Epigenetic Reprogramming, Cryonics & COVID Lab Leak | Yuri Deigin
Live Longer World Podcast #17
"Aging is potentially an engineering problem that we can at least increase to what we see in mammals..whales live 200 years..there is nothing fundamental about our 80 year time limit."
Live Longer World Podcast Episode #17 has been released!
Epigenetic reprogramming has been in the news lately because of several companies being started in the space, with some notable ones being Altos Labs funded by Jeff Bezos and NewLimit founded by Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase.
If you’re not familiar with this trending, hyped (rightly so this time - it is pretty amazing!) research on Epigenetic reprogramming and Yamanaka factors to turn cells back to a younger state, we dive into it in today’s episode!
As a last point to Yuri’s introduction, because I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it, you may have heard of his name recently because he was in fact one of the first people to talk about the Covid lab leak theory and wrote extensively on it. This speaks to his scientific mindset and desire to uncover the truth.
In today’s episode, you will learn:
The Strong Epigenetic Theory of Aging, as coined by Yuri
He calls David Sinclair’s theory The Weak Epigenetic Theory of Aging
(Not weak as in bad, but the use of strong & weak here has been borrowed from Physics as Yuri talks about)
Epigenetic Reprogramming using Yamanaka factors to turn the cell into a younger state
What is it and what are the open questions in the field
What are the cancer risks associated with it
Why Yuri believes in Cryonics
Why Yuri got interested in uncovering the COVID-19 Lab Leak theory
Pharma in Russia
If you are a premium subscriber, you can also read the summarized notes of these learnings below.
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00:00 "We're not crazy"
0:37 100% life extension & translation to humans
4:28 Aging is potentially an engineering problem
12:45 Strong Epigenetic Theory of Aging
19:26 Epigenetic Reprogramming
29:00 Risk of Cancer with Epigenetic reprogramming
33:00 Rejuvenation without cancer risk?
38:30 Why Cryonics Makes Sense
48:00 COVID Lab Leak Theory
53:45 Pharma in Russia
58:40 Optimism in Longevity
1:00:50 Aging is Universal. Let's Unite in this Fight
Premium Subscriber Summarized Show Notes of Key Points:
How to get 100% life extension:
Yuri, I love the fact that you’re very outright and bold in your speech and uncovering the truth. I’ve heard you speak about wanting 100% life extension, and the fact that there is a sense of urgency that you think might be sometimes missing in academia. That you know, people might be satisfied with showing results that have 10-20% life extension, but that’s not enough. You want 100%, so do I. Speak to this sense of urgency that you think might be missing.
We’ve made a lot of progress since then because of investments in the space that will translate into therapies
One of the reasons to push for higher life extension is that the 10-20% we see in mice is not translatable to 10-20% in humans
I think my biggest example of this is caloric restriction, which in mice can give you up to 50% life extension which in primates is only translated to 5%-10% lifespan increase.
And it was, gender or sex specific. So males didn't really get a lot of life extension but females did, but for that, they needed to be starved two thirds of their lives. And so you can see 50% from mice gets decreased into five to 10% in humans. So we really need to see big, big breakthroughs in animals, like large increases in lifespan to be able to be confident that that will translate into something meaningful in us.
And in fact, that starvation also, it comes with its own downsides where you lose all your muscle and you become frugal. And that's exactly the opposite of what you want.
How to raise awareness about longevity:
It's quite exciting that there is so much more money that's coming into the field and that people are becoming more aware of it. On that point of awareness, you in fact, did work in advocacy for aging for a long time before you started a company.
And you've written some amazing blog pieces as well on your Medium. When you were involved more on the awareness side, are there certain explanations that you think worked in terms of convincing people or informing them more about this space and on the flip side, maybe some explanations that just don't work and don't resonate with people?
I think it just takes a lot patience to convince people. The first time you tell them you are working on increasing lifespan, they recoil and call you crazy
But for a lot of people, when they are given the chance to think about it in privacy will come to the realization that it’s not a bad thing and there is nothing bad about being healthier for longer or living longer as long as you want it
Many people don’t even know it’s possible to extend lifespan. We’re taught from a young age that aging is a fundamental law of nature and most humans die by 80-90 years. But there is nothing fundamental about it. It’s potentially just an engineering problem. A lot of mammals, whales for example live for 200 years. At the least, we should be able to extend lifespan to what other mammals like whales and sharks (400 years) have
Aastha’s favorite sentence is that there is nothing in the laws of physics that states we should die