Biohackers use their own bodies to experiment on making small, incremental diet or lifestyle changes to achieve improvements in health and well-being. The top biohackers track their bodies carefully and measure the impact of their lifestyle modifications.
11 Life Extension Biohackers
Who are the top biohackers? The most successful? What techniques are they using to avoid aging and stay young? How do they track their results and ensure safety?
Here are 11 candidates:
- Bryan Johnson (Calendar Age: 40s: Biological Age: 30s). “The most measured man in history”. Bryan has created a sophisticated Personal Measurement Program and Tracking Site as a comprehensive example of aging factors that can be tested.
- Ray Kurzweil (Age: 70s): A prominent futurist and inventor, is known for his extensive supplement regimen. Kurzweil reportedly consumes a daily regimen of approximately 150 to 200 pills. His company Transcend, promotes his longevity book and sells life extension supplements.
- Michael Roizen (Age 70s): Chief Wellness Officer Emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic. Creator of the RealAge test and the Great Age Reboot, his doctor-developed program for turning back your age.
- Valter Longo (Age: 50s): A biologist and researcher specializing in fasting and its effects on aging. Longo has conducted extensive studies on calorie restriction and fasting mimicking diets as potential interventions for longevity.
- David Sinclair (Age: 50s): A professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and a prominent figure in the field of aging research. He focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms of aging and developing interventions to slow down the aging process.
- Peter Attia (Age: 50s): A physician and longevity enthusiast known for his focus on metabolic health, nutrition, and the application of scientific research to extend human lifespan.
- Joe Cohen (Age 40s): Founder of Self-Decode and SelfHacked. Extensive research and writing on DNA, biomarkers and their relationship with dietary supplements. Created a direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer and precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations.
- Ben Greenfield (Age 40s): Author of Boundless, 600+ pages to upgrade your brain, optimize your body and defy aging. His personal regiment is extensive!
- Richard Sprague (Age: 50s): Extensive self-testing and experimentation on optimizing his microbiome, using retinal scans to identify chronic diseases and better health through self-quantification.
- Dave Asprey (Age: 40s): The founder of Bulletproof and an advocate for biohacking. Asprey has experimented with various interventions, including diet, sleep, and supplementation, to optimize health and promote longevity.
- Michael Greve (Age 60s): The founder of the Forever Healthy Foundation, which supports research and development of therapies targeting age-related diseases. Greve is passionate about applying cutting-edge science to promote healthy aging.
Although some of the methods of these leading-edge biohackers follow good medical practices and are covered within 23 Key Health Factors for 2023, others do not. Some of their techniques are highly questionable, if not outright dangerous. What may work for one person, may not work well for you. Also, beware of biohackers seeking to make money by endorsing 3rd party products of dubious value.
It will be interesting to see how these biohackers age over the next decades.
On the more extreme and risky end, a subculture of biohackers, referred to as grinders, attempt to enhance their bodies. Mistakes can cause serious harm, death (RIP: Aaron Traywick) or even unleash harmful biological agents into the population. Implanting foreign objects into your body can expose you to inflammatory reactions that can cause chronic infections. It may also increase your risk of developing cancer.
Some of the more notable augmentation attempts from grinders include:
- Implantable RFID/NFC chips: Many grinders have implanted radio frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) chips under their skin. These chips can be used for a variety of purposes, such as unlocking doors, making contactless payments, or storing personal data.
- Magnet implants: Some grinders have opted to implant small magnets into their fingertips. These magnets allow them to sense magnetic fields and interact with magnetic objects, giving them a rudimentary “sixth sense” for electromagnetic phenomena.
- Subdermal LED implants: A few grinders have implanted LED lights beneath their skin to create unique visual effects. These implants can be programmed to light up in different colors and patterns, turning the body into a living light display.
- Cybernetic limbs: While not all grinders have access to advanced prosthetics, some have experimented with attaching mechanical or electronic devices to their bodies to augment their physical abilities. This may involve incorporating robotic limbs, exoskeletons, or other assistive technologies.
- Sensory enhancements: Certain grinders have developed homemade devices to expand their sensory experiences. For example, they may construct head-mounted cameras or microphones that transmit audio or visual signals directly to their nervous system, enabling them to “see” or “hear” in unconventional ways. One grinder injected Chlorin e6 into his eyes to make them more receptive to light and enable night vision. The man was able to spot people moving in the dark of night in the woods.
- Cyborg implants: Some grinders have experimented with creating their own custom-designed implants. These can range from simple devices like temperature or pressure sensors to more complex systems that interact with the nervous system or other bodily functions.
- Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs): BCIs allow direct communication between the brain and external devices. Some grinders have explored implanting electrodes or other sensors into their brains to establish a direct interface, enabling them to control computers or prosthetic devices with their thoughts.
- Sensory expansion using wearable devices that provide additional sensory information, such as infrared or ultraviolet vision, or integrating devices that allow for sensing and perceiving data outside of the typical human range.
- Chemical self-augmentation to enhance cognitive abilities or physical performance. These can include taking nootropics, which are substances claimed to improve cognitive function, or experimental compounds that have not been widely tested or approved for human use.
- Gene editing: While not as common as other forms of self-augmentation, there have been instances where grinders have attempted DIY gene editing techniques. This involves using tools like CRISPR-Cas9 to modify genetic material, potentially introducing genetic changes into their own cells.
11 Top Biohacker Grinders
According to ChatGPT, here are 11 notable grinders and some of their contributions:
- Jo Zayner (Age: late 30s): Known for being one of the early pioneers of the biohacking movement. They gained attention for self-experimentation and offering DIY CRISPR kits for sale.
- Amal Graafstra (Age: 40s): A prominent figure in the field of implantable technology. He is known for implanting various RFID and NFC chips into his own body.
- Liz Parrish (Age: 50s): The CEO of BioViva, a company focused on developing gene therapies to reverse the effects of aging. She underwent experimental gene therapy treatments herself.
- Andrew Hessel (Age: 50s): A bioengineer and futurist who is actively involved in synthetic biology. He co-founded the Bio/Nano Programmable Matter group at Autodesk and advocates for open-source biotechnology.
- Tim Cannon (Age: 40s): Co-founder of Grindhouse Wetware, a biohacking collective. He gained attention for implanting a device called the “Circadia 1.0,” which measured and transmitted his body temperature data.
- Ellen Jorgensen (Age: 50s): Co-founder of Genspace, a community biotechnology laboratory in New York. She is a molecular biologist and is known for promoting citizen science and open-access biotechnology.
- Ryan Bethencourt (Age: 40s): Co-founder of IndieBio, a biotech accelerator. He has supported and mentored numerous biohacking projects and startups.
- Trammell Hudson (Age: 40s): A software engineer and hardware hacker who is interested in security and privacy. He is known for his work on implantable devices and for exposing vulnerabilities in various technologies.
- David Ishee (Age: 40s): A biohacker who gained attention for his work in genetic engineering and specifically for breeding genetically modified dogs resistant to certain diseases.
- Andrew Pelling (Age: 40s): A biohacker and scientist who investigates the possibility of using biological materials and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) techniques for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
- Kay Aull (Age: 30s): A molecular biologist and biohacker involved in creating open-source tools and protocols for genetic engineering. She co-founded BUGSS (Baltimore Underground Science Space), a community lab.
This concludes our article on the top biohackers and grinders. As your reward for reading, if you are interested in human enhancement and augmentation, then order the 3 Takeshi Kovacs book series by author Richard Morgan or watch the original BladeRunner film about synthetic humans. If you are interested in potentially living a longer and healthier life, then decide which of the 23 Key Health Factors you wish to track about yourself. Set your health baseline, and then see how much improvement you can make. Maybe you can become a famous biohacker and make the list above someday!