The civil war in the biohacking movement

As a tenured professor of biology and genetics at Harvard Medical School, David Sinclair has long been the world’s most qualified “biohacker”. The term refers to a broad community that attempts to enhance bodily performance, sometimes through simple treatments like meditation. But some of its advocates go much further. Sinclair himself has turned his body into a walking laboratory to test his controversial thesis: that ageing itself is a treatable disease.

Today, he spends around £10,000 a year on weekly blood tests to track the effects of his various interventions on key biomarkers as a way of stalling ageing at a cellular level. And he is now a convert-turned-preacher: he publishes blogs replete with homespun microbiological research that track the impact of his treatments. More radically, these include rapamycin, which Hemmings sources from India. Although it’s a potentially harmful immunosuppressant used to prevent the rejection of kidney transplants, rapamycin has also been shown to extend lifespans in animal trials and is the longevity community’s greatest hope of a “quick win” against ageing. Hemmings believes rapamycin is likely to be a more effective method than fasting when it comes to inducing that all important state of autophagy.


@John_Hemming are you the John Hemmings referenced in the article? It sounds like it’s you. :smiley:





I love the write-up on you. This author is a bit confused and slanted - but that is the nature of things. It is always a wild card being interviewed, as the author can make you look like a fool or genius.

You came off pretty unscathed!

It is a problem for amateurs in this area to author, as the temptation to simplify things is there, which was done here. As we all know, it is much more complex. A vigorous debate, and humility going forward is important. Sinclair’s crime, if there is one, has been providing more certainty than existed - and naturally, you are going to be wrong on a significant portion of things you believe to be true - and often for good cause.

When I graduated medical school in 1994 - the dogma was 50% of the stuff you’ve been taught is wrong - now you’ll spend the next 20 years sorting out which 50% that is.

Anyway - I really enjoyed reading this - and luckily, you came off without getting slighted!