The DataBETA project, and Aging Interventions: Dr. Josh Mitteldorf

Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador and founder of Bioquark, interviews evolutionary biologist, researcher and author Dr. Josh Mitteldorf.

Dr. Josh Mitteldorf, Photo Credit: Dr. Josh Mitteldorf

On the last couple of shows we’ve been spending a lot of time on the different hierarchical levels of the aging processes, talking about the genome, the microbiome, tissue engineering, systems biology, and many other topics, and we’ve been speaking to a broad range of thought leaders in these various fields.

As the study of aging and longevity as areas of biotherapeutic interventions has become more popular in recent years, an extensive catalogue has grown, and continues to grow, with everyone’s key aging hallmark, or damage target of interest, piling on the mix.

This lengthy list includes many topics that we have touched on during the show and currently includes, but is not limited to, the following: inflammation, oxidation, heat shock, microbial burden, xeno-toxin accumulation, somatic mutations to the genome, epigenetic modifications, stem cell exhaustion, senescence cell accumulation, damaged mitochondria, telomere variability, ECM cross-linking, nutrient sensing dysfunction, intra / extra-cellular aggregates / junk accumulation, and so on.

While this list, no doubt, contains a wide variety of fascinating topics connected to health and aging, and areas for potential intervention that may improve outcomes in various disease states associated with aging, we still have not yet touched on a unified picture of why we age in the first place.

In addition, we have not yet touched on many of the paradoxes that get swept under the rug that challenge a lot of the ingrained doctrine in longevity biomedical research.

These paradoxes include: Why do some extremely damaged organisms live long healthy lives? Why do some pristine organisms drop dead in the prime of life? Why are all of these aging hallmarks, or forms of damage, that I have listed above, not only found in elderly, decrepit, disease ridden individuals, but also happen to be all found (some to a much greater degree proportionately) in the earliest stages of life in developing embryos and fetuses?

We still have an incomplete big picture of aging and that’s no good if we want to truly intervene in it.

Dr. Josh Mitteldorf, Photo Credit: Dr. Josh Mitteldorf

That’s why I’m so happy that joining us today to take us deeper into this topic, and expose us to some truly fascinating ideas and theories, is Dr. Josh Mitteldorf.

After earning a PhD in astrophysics at University of Pennsylvania and spending a decade or so in that field, as well as in the areas of optical design and energy conservation, Dr. Mitteldorf made a move and transitioned into the field of evolutionary biology and currently studies evolutionary theory of aging using various computer simulations.

He has spent a lot of time over the years looking to correct what he feels is a fundamental error in the foundations of evolutionary theory where he feels that evolutionary biologists had focused too much on the “selfish gene theory” (the gene-centered view of evolution that purely holds that adaptive evolution occurs through the differential survival of competing genes), and not enough on the ecological context surrounding those organisms and their genes, which he feels has everything to do with why we age and, by extension, what we have to do to stay healthy as we get older.

Over the years he has lectured extensively at universities including Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, Bryn Mawr, LaSalle and Temple.

Dr. Josh Mitteldorf, Photo Credit: Dr. Josh Mitteldorf

He’s the author of two books on the topic including Cracking the Aging Code: The New Science of Growing Old — And What It Means for Staying Young and Aging is a Group-Selected Adaptation: Theory, Evidence, and Medical Implications.

He also is responsible for the “Aging Maters / Playing the Game for a Longer Life” blog, which is truly an encyclopedic resource for all things happening in the longevity biotech space.

He is also creator of the Data-BETA project, a project conducted in cooperation with the UCLA laboratory of Steve Horvath, to study the synergy of various different supplements and drug interventions, designed to find the rare combinations that work together to produce a big anti-aging benefit.

On this show we will hear from Dr. Mitteldorf:

About his background and what it is like to be an astrophysicist in the world of evolutionary biology and aging. His aging theories. The Data-BETA Project. His other passions including meditation, yoga, music, environmentalism and campaigning for a smoke-free/tobacco-free world.

Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador

Credits: Ira Pastor interview video, text, and audio.

Follow Ira Pastor on Twitter: @IraSamuelPastor

If you liked this interview, be sure to check out our interview about The HEAVEN Project!

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