London Futurists

The Longevity Singularity, with Daniel Ives

March 07, 2024 London Futurists Season 1 Episode 74
London Futurists
The Longevity Singularity, with Daniel Ives
Show Notes

In the wide and complex subject of biological aging, one particular kind of biological aging has been receiving a great deal of attention in recent years. That’s the field of epigenetic aging, where parts of the packaging or covering, as we might call it, of the DNA in all of our cells, alters over time, changing which genes are turned on and turned off, with increasingly damaging consequences.

What’s made this field take off is the discovery that this epigenetic aging can be reversed, via an increasing number of techniques. Moreover, there is some evidence that this reversal gives a new lease of life to the organism.

To discuss this topic and the opportunities arising, our guest in this episode is Daniel Ives, the CEO of Shift Bioscience. As you’ll hear, Shift Bioscience is a company that is carrying out some very promising research into this field of epigenetic aging.

Daniel has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, and co-founded Shift Bioscience in 2017.

The conversation highlighted a way of using AI transformer models and a graph neural network to dramatically speed up the exploration of which proteins can play the best role in reversing epigenetic aging. It also considered which other types of aging will likely need different sorts of treatments, beyond these proteins. Finally, conversation turned to a potential fast transformation of public attitudes toward the possibility and desirability of comprehensively treating aging - a transformation called "all hell breaks loose" by Daniel, and "the Longevity Singularity" by Calum.

Selected follow-ups:
Shift Bioscience
Aubrey de Grey's TED talk "A roadmap to end aging"
Epigenetic clocks (Wikipedia)
Shinya Yamanaka (Wikipedia)
scGPT - bioRxiv preprint by Bo Wang and colleagues

Music: Spike Protein, by Koi Discovery, available under CC0 1.0 Public Domain Declaration