The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast Episode #124 - Sergey Young
Sergey Young is a longevity investor and visionary with a mission to extend healthy lifespans of at least one billion people. In order to do that, Sergey founded the $100M Longevity Vision Fund to accelerate life extension technological breakthroughs and to make longevity affordable and accessible to all
Sergey is on the Board of Directors of the American Federation of Aging Research (AFAR) and is the Development Sponsor of Age Reversal XPRIZE global competition designed to cure aging. Sergey is also one of Top-100 Longevity Leaders and a Forbes Tech Council member
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10:10 - Sergey's Background
13:40 - Investing in new biotech
14:10 - organ regrowth
16:00 - the thymus
16:45 - the limitations of organ regrowth
17:50 - backing up your brain and virtual avatars
22:00 - what is aging?
23:40 - the epigenetics of aging
25:00 - when does aging start?
28:15 - why is our Maximum age around 120?
29:35 - BLUBLOX: Blue-light Blocking Glasses For Sleep, Stress, And Health! Go To BluBlox.com And Use The Code melanieavalon For 15% Off!
32:30 - Gene Editing
34:40 - CRISPR
36:40 - gene replacement
37:40 - RNA
38:10 - epigenetic reprogramming
39:20 - is genetics or epigenetics the main driver of health
40:50 - how did we advance so fast in gene sequencing?
42:00 - eco-Imaging
43:20 - what is the margin for error in AI?
44:35 - detecting early stage cancer
47:00 - getting a 2nd opinion
48:45 - gender bias in AI
49:35 - women's health
52:00 - gender inclusion
52:40 - big tech
53:45 - the US healthcare system
54:35 - privacy in healthcare data
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1:02:20 - precision medicine
1:07:10 - detecting debilitating disease
1:10:00 - stem cell therapy
1:12:15 - cell banking
1:14:00 - what will the future look like?
1:16:05 - lifespan
1:16:40 - inequality in the world
1:17:15 - healthcare as a basic human right
1:18:45 - the health of the planet
1:23:20 - the sustainability of longevity
1:26:20 - self fulfilling population controls
1:28:00 - is a larger population really a problem?
Melanie Avalon: Hi, friends. Welcome back to the show. I am so incredibly excited about the conversation that I am about to have. It is with a repeat guest. That's how you know you have a good guest on the show. A little backstory about today's episode. You guys might have heard the first episode I did with Sergey Young. His people first reached out to me about his new book that was coming out, and at the time it wasn't out yet and a galley wasn't available so I couldn't pre-read it, but I was so excited about Sergey's work that I just had to bring him on immediately.
For listeners, I will put a link in the show notes to that first interview that we did, but now we are back because Sergey's book is actually coming out in August. And friends, it is incredible. It's called The Science and Technology of Growing Young: An Insider's Guide to the Breakthroughs that Will Dramatically Extend Our Lifespan and What You Can Do Right Now.
For listeners on this show, we talk a lot about longevity, we talk a lot about lifespan. Usually I'm interviewing doctors and scientists and really going into that aspect of aging. Sergey's book touches on all of that, but then it goes so much more beyond that into painting a very eye-opening view of what the future will actually look like when we implement these different lifespan techniques and science of longevity technology. It really just blew my mind. There are so many things that we can cover. Sergey, thank you so much for being here.
Sergey Young: Hi Melanie. Hi everyone. I'm so excited to be here with you today.
Melanie Avalon: One of the things I love talking to you because your excitement just shows through. You're just glowing. I mean, maybe that's what happens when you focus on longevity. I don't know.
Sergey Young: Yeah, it is. Look, I'm genetically predisposed to excessive level of optimism, so you just need to be careful. You always need to have someone skeptical beside me.
Melanie Avalon: I love that, but that's actually something that you pointed out in the book was your history is not longevity the whole time. You've done a lot of investing. And you talk about how you have a meter for-- A BS meter of sorts [laughs]. I was wondering, could you tell listeners who are not familiar with you a little bit about your little story and what led you to writing this book today about the future of longevity.
Sergey Young: Perfect. I'm 49, and the beauty of being involved in the field of longevity, you need to be healthy, happy, and look young. That's like a positive side effect of my mission. Actually, my mission is to change as many lives as possible so I do appreciate the opportunity to spend one or two hours with you today because this is the opportunity to share what we already discovered and what we managed to develop in the field of science and technology of longevity.
The unfortunate reality, we all start our interests in the field of health and longevity with a wake-up call. And I had two. One was lung cancer of my father back in 2005. He survived, but the quality of his life has never recovered. For me, it was the story of extremely high cholesterol level. They wanted me to take statin, but I realized there's so many ways to go around this without taking medication every day till the rest of my life.
This is where the interest into the longevity started to develop. I kind of thought, if I want to support this space, development, all these beautiful technologies which will make us healthier in a very affordable and accessible way, the best way to do it is to, like a launch of investment fund, which I did. I'm a founder of $100 million Longevity Vision Fund. I have the most amazing job in the world, because we're looking at 200 longevity technology companies a year to invest in 10 of them.
So many doors from labs or so many beautiful minds from entrepreneurial talent open up to me. Well, it's been amazing. I thought, if I spend time with the most brilliant minds in the science of longevity, and if I'm spending time with the best entrepreneurs in this field, I need to share it with the world. That's the background, that's the idea behind the book. It's been amazing three years journey. I did more than 40 interviews. I discuss human avatars with Peter Jackson, creator and co-creator of Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Hobbits, genome sequencing with George Church. 3D bioprinting of organs, and organ regeneration with amazing woman, with Martine Rothblatt, epigenetic changes with David Sinclair. Look, it's just there's so many stuff that I learn. Well, this is what I put in the book.
Melanie Avalon: No, it's absolutely incredible. Just reading your book, all of the names, the many that you just mentioned, and Lord of the Rings is actually my favorite movie series of all time. Reading the book, I was like, oh, it's all the people I've had on the show and the most brilliant minds that I'm just so fascinated by. It's just such a wonderful collective in my opinion. I have so many questions for you. I'm really curious. So, you invest in about 10 companies per year, you said?
Sergey Young: Yeah. If you look at Longevity Vision Fund portfolio today, we have 16 companies, and some of them have really amazing stories behind them.
Melanie Avalon: What's the one you're most excited about right now?
Sergey Young: Just a little bit of background. I do believe that if we change the view of our body from biological perspective to more like an engineering one, this is where old car metaphor is relevant. Similar to the old car, we can extend resource of our body and mind if we can, for example, replace our organs. That's why I'm very excited about a company called LyGenesis, they’re based in Pittsburgh. What they do, they use our lymph nodes to regrow organs inside our own body. So, they started with liver. Organ transportation today is a huge problem. In US, I think the waiting list for organ transplant is as long as 117,000 people today, and 17 people die every day just waiting for their donor. The ratio of people who are okay with donating their organs and the people who need them is really unfavorable, and it's very expensive surgery.
Like liver transportation is $600,000 to $800,000, so you need wait for a few months. The probability of success is not really guaranteed. What LyGenesis does is they split donor liver in 50 to 75 pieces. Here's the opportunity not to help in one to one ratio, but one donor liver can help 75 people. They use very simple laparoscopic operation to put this nucleus of the new liver in your lymph node. They obviously do treatment of that. Then in the course of three to six months, a new liver grows inside your body. And it actually picks up the function from your current liver, which is not working properly. This is just amazing. They've done so many trials with primates, with dogs, with pigs, and they just got FDA approval earlier this year, so they start human trials in the end of this year.
They will be able to help so many people to save their lives and then improve the quality of their life. What is more exciting is their next program is with thymus, this small thing inside our body responsible for our immunity. What it does is it grows and it’s working properly when we are young, like before age of 20 or 22, and then it starts to shrinks because mother nature think that you've done with your reproductive program, it doesn't really need you. So, if we will be able to regrow thymus inside our body, well, that's just the opportunity to renew ourselves, even to reverse aging. All the trials that I know, which had an outcome of reversing aging, do age reversal with the impact of like minus two or minus three years, involve some growth hormones to regenerate thymus. I'm super optimistic about this whole thing.
Melanie Avalon: So, question about the liver, because the liver is often known as the organ that can regenerate itself. Does that mean that technology-- Well, you talked about applying it to the thymus as well, is it limited by certain organs that have that innate capability to regrow or could it possibly be extended to different organs as well?
Sergey Young: They’re looking at more organs at the moment. The next target is kidney. kidneys, I think, and they have more plans that I couldn't really release at the moment, but it's very exciting. I do believe that in 10, 20 years from now, within the near horizon of longevity as I kind of say in the book, we will be able to regrow or replace or support so many organs. Actually, the two most difficult ones are heart and our brain.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. With the brain, okay, because it feels like if you replace the different parts of your body, that it doesn't seem that it would affect your consciousness, but if you completely replace your brain, do you think it would affect your consciousness?
Sergey Young: I'm not sure. Look, and we’re talking about something which can happen in 20 years from now, right? It's like having a conversation about internet and smartphones back in year 2000. In my humble opinion, to the extent we can predict the future, I don't think replacing the brain is the main avenue that we will take. I think it's going to be just much easier to reproduce our brain, our thoughts, our memory in the virtual world. It's going to be like, we're going be waking up our brain like every month or so.
Then, if you want, you can exist as a virtual avatar or as a robotic avatar. In fact, actually my resolution for the next year is to create a virtual avatar of Sergey Young. he's going to be working with me, doing ask me anything events, speaking at conferences, spreading the word about healthy longevity and changing people mindsets and lives. For the first three or six months, it's going be his learning process. And then, it can help me to like double down on my mission to you make the world a better place, but this is really early stage.
At LVF, at Longevity Vision Fund, we wanted to invest in human avatars, but we were struggling to find like a solution. Is it going to be robotic avatars in the future or it's going to be virtual avatars? It seems to me that it's so much easy and more efficient to reproduce us in a virtual environment. And it's a pity to realize that we might be going into virtual avatar avenue. But I did make friends with Professor Tachi from Japan. He was the one, and I interviewed him for, or my book, he was the one, invented the human avatar idea back in 1980, and he still calls it tele-existence.
We were looking at so many companies who reproduce us in the virtual and robotic world. So, I'm very excited about this technology. Not for everyone, but my idea is that it can actually support a lot of cross-generational wisdom transfer. I would love to have an opportunity to speak to my grandfather. He's unfortunately passed away 25 years ago, but if I can spend like an hour of my time a month with his virtual avatar, I would still miss this time and continue to learn from his wisdom.
Melanie Avalon: This is crazy. I know for listeners, if this is the first time you're hearing of all this, it might seem a little bit out there, but I promise, if you read the book, there's so much reality happening with all of this. So, is it sort of like the difference between with the avatars, like having physical documents compared to our cloud-based system now?
Sergey Young: Yeah, just a little bit. Yes, exactly. Yeah, I agree with you. We shouldn't really shock the audience with the picture of four horizon of longevity. This is the set of technologies which is going to be available to us in 25 to 50 years from now. I do believe, by that time, we would solve all these scientific and technological problems, but we would still need to solve like morality of immortality issues, all the ethical problems of today's world. In addition to creating science and technology to extend our life, we would need to create life that we want to extend.
That's really far away. As well as audience, I'm actually expecting that with combination of excitement and fear, but I can tell you, and I can promise you, there's something more immediate that we can do now, or we’re going to see and use in the next 10 years from now, like what I call a near horizon of longevity innovation. This is more visible, more kind of friendly, more ethically obvious. The good news, it’s more affordable and accessible. We will be able to help so many people. I'm not interested in developing like longevity solution for each. I'm interested in developing longevity solution for everyone who wants it.
Melanie Avalon: Well, actually, yeah. Speaking to that solution concept, and then you already spoke a little bit about age reversal, maybe we should define for listeners, in your opinion, what aging is. Because I think some people think with this quest that it's about not dying. Some people think it's about aging backwards. If somebody was immortal for example, what age would they exist at? Like, what is aging?
Sergey Young: Yeah. Okay. Aging is a number of processes which starts in your body, and mind actually, from certain age, and I'll come back to certain age thing, which mother nature starts because you are not reproductively relevant anymore. Obviously, it's significant deterioration of all of these systems in your body. There's a famous framework that we all use called nine hallmarks of aging. Just to give you an example of what is that, so some of that is related to our genetics. It’s like, it's our genomic instability, or DNA mutations, or something that we call genetic diseases when we were unlucky in our genetic lottery.
That can happen and this can influence aging. Well, sometimes it's about-- You have the right, like genetic combination. I'm obviously simplifying the things, but just for the sake of everyone, even without a degree in biology can understand that. Well, sometimes your genes are okay, but then, the way they express themself is not okay. It's either change or certain damage of chemical structure of DNA, the way our genes express themself. That's called epigenetic dimension of aging as well.
Well, there's small things in our cells responsible for the whole energy in the cells called mitochondria. Sometimes they are not really working well, so thus they contribute to aging as well. Sometimes our stem cells, because of the age, we become a deficient of the stem cells in our body. It’s more and more than I can tell about different processes of aging. What we need to understand, it's not one single thing. If we would have, or if one solution to aging would exist, like a silver, then it's either mother nature would just discover that in the process of evolution, or it's brilliant human minds will discover this in a process of scientific research.
It's combination of things. It's one of the most complex tasks and challenges that we ever have been trying to solve in the overall human history. Then there's a lot of disagreement when aging starts. Some people say that it starts, well, from the first day of your life. I do believe, I'm more conservative on that, I do believe it's somewhere between year 40 and 45, where consolidation and combination of different aging processes inside your body start to manifest itself and you start to feel it in your biomarkers and the way you feel the level of energy and certain issues with your health.
Then, I just wanted to come back to your question about immortality. Well, the first thing, I'm not a fan of immortality. I do believe that if you take out the death from the human cycle, life cycle, we are not going to be humans. I'm not necessarily the guy who's working to make everyone immortal. Moreover, I do believe that we will be able to add 10, 20, or probably by the end of the century, like 50 healthy and happy years to our life, and that's already a lot.
Just to be precise, in the last kind of years, the average lifespan on earth increased from somewhere around 40 years to like 75 years, so we almost double that. This trend will continue. It's not like we have an option whether our lifespan will be increasing or not. Having said that, the maximum lifespan earth was always the same. The oldest people live to 120 or 122, to be precise. Thanks to this beautiful French woman who died somewhere around 20 years ago. We've done a lot of preventing of early death, and this is what we are currently doing.
What will change in the next 10 to 20 years, in addition to preventing early death, like fighting with cancer, heart disease, with neurogenerative disease, with diabetes, we will start to use technologies from near horizon of longevity, which is genetic in therapy, regenerative medicine, and organ regeneration, and longevity in a pill, like new class of drugs which will reverse aging. Actually, to start breaking this barrier of 122 years, so this is fundamental. This is something new. We've never done this before.
It's only the latest advancement in science and breakthroughs in technology allows us to do this. Then on my final and funny comment on immortality, even if we reach a certain point of time, and I don't believe it's going to be the case, it's not going to be like, you're going to decide today if you're going to be immortal or not. It's going to be a series of your life extension decisions, like whether you want to extend your life by another five or 10 years or not. That's actually a huge ethical issue. It's called suicide or playing God in so many societies around the world. And that's it.
But again, it's really far away, I'm more interested in bringing the best of genetic editing, gene therapy, organ regeneration, wearables, or diagnostic to the world so we all can enjoy plus 10, plus 20 extremely healthy and very happy years.
Melanie Avalon: Do you have a personal theory about why there is that sound barrier seemingly at age 120 or 122?
Sergey Young: If you look at the nature, we do have few species can live well up to 200 years, like Greenland whale. Also, just a few species on earth don't have aging mechanism embedded in them. They’re like forever young, blend with my name, and then if they die, it's either because of competitors or adverse external shocks, etc. But then, I do think that mother nature was planning us, humans, with a limiting belief of, not necessarily being resourceful, assuming that we have access to limited resource horses. For us to continue to evolve as a species, then after we've done with our reproductive program, we would need to die to free up the space and resources to younger generation. Well, that's my idea. I'm not sure if this is right or wrong. We still don't have the answer to that anyway.
Melanie Avalon: Is that like the altruistic theory?
Sergey Young: Yeah, obviously it's continuation of my idealistic and super positive view of the world.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, awesome. Well, moving forward to the different modalities in technologies that you're talking about. So, gene editing, I would love to hear more about it. You talk the book all about CRISPR and how it actually works. This was the first time that I felt like I got sort of a sense of what was going on with that, but for listeners who are not familiar, so what is gene editing?
Sergey Young: Yeah, I mean, in overall terms, well, there’s so many things to talk about, but I'll just try to be as short and entertaining as I can be. Sometimes the whole or the part of our genomic setup is defective or missing. It can happen at the moment of birth or it can change or mutate during our adult life. Any of these variations can disrupt how proteins are made in our body and this in turn contributes to health problems or diseases. Okay? That's how important our genetic setup is.
Then, roughly 20 to 30 years ago, we started to play around with this. Well, the first thing that we wanted to do is to sequence human genome. It's just massive number of very complex thing that we need to sequence, like US spent, I think it was 13 years, and 3 billion in the end of last century to sequence one human genome. It was a massive undertaking. They actually wanted to stop a year two, I think, because within the two years they managed to sequence only 1% of human genome.
Fast forward today, you can sequence them in just a couple of hours and it costs roughly around $200. That's it. Well, this is how far we went. After we understood the way we construct it on a DNA level, the first technology came into the space, it's called CRISPR, but right now we have so many different technologies. We can do it inside human body. We can do it outside the human body. I'll cover some of them which I find very interesting. But the first technology to do like an alteration of our DNA was developed, and it's called CRISPR. This is actually like a genetic scissors who can cut and replace a part of your DNA.
This is the simplest way to explain it. Then, when it was developed like 25 years ago, as far as I recall, it was only available and tested on handful of humans. There was literally less than 10 people in the world who can afford to use CRISPR because they were about to die because of their extremely rare and severe genetic disease so they had nothing to lose on this planet. This is where experiments started. Fast forward today, we’re all participating, hopefully in the very positive, I'm actually positive about that, in a genetic therapy experiment. Because Moderna, AstraZeneca, a lot of different COVID vaccines is actually is a product of gene therapy.
Imagine, and this is what we've done in the course of what? 30 years. What is brilliant about this whole thing, it makes us stronger as a species. I think I was just looking a month ago in a headline of one of the articles and it says Moderna vaccine has been developed in the course of two days. Can you imagine that? In like 100, 200 years ago, it took decades for us to develop vaccine. Right, now look at the COVID response in terms of testing our ability to develop vaccines, our ability to roll out vaccines. We've done, like humanity, done an amazing job in this regard.
This is how far we went with our ability to influence our genetic setup. What we can do is there's so many technologies which is there. I told you about the CRISPR, which is basically like a genetic scissors. We just invested in a company it's called Tessera. It's been founded by Flagship Pioneerings, one of the most prominent biotech funds in the world. They’re based in Boston. So, they've develop like a new technology and they, rather than just replacing one gene, they can work on combination of genes.
This is very different, because CRISPR is good like a scissors like cutting out the genes, but not in writing the new genes. Tessera approach utilize like a separate, it's called mobile genetic elements, which is segments of DNA and they can jump around our genome and make extra copies on themselves. So, they can just literally write and rewrite our genetic code. That's called editing. That's the whole thing. The other example, which I mention, like Moderna and AstraZeneca and all these vaccines, sometimes they use RNA, and this is like a separate missing link between DNA and how it translates to signals to our body.
There's basically using different vehicles like viruses to deliver proteins or genetic elements to our body. Or you can do, like if you speak to David Sinclair, the professor in Harvard Medical School and the author of New York Times bestseller, Lifespan, amazing book, amazing man with a beautiful mind and beautiful heart, you can actually even influence the gene expression. One of the technologies says, “Okay, guys we don't want to really work with DNA, it's too important. It's too fundamental. Well, let's just try to switch on or switch off some of the genes which are already existing.” That's called epigenetic reprogramming. But again, I just don't want to bother you with a lot of details.
But coming back to basics, first time in the history of humanity, we have an opportunity to alter and redefine our genetic makeup. In addition to COVID vaccines, we can work with rare genetic diseases. While there's special kind of diseases called rare diseases, while they’re called rare, they’re not that rare. 400 million people on earth are suffering from rare diseases of genetic and non-genetic nature. We have an opportunity to save lives and improve the quality of lives of these people. I'm super excited about this whole thing
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, I've had David Sinclair on the show twice, so I'll put links in the show notes to his books. Lifespan is one of my favorite books of all time as well. It's something that you actually pointed out about the genetics versus epigenetics. I think this is kind of funny because I think most people, not in the biohacking longevity sphere, think genetics trump epigenetics. I think people in the biohacking longevity sphere often think epigenetics are more important than genetics. You talked in your book about how some people actually do theorize that genetics are actually more influential than epigenetics. I don't know if it even matters, but between the two, do you think genetics or epigenetics are the driving factor in everything?
Sergey Young: Yeah. Well, I do think the epigenetic avenue is just one of the tools for us to make sure our DNA work. Then your choice is try to influence that without touching DNA and just manage an expression of that, switch on switch off. Or you can try to handle this on genetic level. In my terms, and again, I'm not-- I have three degrees, but none of them in biology classes. I went to biology, it was chemical engineering, which is actually pretty helpful in our field. I do think it's just, using epigenetic therapy is just one of the ways for us to make sure our DNA works properly without ignoring the fact whether we have some genetic mutations or not.
Melanie Avalon: Major question about the advances that with the history of CRISPR and gene editing. Because you talked about how they did 1% of the genome and now they've done the whole thing and we can do it really fast. How do we get those advances? Is it artificial intelligence that allows us to make advances so fast or what's the timeline of all of this?
Sergey Young: Yeah, it's everything related to computer power. Therefore, like the quantity of the changes, the magnitude of the changes there help us to create artificial intelligence and mine a lot of data. This is what genome sequencing and gene editing is about. It's like, if you want to simplify the things, there’s just enormous spike and exponential growth of computing power, data processing power, creation of artificial intelligence, which happen in parallel with decreasing the cost of that. That's like, almost everywhere we invest in Longevity Vision Fund, within Longevity Vision Fund, as a particular component of big data, mining, or artificial intelligence, even if it's like affordable ultrasound devices.
There is a company called Echo Imaging. By the way, it’s an interesting story. Ultrasound device in a hospital next door costs somewhere between hundred and $200,000 for you, right? It does require a doctor to operate with at least two years of education. And it's all done by human eyes. What Echo Imaging does, they created the device, which cost $2,000, which is 50 times less than ultrasound device, like a non-portable ultrasound device machine. What it does, you do all the scanning. It can be done by a nurse, or even by you if you are in an extraordinary situation. All the scans go to the cloud, then it's pre-analyzed by artificial intelligence.
Then it's you, the nurse and doctor can receive like a 98%, 99% pre-analyzed set of scans, pointing out a particular problem on your scans or your organs that you do this. Is it traditional medical device? Yes. Does it have always amazing component of getting the health data and analyzing this and give an opportunity for human intelligence and artificial intelligence to coexist and corporate? Yes, as well.
Melanie Avalon: Are there checkpoints in place for the artificial technology, like for intelligence? Does it ever make errors? Is there the possibility with all of this exponential growth that artificial intelligence could draw the incorrect conclusions and then just run with it?
Sergey Young: Yeah, I mean, there was a number of cases. They’re outside biology, but like when—It's people who are going to write the rules for AI, and obviously they have all these stereotypes and right and wrong paradigms behind that. But overall, I do think that we humans tend to see world in a very binary terms, like it's either black or white, one or zero. We’re so mutually exclusive in our thinking. I do believe that the artificial intelligence and human intelligence will coexist, will cointegrate, both on the level of working and do early diagnostic. I'll give you example of that, on a level of human brain-AI integration. Remember, there's so many things that we thought are incompatible and cannot be integrated that we integrated later on. So, if you look at, for example, imagine you've done an MRI.
Well, this is what I've done. June 8th, this year, it was my annual health checkup date. I do think it's the most important date every year, the date of your medical checkup. My wife have a different idea on what is the most important date. If you listen to me, so what has happen in the last two years? I've done full body MRI. Then it's not only radiologist who looks from my scan. First, it's done by artificial intelligence and then radiologists check whether the conclusions are right and/or is anything I need to be doing on the basis of this conclusion.
Let's look at early stage breast cancer. If you put radiologists under time pressure, and that's unfortunate reality for their work today in the healthcare system. Again, for early stage cancer, not for the late stage, they’re sometimes like 38% right in their understanding and their ability to detect very early stage of the breast cancer. That's the figure. Again, this is for amazing doctor just under time pressure. But then, if you ask combination of human radiologists and artificial intelligence to analyze exactly the same scan, the outcome of this is 98% detection of early stage breast cancer. Imagine that.
Well, this is amazing. Again, we are going to be coexisting with that, and we are going to leverage the best of both minds to do that. This is very important because cancer is not a kiss of death anymore. It was the case 20 or 40 years ago, but not today. If you do early diagnostic of cancer, then a probability of your recovery is from 90% to 100% for some of the cancer types. Imagine that. That's why I saved so many lives just by pushing people to do their annual checkups.
They called me up like, “Sergey, you saved my life.” Actually, after a few calls like that, this is when I decided to work on longevity. I thought there's nothing more important that I can bring to this world. If this is so simple, then I should leverage this to help billions.
Melanie Avalon: I really applaud to you for encouraging listeners to take things into their own hands, as far as monitoring their blood work and getting their tests. Actually, speaking to all of this, because I'm always getting blood tests to see where I'm at with everything. Interestingly, my last set of labs, I got the lab results back and they didn't seem right. Certain levels didn't seem like they were even possible and I reached out to the lab company and I was like, “Is it possible these are incorrect.” They reviewed it and agreed and sent me a new test slip because they said it probably was wrong. I don't know. I guess it just speaks to the importance of having lots of eyes on things in the future, both human and artificial intelligence.
Sergey Young: Yeah, exactly. Well, this is a great point and it's great illustration for so many things. One of the things, always ask for second and third opinion, and that's okay to pay extra for that. Because right now, we're living in a world of medicine, which is done only by human. Humans can make a mistake. We all can make a mistake. That's why I do think it's important to be really proactive in getting a second or third opinion. If you are in a difficult health condition or you think you’re in a difficult health condition. Also, I think it's illustration of my other point that we, today, we outsource so many health-related decisions to other parties, which potentially could have a conflict of interest. I'm not blaming that, right?
Like healthcare providers, insurance companies, big pharma, big food, governments as well. I'm not saying you should be the only one to make decisions on your own health, but you should be part of conversation. I do think it's time to take responsibility and actually, well, enjoy it. Take responsibility for our own health. That's the opportunity.
Melanie Avalon: I agree so, so much. Actually, something that you're talking about with humans being the one programming the programs for the AI, something I'm actually a little bit concerned about, and I'd be curious your thoughts on this, is the potential role of gender bias in AI. I was reading studies that Google, for example, with their algorithms will show higher paying jobs to males rather than females, for example, in search results. And then, just in the health world, historically, I think a lot of studies have been done on males. Do you think that's a potential issue where there'll be a more equalization of studying gender? What do you think about the role of gender?
Sergey Young: This is extremely interesting topic and this might be the topic for my next book.
Melanie Avalon: Oh really? Oh, cool. I'm so excited.
Sergey Young: Yeah, two years ago I discovered, and I have to admit, I'm not proud of it, but I discovered the world of woman health. It was a conversation with few females, amazing entrepreneurs. We just started to talk about longevity and I realized that some of our trials has been done by white males with white males, and they assume it's work for everyone. If you speak to someone beside you, if you're a man and you speak to the woman beside you, you can realize that the world of health and longevity for a woman, it's just completely different. It has so many different perspective. So, it's different in terms of reproductive health and women has much bigger commitment timewise effort-wise and resources-wise for reproduction.
For men, aging is a slow process, starting in the age of 40 or 45. For woman, it's like a step change in menopause. For woman, it's completely different degree of hormonal volatility. It's all about cycles like including the monthly one. Woman is responsible for 80% of health-related decisions for the family and community. There's just a bigger degree of responsibility only family level and the health of other generations like parents or kids. I just rediscovered this whole fascinating world for me two years ago. That's why my dream is, and I'm still haven't decided about the next book, is to look at longevity gaps between men and women, only through the difference for-- People of different colors and for people who are economically disadvantaged or living in a poor or in a rich regions or in zip codes. Some of the neighboring zip codes in US and in the UK have a lifespan difference of 15 years.
Can you imagine that? Or difference in lifespan country by country can be like 10 years, 15 years as well. I think it's a fascinating topic and we need to learn from so many humans that we have on earth rather than just assuming the world is white and full of man.
Melanie Avalon: Are you seeing changes as far as including women more and more in trials?
Sergey Young: Do I see that? Yes. I think it's the level of two of 5% that I would expect we need to make a change.
Melanie Avalon: What do you think it'll take? The way the system is currently set up, clearly, it's sustaining itself the way it is with studying males. Is there some sort of catalyst that would make it necessary to include women more?
Sergey Young: Yes. I do think the change will come not from the old players doing the new things. It's going to be new players disrupting the whole system. I mean, obviously, the theme of big tech, like Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, it's controversial for some of the people, but what I like about them, they’re looking at health as a new opportunity, but also, they’re looking at the issues of our health in a very digital way. They have an opportunity for personalization and this personalization goes far beyond a couple of gender types that we thought we had in the world.
It's an opportunity. And then it might be an opportunity, it's going to be like male, female, or an opportunity to have precise version of healthcare and medicine, which is designed for you. Well, I do believe that largest healthcare companies on earth, in 10 years from now, are going to be called Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google. Unless the government and the society realize that we have amazing opportunity to let average our human health data, making sure we protect the privacy of that, but it’s just transformational for human beings. Like US, and I say it with a lot of love, has the most inefficient, the most expensive healthcare system on earth.
We spend 18% of GDP on healthcare. This is awful. The results are not to the degree that we all deserve and expect. UK, which has longer lifespan spends 8% of GDP. Singapore, which shares the top two place on earth in terms of the health span and lifespan with Japan, spends 5% percent of its GDP on healthcare. We have an opportunity to disrupt healthcare cost. Imagine if we can save like 9% of GDP, like a half of healthcare cost, how many beautiful things we can do for the world and for US as well.
Melanie Avalon: Actually, and you just touched on something that I really did want to ask you about, and that is the whole privacy factor. You were talking in the book about how the price of different things on the black market and how people's health data is shockingly more, it's worth so much more than other things. What is the role of privacy and everything, and what do people do with this health data that they're selling? Why do people buy it on the black market?
Sergey Young: Yeah. What is happening, science and technology became much more digital these days. To draw conclusions, you need to have a massive number of health data samples. And they’re not easily available today. I'll explain in a second why is that? Well, mine or yours, health data, just in isolation, would not be so valuable. But if you think about the database of very, and that's the question, very comprehensive health data records, it goes up in the sky. So, people are looking for a high-end number of data, which present the data from thousands or ten of thousand people.
This is where it becomes valuable for medical research, for developing different technologies. You can test so many hypotheses on that. This is one thing. Well, the other thing, why is that such a problem and why is that so expensive? Think about this. In some of the healthcare systems in US, 60% of exchange of information between hospitals or between hospitals and insurance company is done by fax machine. Can you imagine that?
Melanie Avalon: Every time they ask me to fax my records or something, I'm like, “We're still in this age of faxing?”
Sergey Young: Yeah. When was the last time you've seen fax machine? I couldn't really remember this time. Yeah. But like, imagine, this is not digital. This is analog, right? This is just a picture copy of your data records. This works against us. In my office, I have like a bookshelf on all my data records, and they’re all on paper and they’re all from, I don't know, 10, 20 different places, 10, 20 different doctors. This is awful. There's no central data repository. Some country is building that like Iceland, Finland, UK, Singapore. It needs to be done on the government level and it needs to be regulated. This is how we can protect our privacy. We can leverage this for our own benefit and not in a form of us receiving hundreds or a thousand dollars for our health dataset. The gain that we will get from decrease of the healthcare cost is just going to be amazing and enormous.
Melanie Avalon: So, that will actually protect our privacy, having all of that information somewhere?
Sergey Young: Yeah. I do think. I mean, if you approach this from the government level, the solution going to be much more balanced if you outsource it to the big tech. Because big tech has a very controversial relationship with privacy. I'm still for the big tech. I think my convenience and efficiency again, by using my smartphone from Apple, is much bigger than the threat of me losing the privacy. I don't do anything which I would hide from the world anyway, but then, rather than relying on my common sense, I would rely on regulation and the role of the government and healthcare authorities.
Melanie Avalon: Well, actually speaking to that, I personally had sort of a paradigm shift in that whole world because I used to think, oh, everything is safest if it it's with me physically, like I have it in my apartment, lock and key, but then I got broken into and they took all my stuff and my hard drive. And I was like, oh, actually, it would've been better to have had it all in a cloud-based system where I can turn on and off access. I actually now feel safer using that modality, so that does make sense.
Sergey Young: Yeah, that's true. What I realized, the first time I went to Singularity University set up by Ray Kurzweil and Peter Diamandis, two of the people who actually wrote the foreword for the book, like one of the lectures was about privacy. In a nutshell, the whole takeaway was that guys, you should assume there's nothing private in this world anymore. Obviously, I mean, it's not that bad. Whatever I do today, I should be able to explain to anyone. That's just my paradigm. It was difficult to accept that and I still don't want to believe in that, but that's the reality of today.
Melanie Avalon: I had a huge debate. I was like, should I get one of those apps that holds all of your passwords safely in one thing. I actually do, I don't know, I feel like accepting all of it and I feel better using those modalities, and I do think it's probably the way of the future so we shall see. You talked about precision medicine and making things really customized and unique. I think, because you talk in your book about a lot of DIY diagnostics and wearables. I do think that is probably, out of all the insane stuff you talk about in your book that maybe some of my listeners have started to play around with. Like I'm wearing a CGM right now, for example. What do you think is the future of all of that, and what are things listeners can do right now? Like I mentioned the CGM.
Sergey Young: Okay. I mean, remember my checkup day this year was June 8th. You should see me on a June 9th. I was just full of sensors. Think about this. The car that you're driving is so full of sensors. You can understand a big, and even a small problem happening. Why we couldn't apply the same approach to human body in mind. We're starting to use that in our context. I'm where continuous glucose monitor as well. Well, it's actually entertaining. I'm very healthy at my age of 49, but to understand that, you do it. This is what I do once a year. I do Zio Patch, and this is, I think, it's a device produced by iRhythm. This is a device you put on your chest. It has a chip and it does electrocardiogram monitoring for like seven days in a row on your body.
The only inconvenience, you couldn't swim in the swimming pool for a long, but you can take showers, do other sport. And that's amazing. Then you take it away, you ship it to the company and they decode this and look how your heart will work. What else? I'm using Oura ring to look at my sleep cycles, because after reading Matthew Walker and Why We Sleep book, I changed my mind completely on the importance of sleep. I'm a big fan, I'm actually wearing, you should see me, WHOOP on one hand and like Apple watch on the other hand. I'm experimenting a lot with that. I do believe, if you think about wearables, we tend to think about wearables as things which counts our steps and show us time and notifications. It's not anymore. It's our personalized healthcare device.
I do believe it's like Samsung, Apple watch, WHOOP, Fitbit with a couple of features in the next two or three years, like continuous glucose monitoring and a blood pressure monitor. I do believe this is like a 90% of the data that you want to collect and monitor about the work of your body. I was on Fitbit for so many years and I still miss my Fitbit time, but I switched to Apple watch because Apple is investing a lot in the healthcare.
I've just seen the report last year from Morgan Stanley saying that apple might do like 50% of their revenue from healthcare by the end of this decade. So, they're very serious about investing in that. They might want and they can solve so many different problems done by old players. I'm still looking at the options to track work of my brain so I'm not really ready to discuss that. But this whole role of wearables and sensors are transformational and we need to start as soon as possible.
Fast forward, like 20 years from now or 30 years from now, I call it in the far horizon of longevity, I call it internet of bodies. You’re obviously familiar with internet of things concept, when all the devices are interconnected and connected to the global network, it's going to be distributed. Anyway, same thing will happen with our body and with our bodies. We’re all going to be full of sensors. We’re all going to be connected to the global distributed network, which is going to be responsible for mining our data and giving us important conclusions, important warnings about the diseases that are not even at early stage, just the beginning in our body. We'll be able to manage and fight the, and obviously this will be a huge boost for our own productivity and health and happiness and longevity.
Melanie Avalon: For listeners, they know I love my Oura Ring. It's one of my favorite things and I'll put links in the show notes to interviews I've done with them. Yeah, so I think listeners will be pretty familiar with all those things, which is incredible. Do you think, as far is the monitoring, because I can see how monitoring the body, like you said, constantly for all of these diseases and things like that, I can see how that would be great for predicting or finding acute illnesses. What I'm wondering about is like degenerative illnesses. Is there the potential for metabolic disease? Is there a solution for that in the pharmaceutical world or do you think lifestyle changes are what it's going to take to reverse those types of issues?
Sergey Young: Yeah, I'm wearing two hats. One is like investor and the guy who is big fan of science and technology and the other one is a human being. While we've seen some drugs actually recently approved to fight obesity, but I hate the idea of people eating industrial and processed food, increasing significantly their calories intake, suffering from obesity, and then needed to take drugs against that. We're just trying to replace this whole beautiful like a vessel and all the beautiful processes that mother nature gave to us which we can use. I do believe lifestyle changes, and then diet changes, physical activity changes are the best way to manage that.
Melanie Avalon: Wasn't lifespan down for the first time recently?
Sergey Young: Here in the US.
Melanie Avalon: Just the us.
Sergey Young: Yeah. Well, that's why I say this is-- We have, and again, unfortunately, and with a lot of love, and it’s nothing to do with doctors actually. US is almost like the only developed country on earth, where in the last five years, pre-COVID, we had a decline of life expectancy and lifespan for like three years out of five.
Melanie Avalon: Wow. What do you think that says about the future of everything with the US having a lot of these advances in technology if it's not panning out?
Sergey Young: Yeah. I'm not really in the field of-- I have European passport, so I don't think I have a moral right to criticize US political and regulatory system. There a lot of in the coming out from US, because whatever things you invent, it's superior to the current practice and current cost and current efficiency, so that's a huge efficiency game. But I think it just reconfirmed my point that disruption will come from the direction that we don't expect this to come like a big tech or scientific and technological innovation happening in Boston, which I think is biotech capital of the world, or from LA and San Diego and, Silicon, like from Silicon Valley, California.
But I do believe this is an opportunity for us to switch from biological to more engineering view to human health. And therefore, the science and technology will play a significant role to disrupt this whole thing.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, gotcha. Something else we didn't touch on yet, but it's a huge topic and it's something else in the antiaging field and that's the role of stem cell therapy. Are you investing in any companies that work with stem cells?
Sergey Young: No, we don’t. Obviously stem cells are important for our overall health. For our audience, stem cell therapy is just the use of the stem cells to treat or prevent particular disease or condition. For some of the reason from regulatory perspective, US has very strict view on approval and review of stem cells therapies. People started to abuse that. I think it's just a handful 10 stem cells therapies or interventions approved for the use in the US for very specific medical conditions, not for the general use. Usually, when people ask me like, “Do I need to do this stem cells injection urgently? Do I need to go to Mexico or to the islands nearby close to Florida to do that?” I'm just saying like, if you are going to stay on longevity bridge for another 10 to 20 years, just by applying the current technologies, current approved therapies, taking care of your lifestyle choices, well, it’s just life extension for another 10 to 20 years anyway.
So, do that and wait another five to seven until we'll get more clarity on the stem cells, particularly on the side effect of it and we can use that. I'm really conservative with that. I know some-- Obviously I'm part of the biohacking community of longevity community, even transhumanist community while I'm not embracing immortality at all or cryogenic preservation. Yeah, obviously I've been offered to do like a stem cell procedure so many times in my life, but I've never done so. I'm 49, and I do believe, for the next 10, 20 years, I'm going to be fine. Just making sure I use all the opportunity that science or diagnostic, checkups, lifestyle changes can offer me.
Melanie Avalon: Do you do any of the banking of cells?
Sergey Young: No, I, I haven't done this.
Melanie Avalon: This 10 to 20 years thing, so is it basically the concept that if we can make it 10 to 20 years, there'll be radical advances?
Sergey Young: Yeah. This is, I think, Ray Kurzweil said it. You just need to live long enough to live forever. You don't need to it forever. This is our choice. I think it's the next 10, 15 years is going to be super critical and we need to survive, and not only survive, but manage our level of health, both physical and mental one. We didn't discuss this today, but we should. I think it's super important. You'll enjoy this next 10, 15 years, just going on a discovery road, how your body works, how your mind works, and what you can do to influence that, what are your lifestyle choices, what are the new pieces of technologies and diagnostic?
This is a brave new world and we can really prosper there. Then in 10, 15, like a 20 years’ time, the world is going to be full of completely different technologies and scientific discoveries that we can significantly and fundamentally change the way we age and even do age reversals measured by a set of biomarkers. And we'll finally will be able to break the sound barrier of 122 years.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. I think that's one of the most exciting things for me personally. I mean, I'm nowhere near in the extent that you're in it, but just experimenting with all of these biohacking technologies and wearables and devices and things. It's really, really exciting to learn more about your own biology and how to “biohack” it. I just think it's a grand fun time [laughs]. I love bringing listeners along for the ride. Another question about the future of all of this, in the book, you have a very substantial section on the potential concerns people might have of what this future might look like. What do you think the future will look like as far as humanity as a species? Will it create a new species? Will we have new social classes? Will the power system get disrupted? Are there concerns with all of that?
Sergey Young: Yeah, so I call it morality of immortality. It’s the last chapter of my book. Well, second to last, because I have a bonus chapter which is twice as long as any other chapter in the book called Who Wants to Live Forever? Like 10 longevity choices that you should do today, not to wait for another 10 years. Funny enough, when I submitted it, and it's a chapter about the ethics of longevity, the ethics of today's world, when I submitted it to the publisher, the initial feedback was like, “Sergey, can you just take out this chapter?” I'm like, “Why, why?” Actually, I thought they just hate this whole ethical idea. No, it's not. They said, “It deserves to be a separate book.” But then obviously, what I told them like, every chapter-- All 12 chapters of my book deserve to be like a separate book, because nothing is more complex than human biology and human ethics, so they agreed to that.
What I'm saying, is if you ask people in US, in UK today, and I'm using that because I have a data for that, whether they want to extend their lifespan, 65% to 75% of people say, no. This was really shocking to me. I actually was in in Vatican and a conference. I had the audience with Pope Francis back in this time, back in 2018. Even if you ask the best doctors in the world, and this is the conference that I attended, 80% of them to say, no. why is that? I do believe that we were so focused on the science and technology, but we were not really focused on redefining the world, redefining the social norms, redefining our ethics. A lot of people don't want to live in like a standard of life in this version of the world.
I'm always saying we have managed to create the science and technology that can extend our life, but we haven't created a life that we want to extend. The time is now. We need to start a global conversation around our ethics and moral choices, how we change the world for us to like and love the idea of living longer. There's so many things that we need to fix like inequality. We did discuss that. Again, I just couldn't really explain through my altruistic and idealistic mind why people living nearby in two zip codes, which are really like next to each other, should have a life spent difference of 15 years. Some of the regions, like neighbor in regions in London, have a have even a bigger longevity gap. Why is that?
Right to receive healthcare, like in the most efficient and technological version of healthcare should be basic human right. I actually believe we have so many dividing themes in today's society, a longevity, an affordable version of longevity can be one of the few unifying themes, which will solve the inequality gap for people. That's one. Well, the other one is our social structure, marriage, carrier, retirement has been created when we all were living somewhere between like a have 50 and 65 years. So, your life paradigm was completely different. We need to have the answers to the questions like, what will happen if I outlive my children, or what do I do with kids from multiple generation? How our marriage institutions should evolve. Two-thirds of the marriages go through the divorce in the first five or seven years. This is awful.
We need to redefine that. Will it be like kids raising partnership with more degree of responsibility, even legal responsibility of two parents? Might be the case. I don’t know the answer. I'm not in a position to define the answers. We need to do this collectively. What will happen with my career? Will I have as many careers as decades in my life? That's just the other question we need to solve. Or our relationship with modern nature. When I say we need to take back responsibility for our health, I also mean, not only our health, but the health of our planet.
If you live in 65 years old, you have an opportunity to live irresponsibly, like you can drop plastic in the ocean and think, okay, next generation will sort it out. but if we’re all going to live to hundred 150 years, we will face the consequences of our own actions. Is it an opportunity for us to adopt more responsible approach to relationship with the planet? Yes.
Melanie Avalon: It's a really beautiful chapter and I'm really excited for listeners to read it because it just really makes you think about so many things. I thought it was a very balanced approach to it because, obviously whenever you have a conversation about ethics, it's very easy to get on one intense polarizing side of things, but I thought you planted a really clear objective picture of where things are going and optimistic. I didn't even realize, I loved that you pointed out, for example, pollution, we often think is getting worse and worse. But you talked about NASA doing studies and seeing that, was it pollution that was down or deforestation or?
Sergey Young: Yeah. If you look at two largest countries on earth in terms of population, so it's India and China, I think they both have somewhere around 1.4 billion these days. The forest area in these both countries increased by 10% in the last 10 years. Well, that's amazing. One of the key messages that I convey in a context of longevity revolution, that environment around us is becoming more longevity friendly and more health friendly. I don't know if you know, but invention of cybercrime made streets safer.
Melanie Avalon: Oh interesting.
Sergey Young: Yeah. In some of these cities. I mean, obviously they probably were pretty dangerous cities, street crime went down by factor of three to five in the last 15 to 20 years. Can you imagine that? Well, it's partly because it's just much easier to do harm to us in the cyber network area and the internet through the internet rather than real life. That's one thing, but there's so more-- I do have more positive examples like driverless cars. If your car is managed by computer, not by you, mortality rates drop by factor of 10.
Melanie Avalon: Wow.
Sergey Young: Yeah. And this is for, even like for today's level of development of driverless car, and they're going to be more and more safer. If you listen to the news today, I mean, you’d think the world is falling apart. It's not. There's never been a beautiful time to live in the world, even today, as in post COVID time. It's a time for renewal and rethinking, or what was that? Like electric buses on the street. Two years ago, I don't have recent numbers, China had 500,000 electric buses on the streets. I think at this time US had like 2,000 or so. We need to work on that as well. Hopefully it's just getting better and better.
Or plant-based meat and fish. If we will replace the animal protein with plant-based protein, not for everyone, if you fancy of consuming it, well, that's a huge gain because industrial meat contains a lot of things that shouldn't be there, like antibiotics, like growth hormones, like E. coli bacteria. I was just speaking to the head of Human Longevity Clinic in San Diego. My question was, what's your biggest concern? I'm 100% sure just amount of sugar that we take with sugar drinks and all the industrial food that we consume. They said, “No, our biggest concerns is that we’re becoming resistant to antibiotics.” Because imagine that, I think it's 70% of antibiotics in the US is consumed by animals and by fish on the farms. Not by us directly. That's a ridiculous number.
Melanie Avalon: I know a lot of my audience is not vegan vegetarian, but I think the abysmal state of conventional agriculture is, I mean, it's just really, really terrible. It makes me sad that it gets—If you have a animal inclusive diet, that often gets lumped in-- It gets associated with the conventional agriculture system, which is just so problematic, so I'm glad that people are becoming more and more aware of all of that. What about the actual population of the planet it and the sustainability just space-wise, food-wise.
Sergey Young: Yeah. So, what are the concerns that people have around longevity or extreme longevities? Concern number one is, is it going to be available for everyone? My promise, yes. The technologies and scientific discoveries that we’re investing through Longevity Vision Fund, and we are not the only ones to support the space. We have a brilliant community of enthusiast in science, technology, entrepreneurship, even on the regulatory front, like the efficiency gain that we get through using these technologies is improvement by 10 to 20, but not percent, times. Imagine that. I do believe it's going to be affordable and accessible for everyone. And it's due to technology, not because we will just collectively decrease the prices and regulate the prices.
That's one. The second piece like, will we have enough resources? Two biggest resource constraints that we actually have in our mind, this is like the only place that we don't have abundance of resources, is our mindset. If you speak about energy, the cost of renewable energy production decreased exponentially in the last 10, 20 years. I'm not worried about this one. I think it's China in India, closed, made a decision a few years ago to close hundreds coal electricity generating plans. Funny enough, if you go to Beijing, I haven't been there for lo last three years, but the skies there, you can see the skies and pollution has decreased quite substantially.
If you look at this, I'm not concerned about energy, I'm not concerned about food, because if you look at statistics, 45% of food in US goes to waste from our household, from supermarkets, from restaurant. Again, this is insane. We can just leverage this, even if we can leverage like one fifth of this to feed people. I mean, it's going to be amazing and we’re overeating anyway. There’s a lot of disagreement in the scientific community, what extends our life today, but there’s only one agreement that calorie restriction, taking and consuming less calories, like 15% to 25% less than the usual intake actually extends your healthy lifespan by three, five, or even like seven years, depending on the study, so I'm not concerned about food.
The next question is like, what are we going to do with overpopulation? We've done enough studies to show some striking and shocking numbers, how population of earth will evolve in the next 80 years. If you look at the-- One of the best ones, I think it was published in Lancet’s Journal early last year. What has happen, reproduction rates per female in majority of countries in the world, with exception of few countries in the African continents, is well below two. What will happen, if you do a mathematical model of how population of earth will evolve, this will increase to 10, 11, billions from today's eight by year 2050.
In the end of the century, we will have only 8 billion people on the planet. China will lose 600 million people from its population if they don't respond to this challenge. So, they’re going to go down from 1.4 billion to 800 million people. Same will happen all around the world. Think about this. So, it's not like we have an option to work on longevity and increase quality of people who turn 60 or 70. It's almost like we just need to respond to this external shocks that we actually self-created. That's the idea. Unless we work on that, we’re going to be decline-- The planet, by the end of the century, we're going to be, the planet, with declining population.
Melanie Avalon: Will it plateau at that number or it'll keep declining?
Sergey Young: Look, I mean, frankly speaking, and we all do know the value or the lack of value of long-term planning in this world. I don't think we need to take these figures at the face value, but it's important demographic trend. We would need to sort this out. I do believe we will work on that and it's going to be a lot of response from a lot of countries on, or even on the global level to sustain demographics and for us still to be in good numbers, population-wise, but that's like a matter of decades of focus and working all together.
Melanie Avalon: Is it a good thing though, that it's trending down, if our lifespan is trending up? If it was opposite where it was going up and our lifespan was going up, then we would maybe be more in trouble?
Sergey Young: Yeah. Look, I don't know. In a way [laughs], it’s artificial problem.
Melanie Avalon: Like cancels each other out.
Sergey Young: Yeah. Well, look, I have so many things on my plate, like Longevity Vision Fund, Age Reversal XPRIZE, like the global competition, pro bono competition for age reversal, like a book. Like Longevity@Work, pro bono program I'm doing with the largest corporation, I'm looking for countries to implement national longevity program. Again, this is all free of charge. Everything I do in longevity is my contribution to the world, For Kids. That's why I'm just trying to limit like a number of problems I'm trying to solve at the same time. Well, this is the scenario that we need to respond to that.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I love that. Well, thank you so much, Sergey. This has been absolutely incredible and it's mind blowing all that you're doing for humanity. I cannot thank you enough. Was there anything you wanted to particularly draw attention to that we didn't touch on?
Sergey Young: I'd like to stay in touch. So, go to sergeyyoung.com. We have an amazing offer for book pre-order. You're going to have access to 12 videos called Longevity Video Academy. Each video is 10, 12 minutes, where I speak about different aspects of longevity from today to long-term future. I'd like to offer that, and this is free of charge. If you don't want to buy the book, that's okay. Stay connected. We have plenty of stuff we’re doing in newsletters. But my main takeaway is the following. We all are going to live longer or much longer than we expect. So, now it's a time to refine and rediscover and revisit our view on our own health and the health of our community, our country, and our planet.
It's time to take back responsibility. I can tell you, it's not a difficult road. It's just amazing road full of discoveries about your own health and the health of the people around you, how you can manage that. And this will make you healthy and happy.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you so much. That is so incredible. Literally, you just embody and envision everything I learn about and share with listeners so I cannot thank you enough for your work. Open door anytime you want to come back on the show. I'm really excited about your next book. For listeners, we'll put links to everything that we talked about in the show notes. And again, the show notes will be at melanieavalon.com/longevity. So, Sergey, thank you so much. This was incredible. We'll have to stay in touch and talk more in the future.
Sergey Young: We should. Thanks, Melanie. Thanks, everyone. Stay healthy and happy.
Melanie Avalon: Thanks. Bye.
Sergey Young: Bye-bye.