In the past century, the average human lifespan has doubled. And while extending lifespan further might seem closer to science fiction than fact, it may not be as far away as we think. In Episode #262, I’m joined by Dr Andrew Steele for a deep dive into what he describes as the largest humanitarian crisis we are currently facing: aging.
“Somewhere between 75% and 95% of how long you live is determined by two things: one of them is lifestyle, and the other one is luck.”
Dr Andrew Steele is an accomplished scientist, author, and campaigner based in Berlin. After earning his PhD in physics from the University of Oxford, he shifted his focus to computational biology, recognising aging as a profound scientific challenge. His work at the Francis Crick Institute utilised machine learning to unravel DNA complexities and predict heart attacks. As the author of “Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old,” Andrew is now dedicated to science writing and presenting, sharing his insights through his YouTube channel and in renowned publications including the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Guardian, and WIRED magazine.
“The rate of aging as a human being is effectively the change in your risk of death over time.”
In this discussion with Dr Steele, we examine the fascinating world of aging science and the possibility of extending human lifespan. We look towards the future of this field, with Dr Steele sharing his predictions for what the next 50 years of scientific developments might look like. You’ll learn about gene editing, cellular reprogramming, cellular senescence, and common drugs used in the treatment of aging, including rapamycin and metformin.
As well as scoping future advancements, we explore what the science can tell us now. We discuss things you can do now to nurture your aging process, and what you should avoid. Dr Steele also reveals how much of aging is genetic and offers his take on the ethics of “solving” this process.
If you’ve ever wondered how stress, smoking, or brushing your teeth might impact your lifespan, you’ll find this episode intriguing and empowering.
Specifically, we cover:
- Intro (00:00)
- Dr. Andrew Steele on aging (01:38)
- Age-related diseases and lifespan extension (10:47)
- Genetic factors, lifestyle, and gene editing for longevity (19:18)
- Could gene editing help solve poor cholesterol? (27:52)
- Rapamycin vs metformin for longevity (34:21)
- The need for expert consensus on anti-aging interventions (39:47)
- Insights on Bryan Johnson’s Project Blueprint (47:50)
- What are senolytic drugs? (51:24)
- Yamanaka factors: is aging reversible at a cellular level? (1:05:18)
- The rationale behind reversing aging and the future of interventions (1:17:42)
- Lifestyle changes that slow the clock (1:25:40)
- Calorie restriction and longevity (1:32:41)
- Air quality, smoking, and vaping (1:44:54)
- Stress, aging, and telomeres (1:51:18)
- Are there biological reasons why women tend to live longer? (1:59:05)
- Unpacking the buzz around HRT for men (2:04:14)
- Environmental impact of extending human lifespan (2:07:23)
- Outro (2:14:10)
Navigating the complex world of aging and longevity can feel overwhelming, but conversations like these shine a light on the science and demystify the process. Don’t miss this compelling journey with Dr Andrew Steele, from the factors affecting our current lifespan to the exciting scientific developments on the horizon. Tune in to take control of your aging process today and gain a glimpse into the future of human longevity.
Connect with Dr Andrew Steele on Twitter, Instagram, and Mastodon. Make sure to also head to his YouTube channel, where you’ll find videos on the ethics of prolonging lifespan and whether you can become biologically younger. Discover his book, Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old, at https://andrewsteele.co.uk/ageless/, and read the free chapter on ethics here.
The best way to support the show is to use the products and services offered by our sponsors. To check them out and enjoy great savings, visit theproof.com/friends.
More about Dr Andrew Steele
Andrew Steele is a scientist, writer, and campaigner based in Berlin. He is the author of “Ageless: The new science of getting older without getting old.” After obtaining a PhD in physics from the University of Oxford, Andrew decided that aging was the single most important scientific challenge of our time and switched fields to computational biology. He worked at the Francis Crick Institute, using machine learning to decode DNA and predict heart attacks using patients’ NHS medical records.
Currently, Andrew is a full-time science writer and presenter. He has written for the Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times, Telegraph, Guardian, and WIRED magazine. He has also been featured on various television shows such as NBC’s TODAY, The Russell Howard Hour, Sunday Brunch, NBC Morning News Now, and BBC News. Additionally, he is a regular expert on Discovery’s Impossible Engineering and Strangest Things on Sky. Andrew also produces videos on his YouTube channel and gives live talks ranging from lectures in schools to science stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo. He has also campaigned about science funding as Chair of Science is Vital and creator of Scienceogram.