How Biohackers Upgrade Their Brains and Bodies

How Biohackers Upgrade Their Brains and Bodies

People are tirelessly perfecting their bodies. Some people implant a chip in their hand to do without keys. Others starve and meditate in order to remain effective. Others are already looking for a recipe for immortality.

It’s all biohacking – the science of “hacking” the human body. Publicist Samuel Segal reflects on whether innovative methods actually work, what dangers they pose and what they will eventually lead humanity to.

Even if you have not yet heard the term “biohacking” you have already encountered the phenomenon. For example, you know that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey periodically fasts and starts every morning with “salt juice” (a mixture of Himalayan salt, water and lemon). Or read about NASA employee Joshua Zeiner, who injected himself with jellyfish DNA to edit genes. Maybe you have a colleague who had a chip implanted in his arm.

These are all types of biological hacking – a way of life that is becoming popular. And not just in Silicon Valley, where it originated.

Biohacking encompasses many activities, from scientific experiments on yeast to tracking one’s own sleep and diet. Up to and including altering one’s own biology – people inject young blood into their veins in the hope that this is how the body will fight aging.

Biohackers are best known these days for experimenting on their own bodies to enhance their physical and intellectual abilities. They share the ideas of transhumanism. The main one is that people can and should use technology to enhance themselves.

Some biohackers have PhD degrees, others are amateurs. And the ways to “hack” the body are also varied. Unlike traditional medicine, not all of them are safe and legal.

Biohacker Dave Asprey created Bulletproof, a nutritional supplement company. For him, biohacking is “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you, which allows you to gain total control over your body”. He experiments on his body: injecting stem cells into his joints, taking dozens of supplements daily, bathing in infrared light. His goal is to live to at least 180 years old.

Jack Dorsey uses meditation and fasting to hack himself. He meditates for two hours a day, only eats dinner on weekdays, and refuses to eat at all on weekends (skeptics call his eating habits an eating disorder and worry that his example might negatively affect others). Dorsey also starts every morning with an ice bath and walks eight kilometers to get to Twitter headquarters.

All biohackers carefully monitor their biometric data. The most “measured” person in the world is called Chris Dancy. This american programmer is also called a “conscious cyborg” because he measures from 300 to 700 parameters every day.

He claims that this practice has helped him lose weight, give up bad habits and become happier. Chris is sure that it helps to fight excess weight, diseases and bad habits. For example, he noticed that he dislikes tobacco smoke immediately after water, milk and orange juice, so he began to drink these drinks more often to quit smoking.

Another example is the story of geneticist Michael Snyder of Stanford University. Scientists sequenced his genome, analyzed his metabolism and regularly measured biomarker concentrations in his blood for 14 months. As a result, they were able to detect an increase in glucose levels in time and prevent the development of diabetes.

There are also biohackers who perform risky experiments on their own bodies. For example, at the SynBioBeta conference in San Francisco, American bioengineer Josiah Zainer injected himself with an experimental DNA injection to block a gene that suppresses muscle mass growth.

Some biohackers have found that by experimenting with their bodies, they are able to change their body’s physiology and improve their health. Aside from taking supplements, they also take infrared light. In addition to these techniques, many biohackers use the word “control” to refer to their activities. In some cases, they’ve injected stem cells into their joints, bathed in infrared light, and gotten their bodies remodeled to live until the age of 180.


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