Last week I shared the first post from Peter Diamandis, M.D. into aging, longevity, and healthcare technologies that are converging to dramatically extend the healthy human lifespan, disrupting a soon-to-surpass $10 trillion healthcare system in the process.
I also mentioned I’ll be sharing some of the longevity busting protocols to address (slow down) a number of the mechanisms of aging that I currently use. These include the regular use of the peptide GDF11, periodic cyclical use of the peptide epitalon and the medication dasatinib combined with the flavonoids quercetin and fisetin, hormetic diet, physical activity and lifestyle challenges and proactive toxin removal.
The causes of aging are extremely complex and unclear.
But with longevity clinical trials increasing 3.5X, from 73 in 2012 to over 258 in 2019, more answers — and questions — are emerging than ever before.
With the dramatic demonetization of genome reading and editing over the past decade, and Big Pharma, startups, and the FDA starting to face aging as a disease, we are starting to turn those answers into practical ways to extend our healthspan.
In this blog, Peter will cover two classes of emerging technologies:
How genome sequencing and editing, along with new classes of anti-aging drugs, are augmenting our biology to further extend our healthy lives.
Genome Sequencing & Editing
Your genome is the software that runs your body.
A sequence of 3.2 billion letters makes you “you.” These base pairs of A’s, T’s, C’s, and G’s determine your hair color, your height, your personality, your propensity to disease, your lifespan, and so on. Until recently, it's been very difficult to rapidly and cheaply "read" these letters — and even more difficult to understand what they mean.
Since 2001, the cost to sequence a whole human genome has plummeted exponentially, outpacing Moore's Law threefold. From an initial cost of $3.7 billion, it dropped to $10 million in 2006, and to $1,500 in 2015.
Today, the cost of genome sequencing has dropped below $600, and according to Ilumina, the world’s leading sequencing company, the process will soon cost about $100 and take about an hour to complete. This represents one of the most powerful and transformative technology revolutions in healthcare.
• When we understand your genome, we'll be able to understand how to optimize "you."
• We'll know the perfect foods, the perfect drugs, the perfect exercise regimen, and the perfect supplements, just for you.
• We'll understand what microbiome types, or gut flora, are ideal for you (more on this in a later blog).
• We’ll accurately predict how specific sedatives and medicines will impact you.
• We’ll learn which diseases and illnesses you’re most likely to develop and, more importantly, how to best prevent them from developing in the first place (rather than trying to cure them after the fact).
CRISPR Gene Editing
In addition to reading the human genome, scientists can now edit a genome using a naturally occurring biological system discovered in 1987 called CRISPR/Cas9.
Short for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9, the editing system was adapted from a naturally occurring defense system found in bacteria.
Here’s how it works:
The bacteria capture snippets of DNA from invading viruses (or bacteriophage) and use them to create DNA segments known as CRISPR arrays. The CRISPR arrays allow the bacteria to "remember" the viruses (or closely related ones), and defend against future invasions.
If the viruses attack again, the bacteria produce RNA segments from the CRISPR arrays to target the viruses' DNA. The bacteria then use Cas9 to cut the DNA apart, which disables the virus. Most importantly, CRISPR is cheap, quick, easy to use, and more accurate than all previous gene editing methods.
As a result, CRISPR/Cas9 has swept through labs around the world as the way to edit a genome. A short search in the literature will show an exponential rise in the number of CRISPR-related publications and patents.
PUBMED CRISPR MENTION COUNT