Michael Levin: bioelectricity and aging

Michael Levin has been saying he was going to apply his bioelectricity studies to aging. Here’s his new paper:

Aging as a morphostasis defect: a developmental bioelectricity perspective

Maintaining order at the tissue level is crucial throughout the lifespan, as failure can lead to cancer and an accumulation of molecular and cellular disorders. We argue here that the most consistent and pervasive result of these failures is aging, which is characterized by the progressive loss of function and decline in the abilityn to maintain anatomical homeostasis and reproduce. This leads to organ malfunction, diseases, and ultimately death. The traditional understanding of aging is that it is caused by accumulation of molecular and cellular damage resulting from energy metabolism and mitochondrial function, and that cell growth and lifespan are limited by replicative senescence due to shortening of telomeres. In this article, we propose a complementary view of aging as a morphostasis defect, specifically driven by abrogation of the endogenous bioelectric signaling that normally harness individual cell behaviors toward the creation and upkeep of complex multicellular structures in vivo. We first present bioelectricity as the software of life, then in a second part we identify and discuss the links between bioelectricity and rejuvenation strategies and age-related diseases, and develop a bridge between aging and regeneration via bioelectric signaling that suggests a research program for addressing aging. In a third part, we discuss the broader implications of the homologies between development, aging, cancer and regeneration. In a fourth part, we present the morphoceuticals for aging and we conclude



His interview with Lex Fridman goes over a lot of his research:


Michael’s work is amazing. I am sure one day he’ll receive Nobel Prize.

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Michael Levin is the most interesting man on the planet. He will be regarded as an Einstein of his time.


Five years old, but still exquisitely informative. Among the panelists is Dany Spencer Adams, who works in biolelectricity.

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I will be trying out this device for hair when it comes out in the fall:

It’s based on bioelectrical regeneration and while I know almost nothing works for regrowing hair and I never have super high expectations for things like this, the team behind it is at least very legit:


Watch the following video first before you decide to buy the device. Using electric impulses for hair growth isn’t a new technology and it already failed decades ago.
Niostem. Worst of the hair loss industry. - YouTube

I super appreciate you posting the link to the video but I have to be honest I don’t think I can get through more than a few minutes of this guy ranting :upside_down_face:

Josh Mitteldorf recently posted to his blog a review of Michael Levin’s prospective analysis from the Levin Lab: Aging as a morphostasis defect: a developmental bioelectricity perspective

Rapamycin is featured within Levin’s modeling: " * Rapamycin and resveratrol both inhibit voltage-gated K+ channels"

From Josh’s review… "Some of the relationships of bioelectricity to aging, all of which were new to me:

  • Rejuvenation via exosomes was shown to work (among other mechanisms) via modification of K+ and Ca++ ion channels
  • Oxytocin, identified by the Conboys as a key anti-aging blood factor, works by regulating depolarization and firing of neurons.
  • Rapamycin and resveratrol both inhibit voltage-gated K+ channels
  • Quercetin and other senolytics regulate ion channels
  • Unsurprisingly, brain aging is intimately linked to Ca++ ion pumps, which form the basis of neuronal signaling. Calcium channel blockers can protect against Parkinson’s.
  • The heart is dependent on bioelectric function both to run its clock and to fire the pump muscles. Levin lists some ways that CV aging is connected to bioelectricity.
  • Cancer is a special case…


Levin’s lab has rediscovered a new property of cancer cells that came to light only late in the game, and still occupies a backwater of cancer research.

“It has been known for decades that tumorigenesis begins with the bioelectric decoupling of cells from the somatic morphogenetic network Normal cells are in electrical communication with all their neighbors.
But cancer cells cut off all communication, and each cell is isolated from information about its surroundings. Levin was able to revert cancer cells to well-behaved growth simply by restoring their electrical contact with neighbors.