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Transcript

History of Bioelectricity & Solving Cancer with Michael Levin

Interview with Dr. Richard Nuccitelli

Hi, I’m Aastha, and welcome to Live Longer World, where I write about practical longevity tips, with an emphasis on what I practice. Occasionally, I interview scientists in the aging field on their research and advances in biotechnology.

Today’s interview with Richard Nuccitelli is the first of several interviews Michael Levin and I will do with significant people in the history of developmental bioelectricity.


Background:

In 2022, I interviewed Dr. Michael Levin on his work on bioelectricity in cells and how that has the potential to solve cancer and aging. Since then, Mike has also appeared on Lex Fridman and many other podcasts talking about his revolutionary work.

Amongst all the podcasts I did, Mike’s work struck me as profound yet underappreciated. The field of biology has focused on the DNA and the relevance of the electric currents in our cells is not appreciated. Yes, the electrical energy powering our cells is what keeps us alive!

Earlier this year, I decided to dive deeper into bioelectricity. I’m starting by exploring the history of the field in conjunction with Michael Levin. We’re doing a series of interviews talking to scientists in the field to understand the origins of the field, bottlenecks, progress so far, and what the future could look like.

The first in this series of interviews is with Dr. Richard Nuccitelli.

Richard Nuccitelli is a legend in the field, having invented (with Lionel Jaffe, in 1974) the Vibrating Probe - a technique that allowed the non-invasive sensing of ion currents around living tissues. This is about a ~1 hour conversation in which he talks about his background, the history of the field, and his current clinical work on the bioelectrics of cancer.


Watch on YouTube. Listen on Spotify, or any other podcast platform. Find the links and timestamps below.

Follow me on X @aasthajs for more on longevity. Hope you enjoy the conversation!


All other platforms: here


Timestamps:

0:00 Intro to History of Bioelectricity Series

1:09 How Rich got interested in bioelectricity

4:34 Bioelectrics didn't make it to biology literature

7:55 Vibrating probe use cases

10:20 Bioelectrics in 1970s

13:37 Why is bioelectrics underrated?

22:50 Progression of bioelectrics

29:02 Ultra high voltage in treating cancer

39:00 Understanding significance of bioelectrics from 1900s

44:40 Working with Lionel Jaffe

50:27 How Mike entered bioelectrics

54:02 Criticism received by bioelectrics?

57:04 Missing technology to advance bioelectrics

1:00:52 Electrical patterns in cells with age

1:03:12 Mapping bioelectrics as the goal

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Aastha Jain Simes