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Back to Basics: Three Bridges to Life Extension
It has been eleven years since Ray and Terry published TRANSCEND: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever. The book provides a practical program to living as happy and healthy as possible, for as long as possible, in order to benefit from the fast approaching merger of artificial intelligence and medicine. Since the book was released, there have been numerous technological breakthroughs in treating and preventing diseases. Our understanding and capability of decoding the human genome, simulating biology, and reprogramming our genes has grown exponentially. We are on the cusp of radical medical advancements as AI begins to unlock the mysteries of our bodies and brains. With this in mind, we think now is the perfect time to get back to basics and revisit a core theme of the book -- Ray & Terry’s three bridges to life extension. The goal is to be our best selves now as we cross Bridge One so that we can be ready to leverage profound medical breakthroughs in Bridges Two and Three.
Ray and Terry’s “three bridges” is a metaphor to explain three key steps to living indefinitely. Both their book and TRANCEND Longevity have a common mission: to help you live your best life during Bridge One, slowing down and in many cases, stopping the processes that lead to disease and aging. In Bridge One we apply the moving frontier of current knowledge to slow down aging processes, emphasizing personalized approaches depending on your health situation. These are the 9 steps for comprehensive preventative healthcare laid out in the book:
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As we cross Bridge One, Bridge Two is now coming into view. This is the full flowering of the biotechnology revolution. We are already making significant strides in this area, as scientists have begun to successfully reprogram our genes away from disease. The Pfizer and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines are current day examples. Both involve the creation and programming of synthetic messenger RNA (mRNA) that instructs our bodies to produce antibodies to fight the virus. Technology is also being used to diagnose diseases with great accuracy and efficiency. Take for example, ChexNet, a deep learning algorithm that can detect and localize fourteen kinds of diseases from chest X-ray images. In 2020, ChexNet defeated every doctor that it was compared to in accurately detecting diseases. The driving force behind these incredible advancements – artificial intelligence.
With these and many other recent breakthroughs, we are in the early stages of quickly detecting diseases and changing our genes in order to live well for decades longer than what we once considered a long life.
This in turn will get us to Bridge Three – the full flowering of the nanotechnology revolution in which medical nanobots – blood cell-sized computers – will augment our immune system to combat all disease and aging and connect our brains to the cloud. Ultimately, this will allow us to go beyond the limitations of biology and live indefinitely.
While this may sound like a far off scenario, medical advances are coming faster than you think. We now have both the algorithms and the computational capacity for artificial intelligence to quickly simulate, test, and solve biochemical problems. It has only been in the past three years that we’ve had enough computational power for neural nets to be successful. The amount of computation devoted to training the best computer models since 2012 has doubled every three and a half months. That’s a 300,000 fold increase in the last nine years. This has opened the door for AI to find medical solutions in a fraction of the time that it takes humans.
Take for example the “turbocharged” flu vaccine created by researchers at Flinders University in Australia. They used a biology simulator to create trillions of chemical compounds and then used another simulator to see which compounds would be useful as immune-boosting drugs against the disease. They now have an optimal flu vaccine that is being tested.
Ultimately we will rely on simulators rather than human testing to find biochemical problems and test them in hours rather than years. The U.S. Federal Drug Administration is now accepting simulator results instead of human results in testing new vaccines, including this year’s flu vaccine. As our biology simulators get more general, they should work on all biological interventions, particularly as we go through the 2020s. If scientists have an accurate simulator, they can use neural nets to devise an optimal strategy for any disease. As medicine continues to become information technology, it will advance exponentially, so breakthroughs next year will be even greater than this year. The rate of change itself is accelerating.
In order to ride this exponential wave into the future, we need to be healthy today and informed for tomorrow. TRANSCEND Longevity is committed to supporting you on this path, with a personalized approach to supplements and informed perspective on what’s to come.
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