The infamous life and death of biohacker Aaron Traywick

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Aaron Traywick, just after injecting himself with an unregulated herpes therapy. Image credit: Kristen V. Brown

In the span of two years, Aaron Traywick, who was 28 when he died, went from a virtual unknown to a notorious personality in the biohacking community. At the time of his death, he was estranged from many of his closest collaborators.

Mr. Traywick proved to be secretive and aggressive. He kept the people he worked with away from one another, ensuring that he was the only person at his company with all the information.

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One of the ways Mr. Traywick convinced people to work with him — or to buy what he was selling — was the persona he affected. He used his brief experience working for his cousin to represent himself as a moneyed veteran of Capitol Hill, knowledgeable about health care policy and the structural limitations placed on researchers by the Food and Drug Administration.

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Mr. Traywick left a mixed legacy. But his career in biohacking stands as a symbol of the unrealized goals of the community to which he briefly belonged. Shortly after his death, the United States Transhumanist Party, Mr. Stolyarov’s organization, issued a statement.

“Regardless of the cause, the U.S. Transhumanist Party emphasizes that death is wrong,” it said. “Mr. Traywick’s death is deeply wrong and will remain so. He will be missed by all of us. May his vision live on.”

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Read full, original post: Death of a Biohacker

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