How biohackers are trying to upgrade their brains, their bodies — and human nature - Deepstash

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Biohacking: A Primer

Biohacking: A Primer

Biohacking manipulates one’s brain and body to ‘hack’ it, outside the realm of mainstream science and medicine.

Biohacking, or doing biological activities on oneself, is a broad term and covers stuff like performing ‘Young Blood Transfusion’ or tracking one’s sleep patterns. It took wings from Silicon Valley, where people started broadcasting their intermittent fasting, crazy diets, DNA injecting and the popular dopamine fasting.

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Kinds Of Biohacking

  • Vipassana Meditation where one lays off any kind of sensory stimulants for weeks, or Intermittent Fasting, where one does not eat anything for 12 to 18 hours, are common biohacks for centuries.
  • Today, biohacking can mean altering your body’s cells/DNA, or injecting a formulation to control a certain disability or to enhance a certain function of the body/mind.
  • A lot of modern biohacking relies on data, which it gets from smartwatches, smartphones, or even implanted computer chips in one’s body to give it semi-android like abilities and sensors.

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The Reason People Practice Biohacking

A human desire to explore all the frontiers of nature, space and our own biology takes its form in the practice of biohacking.

  • Some people don’t want to die.
  • Some don’t want to be sick.
  • Some want to be young and strong.
  • Some want to be super smart.

A lot of individuals get motivated to biohack themselves when they are diagnosed with something that will take their health or their life in a short time. The practice of biohack then becomes a quest to beat the odds and stay alive and healthy, as a challenge to the laws of nature.

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Biohacking Vs Traditional Medicine

Biohacking differs from traditional medicine based on why it is being undertaken. Medicine is to cure a certain ailment, but biohacking may be an experiment to go beyond our bodies and minds shortcomings.

Some people claim that all of modern medicine and cosmetic surgery is primarily biohacking. Most people who try the extravagant and high-tech stuff are trying to break the barriers of human existence, like old age, loss of memory, or death. They see it as a technical problem waiting to be solved.

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Biohacking And Scientific Research

  • Ancient biohacks like mindfulness meditation are proven and backed by thousands of years of research.
  • Newly marketed fads like near-infrared saunas and implantation of chips inside the body do not yet have significant research, especially on the long-term effects.
  • Some biohacks like the vampiric sounding young blood transfusion gained popularity even without any scientific research in Silicon Valley.

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Biohacking And Legal Challenges

  • No amount of existing regulations can make sense of biohacking as it is trying to go beyond the limits of what it means to be human.
  • This makes a lot of biohacks exist in a grey area in legal terms. Many biohacks like Glow-in-the-dark beer making kits, or Do-It-Yourself gene-editing tools have come under the net of the FDA.
  • Making things illegal, however, only moves the action underground, which is more dangerous.

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The Ultimate Biohack: Life Extension

Going against the clock on life set by nature, a company called Sens is going after ageing and has the ultimate aim of making people (who can afford it) live till the age of 1000.

It is looking at various cellular and genetic approaches to fight the deterioration of the human body through the years.

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Biohacking And The Alteration Of Human Nature

When people experiment with other people to challenge the limits set by nature, the question of the risks of biohacking arise. Humans have been altering nature since the beginning of time, with animal harvesting and agriculture to name a few examples.

Biohacking may be controversial but its root cause of fear is the fear of the new, the fear of the unknown. Humans have been evolving as fast as they can since thousands of years and new technologies always help in making the transformation and the evolution happen at a faster rate.

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