Transhumania is a YouTube channel I somehow managed to never stumble upon until today that makes high-quality videos about – you guessed it – transhumanism. While I’ve found that ideas of immortality and transhumanism are somewhat abhorrent to my readers, this creator handles the topic with dignity.
It’s a conversation that is certainly not going away, with business accelerators like Y Combinator financing longevity startups in Silicon Valley. Google and Apple have created anti-aging subdivisions and Jeff Bezos has partnered with the Mayo Clinic to do human studies on reversing aging, while PayPal Founder, Peter Thiel just donated $7 million to the SENS Foundation.
SENS is the acronym of Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence. “Negligible senescence” is the term coined by USC’s Dr. Caleb Finch to describe animals like the rockfish, lobster, and hydra, which do not appear to senesce (the Latinate verb for “aging”).
These creatures seem to maintain their physical capacities and their risk of death remains constant, rather than progressively increasing from age-related pathologies, which they do not acquire.
SENS’ mission is to develop rejuvenation biotechnologies, to stave off pathology indefinitely, such that, like the rockfish, lobster and hydra, humans will also be able to get old without becoming sick or frail.
It’s generally thought that the exponential progress of technology, aka “the singularity” will result in some form of transhumanism, where humans will merge with machines and gain practical immortality in the process. Therefore, it would follow that if you want to be immortal, all you’d have to do is survive long enough until the singularity occurs, at which point, the rate of emerging technologies in genetics, cybernetics and nanotechnology will have “cured” aging.
As Transhumania reports, “Currently, the average human life expectancy is increasing at a rate of about 5 hours per day and once medical technology becomes good enough to give us 24 hours per day, then we will have effectively reached immortality…
“So far, we’ve already found 60 genes involved in the aging process and now all we need to do is find the proper molecules to activate or deactivate those genes.
“To sum up the past 25 years of gerontology research, we now know of three main biochemical pathways responsible for aging. 1) is called the AMPK pathway, which can be targeted by the drug, metformin. 2) there’s the sirtuin pathway, which can be targeted by resveratrol, NMN, caloric restriction and nicotinamide riboside. 3) there’s the mTOR pathway, which can be treated by the drug, rapamycin.”
Transhumania drills down on these three crucial pathways, revealing the keys to maintaining optimal health that should be of interest to anyone, even those not interested in being immortal.