Intrigue: The Immortals (BBC)

Lots of focus on young blood and plasmapheresis… and all pretty basic information, with the added hype of “immortality”. I like in Episode 2 how Irina Conboy suggests that over the next five years that we may have “the fountain of middle age”, but not the fountain of youth…

and some related reading and viewing:

Here: Plasmapheresis Startup Looking for Clinical Trial Participants SF Bay Area

Here: Irina Conboy Plasmapheresis Webinar

Here: Lowering the Cost / Improving Access for Therapeutic Plasma Exchange (Plasmapheresis)


The fountain of middle age sounds reasonable.

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Any episode on rapamycin? :slightly_smiling_face:

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Only the first two episodes are available for free - after that you have to be a paid subscriber to the BBC podcasts (I didn’t know that paid podcasts where a thing… this is the first one I’ve run into, but I usually only listen to free podcasts I guess).

Perhaps someone who has a subscription can share any other information they find new and interesting in this podcast series.

Correction - you can play the podcasts on the BBC website links above

You just can’t use your regular podcast app and download the podcasts, it seems, without paying.

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Er … yes.
( Post must be at least 20 characters).


Ah - they do have the podcasts available to listen to on the site for free… (its only if you want to download them I think you have to pay).

So… listen to the full list on the links above, for example:


Regarding Episode 4:

The New Scientist article by Sally Adee, who is featured in the Podcast on Ambrosia (which crashed and burned, I think largely because they didn’t have the clinical data to back up their claims), and yes, most people in the industry think the hype and crash of Ambrosia was not helpful to the longevity movement.

Exclusive: Inside the clinic offering young blood to cure ageing

In California, a start-up is offering blood plasma transfusions for $8000 to people who hope to turn back the clock. Is it safe, and will it work?

Episode 5: Celine Halioua and Loyal for Dogs

More information

Here: The Longevity Summit, News & Update - #9 by RapAdmin

Here: Video Interview: Celine Halioua, Founder of Loyal, a biotech startup developing drugs to extend dog lifespan

Here: One Step Closer To Helping Your Dogs Live Longer

Here: The Search for a Pill That Can Help Dogs—and Humans—Live Longer (Wired Magazine)

Loyal’s first drug is an IGF-1 inhibitor for larger dogs - currently in clinical trial. More on IGF-1 inhibitors: IGF-1 inhibitors and lifespan extension?

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Episode 6:

The Fable of the Dragon Tyrant:

Longevity escape velocity:

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Episode 7:

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Episode 8:

Nick Bostrom’s Future of Humanity Institute:

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I can’t say I’ve ever heard of this guy Emile Torres… seems like the podcast is exaggerating this fear and controversy far beyond the actual situation that actually exists.

The “Singularity” definitely has had a long run of popularity in the Silicon Valley and still continues but I sense the wave is definitely on the wane.

Episode 9: Nerd Rapture

Episode 10: After The Dragon

The idea of living forever has captivated us for millennia, but rarely do people imagine what would happen the day after the fountain of youth is discovered. Today’s technology entrepreneurs pushing an immortality agenda - through their investments and their influence - seem only focussed on the pursuit. Whether or not immortality is a distant possibility, how do we cope with living longer en route to forever? Where’s the planning for that? It’s a great opportunity for innovative thinkers but, from what we’ve seen over the last two decades of technological disruption, these real but smaller goals aren’t nearly as enticing as the big ones. In this series, technology reporter and psychologist Aleks Krotoski explores the frontiers of the extreme longevity pioneers. They’ve made their money in Silicon Valley. And with their technology solutions - PayPal, Facebook, cryptocurrencies - they’ve ushered in the world that we live in today, with all its unintended consequences. Some of them now want to solve the “problem” of aging, or even death, and they are making bigger strides than we may think.


I finished listening to these podcasts this morning. My conclusion is that it turned into a total hatchet job conflating anyone interested in longevity with either being vampires or trans-human nutjobs seeking “immortality” by uploading themselves to the metaverse. It was a wasted opportunity and the writer / presenter clearly has her own agenda on the topic. There was a time when the BBC was respected for its even handed reporting. Unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.


I gave up after the first few. BBC was trying to be clever instead of reporting the news. High production quality but low value entertainment packaged as reporting.


Yeah, it was pretty average. A lot of very general talk with no actual substance / science.
It’s a shame. They missed a good opportunity……


Although an important issue where the science really matters little reporting goes beyond clickbait. I did not look at any of these programs as they seemed too clickbaity.

Good reporting is very hard because of the need to accurately report the contradictory viewpoints on the science.

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Time to change the front page news item?

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Yes - done.

I’m a little less harsh on the criticism, the series was largely accurate though superficial. Production values were high.

The biggest issue I have is that the series really exaggerates the immortality angle, which will trigger fear in many parts of society and which overshadows a potential more rational discussion of benefits as well as the possible unintended downsides and issues/problems that may result from life extension technologies.


I agree with Morgan on this… the focus on “immortality” is unhelpful and misleading. We want to figure out a way to enable healthier, more livable and more dignified. Perhaps another 20 years or more on the existing lifespan. I think few people will disagree that this is a reasonable goal. And work early on, to put systems into place that will distribute these benefits to a broad spectrum of the populace (as many people as possible) to demonstrate clearly its not just for those with the last name Bezos, Bin Salman, Thiel, etc.


Article referenced by John Harris:

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