Ray Kurzweil
Co-Founder & Chancellor, Singularity University and Director of Engineering, Google
05:13

Biotechnology Will Stop Aging

Biotechnology Will Stop Aging

The coming biotechnology revolution will allow us, in the next 15 to 20 years, to reprogram our genes to resist both aging and disease. By mid-century, we may all be kept healthy and young by billions of nanorobots inside of our bodies.

Ray Kurzweil

Raymond "Ray" Kurzweil (born 1948) is an American inventor and futurist. He is involved in fields as diverse as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesis, speech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI), transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism.

He has received nineteen honorary Doctorates and honors from three U.S. presidents.

Ray has written six books, four of which have been national best sellers.  The Age of Spiritual Machines has been translated into 9 languages and was the #1 best selling book on Amazon in science.  Ray’s latest book, The Singularity is Near, was a New York Times best seller, and has been the #1 book on Amazon in both science and philosophy.

Transcript

Question: What is your health regiment?

Ray Kurzweil:    I’ve read series of two books with a co-author Doctor Terry Grossman who’s a complementary physician, complementary medicine physician in Denver.  The first book was "Fantastic Voyage, Live Long Enough to Live Forever" and we just came out of a book today called "Transcend, Nine Steps to Living Well Forever." And we describe 3 bridges to radical life extension to dramatic extensions in your longevity. 

Bridge one is what you can do right now and most of the books describes that process and it’s a personalize approach so other people would necessarily want to do exactly what I do but they want to follow the same methodology which is to find out what’s your health challenges are.  So, I mean, I was diagnosed 25 years ago at the age of 35 with type 2 diabetes or I have a genetic tendency to type 2 diabetes, I over came it with this approach.  I have a generate tendency to heart disease, my father died when he was 58 and of heart disease.  I’ve overcome that with this approach but other people may have different issues and so it’s either one size fits all but it does mean being aggressive in overcoming whatever your genetic tendencies are and you really can overcome just about any genetic tendency in particular heart disease and diabetes are very amenable to lifestyle approaches supplements.  I take a lot of supplements because we do need to reprogram our biochemistry.  Our biochemistry just naturally was evolved to live till’ you know, 23 and then start aging and die shortly thereafter and that was really a good idea thousand years ago.  So, we really need to change our biochemistry to stay young.  I’ll give you just one example.  This is actually a good idea for anyone that’s not well known, 90% of the cell membrane in a 10 year old is a substance called Phosphatidyl Choline that depletes and by the time you’re 90, it’s down to 10% and… so the cell membrane gets filled in with the new substances like cholesterol and hard fats and that’s why the skin becomes brittle and the skin sags and then the approach on this is not supple and your organs don’t work as well.  That’s an aging process, aging is not one thing, it’s a dozen different processes and I’ve just described one of them.  That one, you can reverse very easily by supplementing with that substance Phosphatidyl Choline.  There are other aging processes that are more complex like the clogging of your arteries  with plague its called Atherosclerosis.  That’s more complicated you need to control your cholesterol, your triglycerides, your C- reactive protein but each… your homocysteine but each of those things is doable depending on your own biochemistry so you need to assess that and then we described in the book how you can develop a personalize program and it gets more complicated shall we say as you get older, if you’re in good health and you’re 23 you just need to eat a good diet and exercise and take a few basic supplements as you get older this aging processes speed up actually exponentially but you really can overcome these processes.  When I was 40 I came out at 38 on biological aging test, I’m now 61 and I come out close to 40.  If only age 2, 3 years in the last 20 years, so that really is feasible.  Now, I take a lot of supplements, I eat a certain diet, I exercise, I take about 150 pills a day and you’ll say, “Ray you really think taking all these pills is going to able you to live hundreds of years?”  No.  The point of this whole program, bridge one, is just to get to bridge two. 

Bridge two is a full flowering of this biotechnology revolution where we will have far more powerful method to really reprogram our genes, away from aging and away from disease and that’s about 15 to 20 years away so the whole point of bridge one is to get to that point in good health.  And it’s not a point that we’ll do this, I’ll do this for 15 years and nothing will happen and suddenly we’ll have the whole thing I mean, every year in fact it’s almost every day new developments come out already from this biotechnology revolution but 15 years from now we’ll be a very mature technology and we’ll have a much easier time of slowing down stopping and even reversing this aging and disease processes.  That’s bridge two and that will bring us to bridge 3 maybe 25 years from now. 

The nanotechnology revolution were we can have billions of nanobots keeping us healthy at the level of every cell on our body and that will go in our brains and extend our brains enable us to backup ultimately the information ion our brains.  Those technologies will ultimately give us very dramatic extensions to our longevity.

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