:20 to a dollar so just to clarify you're talking about not research you talk about like company stuff
    1:21:25 like actual facing things i i well right the research on bringing the price
    1:21:30 down has occurred in my lab at harvard and then that intellectual property is being licensed and has been licensed out
    1:21:36 to a company yeah that that will be uh consumer-facing so anybody
    1:21:41 for a small amount of money can do this well you got subscriber number one obsessed i think that's a beautiful
    1:21:47 beautiful idea so somebody who maybe i would have been more hesitant about it until a covid
    1:21:54 uh but home tests are super easy i almost wanted to share that data with the world
    1:21:59 like in some way not not the entirety of the data but like some visualization of like how i'm doing
    1:22:05 like it's almost like uh like you know when you share if you had like a long run or something like that i wish
    1:22:11 i could share because it inspires others and then you can have a conversation about like
    1:22:16 well what are the hacks that you've tried and have a conversation about like how to improve lifestyle and those kinds
    1:22:21 of things that's grounded in data that's exactly that's what's that's what's going to happen now everything's anonymous of course we
    1:22:27 talked about security there but once it's anonymized you can then plot these numbers and i've plotted my
    1:22:34 epigenetic age versus hundreds of other people who have taken this test now and i can tell you where i fit
    1:22:40 relative to others in terms of my biological age and i'm happy to share that with you all because it's pretty low
    1:22:47 you can choose to share it of course not everyone wants to share that but when you go to the doctor first of
    1:22:52 all your doctor doesn't does treat you as though you're an average person and none of us are average there's no such thing
    1:22:58 but second of all we never know how we're doing relative to others because we all
    1:23:03 most of us we we don't share our information so we might have this number and that number but do you know that your numbers are
    1:23:09 good for your age or not you have no idea no even your doctor probably doesn't even know so this this graph that i'm talking
    1:23:16 about is the beginning of a world where you can say how am i doing i'm a you know for the two of us we're
    1:23:21 white and we're male and we're this age and we do this are we good are we doing the right
    1:23:27 things or the wrong things do we need to fix certain things and this is what the future is it's
    1:23:32 forget about just experimenting and not knowing the result i mean who doesn't experiment and doesn't look at the data
    1:23:38 no one it makes no sense so we're going to enter a world where we have a dashboard in our body the swabs the blood tests the biosensors
    1:23:46 where our doctors can look at that but we can also look at it and they can recommend you know go to
    1:23:51 this restaurant down the road they've got this great meal it's high in whatever you need today because you're lacking vitamin d and
    1:23:57 vitamin k2 go for it ridiculous question or perhaps not if

    Extending lifespan

    1:24:03 you look maybe 50 years from now or 100 years from now a person born then what do you think is a good goal in
    1:24:09 terms of how long a person would live like what is the maximum longevity that
    1:24:14 we can achieve through the methods that we have today of uh or are
    1:24:20 developing some of the things we've been talking about and in terms of genetics in terms of
    1:24:25 biology what's is there a number right uh well so it changes all the time
    1:24:31 because technology's changing so quickly i keep revising the number upward uh but i would say that if you do
    1:24:38 the right things during your life and start at an early age let's say 25 we don't want malnutrition starvation
    1:24:43 that's not what i'm talking about but in your 20s start eating the kind of
    1:24:48 diets that i talked about skipping meals in animals that gives you an extra 20
    1:24:54 to 30 percent we don't know if that's true for humans and that would you know even five percent more would be
    1:24:59 a good a big deal for the planet i think that we should all aim to at
    1:25:05 least reach a century um i i'm i'm a little bit behind i was born too early to benefit
    1:25:11 the most from all of this discovery those of you who are in your twenties you should definitely aim to reach a
    1:25:17 hundred i don't see why not consider this is really important the
    1:25:23 average life span of a human that looks after themselves and but doesn't pay attention
    1:25:29 is about 80 okay japan that's the average age for a male bit higher if you do the right things
    1:25:36 in your life which is eat healthy food don't overeat don't become obese do a bit of exercise get good
    1:25:43 sleep and don't stress that gives you on average 14 extra years that gets you to 94.
    1:25:48 so getting to 100 if you just focus on what i'm talking about it's not a big deal so what's the
    1:25:54 maximum well we know that one human made it to 122 and a number of them make it into their teens i think that's also the next level
    1:26:02 of of uh of where we can get to with the types of technologies that i'm talking about
    1:26:07 medicines like i mentioned rapamycin there's one called metformin which is the diabetes drug
    1:26:12 which i take that in combination with these lifestyle changes should get us beyond a hundred
    1:26:18 how long can we ultimately live well there's no maximum limit to human lifespan why can a whale live 300 years
    1:26:23 but we cannot we're basically the same structure we just need to learn from them so anyone who says oh you max max out at
    1:26:30 x i think is is full of it there's nothing that i've seen that says biological
    1:26:35 organisms have to die there are trees that live for thousands of years and their biochemistry is pretty close to ours


    1:26:42 what do you think it means to live for a very long time let's say if it's 200 years we're talking about or a thousand
    1:26:48 years there's some some sense you could argue
    1:26:54 that there is immortal organisms already living on earth like there's bacteria so
    1:26:59 there's certain there's certain living organisms that in some fundamental way do not
    1:27:06 die because they keep replicating their genetic information they keep like cloning themselves
    1:27:13 is is it the same human if we can somehow persist the human mind
    1:27:21 like copy clone certain aspects and just keep replacing body parts um do you think that's
    1:27:28 another way to achieve immortality to achieve of a prolonged sort of increased longevity is
    1:27:34 to replace the parts that break easily and keep because actually from your theory of um
    1:27:41 aging as a degradation of information it's an information theory view of aging like what is what is the key
    1:27:49 information that makes a human can we persist that information and just replace
    1:27:54 the the trivial parts uh yeah i mean the short answer is yes we're already
    1:28:00 replacing body parts but what makes us human is our brain everything else is is sub-optimal
    1:28:06 except our brain the ability to replace actual neurons is
    1:28:12 really hard right i think it might be easy to upload rather than replace neurons because they're so tight
    1:28:19 it's such a network and just perturbing the system you know it's it's uh it's stretching this cat you
    1:28:26 you change everything once you get in there the problem is um well i guess the solution let me go to
    1:28:32 the solution that's more interesting what we're learning is that if you reverse the age of nerve cells
    1:28:37 they look it looks like they get their memories back right so the memories are not lost they're just that the cells don't know
    1:28:43 how to interpret them and function correctly and this is one of the things we're starting in my lab if
    1:28:48 you take an old mouse that has learned something when it was young but forgotten does it get that back and
    1:28:54 all evidence points to that being true so i'd rather go in and rejuvenate the brain as it sits rather than replace
    1:29:00 individual cells which would be really hard what do you think about like efforts like neurolink
    1:29:06 which basically you mentioned uploading are trying to figure out so creating
    1:29:12 brain computer interfaces they're trying to figure out how to communicate with the brain but one of the features that is trying
    1:29:18 to record the human brain more and more accurately do you have hope for that
    1:29:25 to um of course there's uh it will lead to us better understanding
    1:29:30 from a neuroscience perspective the human mind but do you have hope for it increasing longevity in
    1:29:36 terms of how it's used i think that it can help with certain diseases uh but i see at least within our
    1:29:42 lifetime that's the best use of it is to be able to replace parts of the body that are not functioning such as the the
    1:29:48 retina and other parts the visual cortex back here that that's going to be doable in terms
    1:29:54 of longevity maybe we could put something on the hypothalamus and start secreting those hormones and get
    1:29:59 that back ultimately i think it the best way to
    1:30:04 preserve the brain uh is going to be to uh record it but also i think it's going to
    1:30:11 require death unfortunately to then do very detailed scans even
    1:30:17 if you have enough time and money atomic microscopy and rebuild the brain from scratch rebuild from scratch yeah we are
    1:30:25 living more and more in the digital world i wonder if if the scanning is good
    1:30:31 enough for the critical things in terms of memories in terms of the particular quirks of your cognitive processes
    1:30:38 they're not they're not yeah we're not we're not close yes but we've made quite a bit of progress so
    1:30:44 it's uh if you're um if you're an exponential type of person
    1:30:50 yeah well let's dream a little here yes the way it would work that i could see it working is so you
    1:30:56 take a single cell slice through your your dead brain and we can now the
    1:31:01 problem the problem with the engineering aspect is that the engineering is the physical aspect of the brain is is
    1:31:07 not even half the problem the problem is which genes are switched on and off this experience that
    1:31:13 we're having here is is altering certain genes in neurons that will be preserved hopefully for for
    1:31:20 a number of decades but you cannot see that with a microscope easily but there are technologies invented
    1:31:27 actually just down the hall in the building i'm at george church invented away his lab invented a way
    1:31:33 to look at which genes are switched on and off not only in a single cell which any lab
    1:31:38 can do these days but in situ where it's situated in the brain so you can say okay
    1:31:44 this nerve cell had these genes switched on and they switched off we can recreate that but just scanning
    1:31:50 the brain and looking how the nerves are touching each other is not going to do it wow okay so you have to scan the full
    1:31:56 biology the full details and look at the epigenome and the apogenome too yeah which genes are on and off
    1:32:03 it's just easier to reset the epigenome and get them to work like they just use we're doing that now use the
    1:32:08 hardware already have just figure out how to uh make that hardware last longer right
    1:32:14 ultimately information will be lost even genetic information degrades slowly through mutations so we
    1:32:20 immortality is not achievable through that means though i think we could potentially reset the body hundreds of
    1:32:25 times and live for thousands of years okay so we talked about biology

    Denial of death

    1:32:31 let's forgive me but let's talk about philosophy for just a brief moment
    1:32:36 so somebody i've enjoyed reading ernest becker wrote the denial of death there's also
    1:32:41 martin heidegger there's a bunch of philosophers who
    1:32:47 claim that most people live life in denial of death sort of we
    1:32:55 don't fully internalize the idea that we're going to die
    1:33:00 the because if we did as as they say there
    1:33:07 will be a kind of terror of um i mean
    1:33:12 a deep fear of death the fact that we don't know what's like we almost don't know what to do
    1:33:21 with non-existence with disappearing like our the way we draw meaning from life seems
    1:33:28 to be grounded in the fact that we exist and that we some point will not exist is
    1:33:33 terrifying and so we live in an illusion that we're not going to die and we run from that terror
    1:33:39 that's what ernest beckham would say do you think there's any truth to that oh i know there's truth to that i
    1:33:45 experience it every day when i talk to people we have to live that way although unfortunately
    1:33:50 i can't but for most people it's extremely stressing distressing to think
    1:33:56 about their own mortality we think about it occasionally and if we really thought about it every day
    1:34:02 we'd probably be brought to tears how much we not just miss ourselves but miss our family our friends we are
    1:34:10 all living life forms have evolved to to not want to die and when i mean one biochemically
    1:34:16 genetically physically that yeast cell the cells that i studied at mit
    1:34:21 they were fighting for their lives they didn't think but our brain has evolved the same
    1:34:26 survival aspect of course we don't want to die but the problem for us unfortunately
    1:34:32 it's a curse and a blessing is that we're now conscious we know that we're going to die most species
    1:34:38 that have ever existed don't that's a burden that's a curse and so what i think's happened is
    1:34:43 we've evolved certainly to want to live for a long time perhaps never want to die but the thought about
    1:34:50 dying is so traumatic that there is an innate part of our brains and it's probably
    1:34:56 genetically wired to not think about it i really think that's part of being
    1:35:02 human and it because you know think about tribes that obsessed with longevity every day and
    1:35:08 that were going to die they probably didn't make much technological progress because they were just crying
    1:35:13 in their hearts every day or you know on the savannah so i really think that we've evolved to
    1:35:18 naturally deny aging and it's one of the problems that i face in my career and you know when i speak publicly and
    1:35:25 on social media is that it's shocking people don't want to think about their age but i think it's getting better
    1:35:31 i think my book has helped these tests that we're developing should help people understand it's not a problem to think
    1:35:38 about your long-term health in fact if you don't you're going to reach 80 and really regret it

    Meaning of life without death

    1:35:45 and the other side of it so again ernest becker but also victor franklin recommended highly man
    1:35:50 search for meeting uh bernard williams he's a moral philosopher they kind of argue that this knowledge
    1:35:58 of death even if we often don't contemplate it we do at times
    1:36:03 and the very the what you call the curse which i agree with you it's a it's a curse and a blessing that we're
    1:36:11 able to contemplate our own mortality that gives meaning to life so death
    1:36:17 gives meaning to life is what viktor frankl's argues i would probably argue the same there's
    1:36:22 something about the scarcity of life and contemplating that that makes each moment
    1:36:28 that much sweeter is there something to that i think it's individual in my case it's
    1:36:34 completely wrong i appreciate you saying that i don't get
    1:36:40 joy out of every day because i think i'm going to die yeah i get joy out of every day because every day is joyous and i make
    1:36:46 it that way and even if i would if i thought i was going to live forever i would still be enjoying this moment
    1:36:52 just as much and i bet you would too well that's uh
    1:36:58 i think about that a lot i i think it's very difficult to know i'm almost
    1:37:04 afraid that i wouldn't enjoy it as much if i was immortal i'm almost afraid to want
    1:37:09 to be immortal or to live longer because
    1:37:16 it perhaps is a kind of justification for me to accept that i'm going to die is saying
    1:37:22 like oh if i was immortal i wouldn't be able to enjoy life as much as i do but it's very possible that i wouldn't
    1:37:27 enjoy just as much of course enjoying life whether you're
    1:37:33 mortal or not takes work like it it requires you to have the right kind of freedom of mind you
    1:37:39 can discover you can focus your mind on the ugliness of life there's plenty of ugly things in this
    1:37:46 world and you can focus on them you can complain whenever like you know if it's raining
    1:37:51 outside you can you can focus on the fact that you have shelter and you enjoy the the
    1:37:57 hell out of it or you can enjoy running in the rain when it's warm and like
    1:38:02 the the beauty of nature just being one with nature or you can just complain this [ __ ] weather again in boston
    1:38:08 and there you see they're always raining or freezing damn it and like uh the the same the same thing with like
    1:38:15 wi-fi going out on airplanes like you can either complain about like
    1:38:21 stupid wi-fi and on jetblue or something or you could say like how incredible it
    1:38:27 is that i can fly through the sky and in a matter of hours be anywhere else in the world and then it could also on occasion watch
    1:38:34 uh like check email and even watch movies through this while connecting through satellites that
    1:38:39 are flying to space so it's a matter of perspective and perhaps there's an extra level of work required
    1:38:44 when you're immortal because it's easier when you're immortal or live longer to
    1:38:50 uh to be lazy to delay stuff but if you're not you can still derive the same amount of
    1:38:55 joy it's possible it's possible it's definitely possible in my life
    1:39:00 i i went from being the nothing's working to every day is great to wake up to and i i
    1:39:06 think even if you live i think you're gonna live forever you can you can enjoy every day
    1:39:12 what i do is everything's relative we can compare ourselves to our neighbor who has more money
    1:39:17 or to the flight that should have had wi-fi or which is what i do i'm still six years old remember what a six-year-old does
    1:39:24 says look i can when i tell my fingers to form a fist they actually do that
    1:39:31 that's really cool that's how i live my life you know i'm i can pick up on your desk here this metal
    1:39:36 object it's a metal cube about an inch by an inch by an inch and i i tell myself not
    1:39:41 not about cubes but about inanimate objects probably once a day i'll say i'm a
    1:39:47 living thing i can think i can move i can eat i am full of energy and there's that leaf or
    1:39:52 this cube here that will never be alive that's what i look at and compare myself
    1:39:58 to and for as long as i live if it's forever of course it won't be but even if it was forever the relative to
    1:40:05 this lump of metal on this table here we are wondrous things in the universe
    1:40:10 and probably the most wondrous things in the universe yeah we're able to deeply appreciate the leaf or the cube
    1:40:18 and deeply appreciate ourselves which is uh it can be a curse but it's mostly a gift
    1:40:25 especially when you're such a beautiful poem now i'm six i'm as clever as clever so i
    1:40:32 think i'll be six now forever and ever that's a good thing to aspire to
    1:40:37 your uh your grandmother was on to something david this is uh incredible conversation i'm a huge fan
    1:40:43 of your work so thank you for wasting your valuable time with me today i really really appreciate
    1:40:50 it this was awesome thank you for having me on lex appreciate it thanks for listening to this conversation with david sinclair and
    1:40:56 thank you to on it clear national instruments simply safe and linode check them out in
    1:41:04 the description to support this podcast and now let me leave you some words from arthur shorpenhauer
    1:41:10 all truth passes through three stages first it is ridiculed second it is
    1:41:16 violently opposed third it is accepted as being self-evident
    1:41:22 thank you for listening and hope to see you next time
    1:41:33 you