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‘My entire goal is to basically age in reverse’: How biohackers are attempting to engineer longer lives

| | January 31, 2020
Biohackers Thaddeus Owen and fiance Heidi Sime practiced Qigong before at dawn as part of their daily ritual. Image: David Joles
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

When day breaks, they go out in their yard and face the rising sun — Thaddeus [Owen] in shorts and no shirt, Heidi [Sime] in a sports bra and yoga pants — doing Qigong in the snow and 25-degree air.

Biohacking is a DIY biology movement that started in Silicon Valley by people who want to boost productivity and human performance and engineer away aging and ordinary life spans. Think of it as high-tech tinkering, but instead of trying to create a better phone, biohackers are trying to upgrade to a faster, smarter, longer lasting, enhanced version of themselves.

Owen, 44, describes it as a journey of self-experimentation, using “practices that are not talked about by mainstream media and your family doctor.” His aim is to combine the latest technology and science with ancient knowledge to modify his environment, inside and out.

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“My entire goal is to basically age in reverse,” he said.

But being healthy really doesn’t need to be that complicated, according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a human performance specialist at the Mayo Clinic.

“All these things sound great,” Joyner said of the biohacks. “There’s a ring of what I call ‘bioplausibility’ to them.”

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