“A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move toward high levels”
This could not be truer when it comes to the new era of biohacking. While there are many that disparage biohackers, also referred to as citizen scientists, there have been tremendous accomplishments in this new world of experiential science that biohacking has shaped.
Massive investments (usually funded from the public purse or private donations) have been and continue to be made into large scale epidemiological studies that gather vague statistical data using a broad, generic segment of the population base. The data is sequestered away, and the published paper is only available to academic institutes with a subscription, therefore not “readily available” to the general public.
By comparison, biohacking (funded by individual biohackers) gather refined statistical data with detailed information about the current state of their physiology. While they conduct their own biohacks, there are often many biohackers conducting the same hacks that share their data through forums and online communities that everyone has access to.
While there is no shortage of misguided and ill-informed biohackers which are easy to find on YouTube, history has shown that many academic research studies conducted in the past were also misguided and ill-informed. It’s also worth noting, how and why the biohacking community originated and has become a phenomenon. It was born from the availability of new high-tech diagnostic technologies that, at one time, were prohibitively expensive but, now, anyone can easily obtain. That availability combined with a growing frustration with the current status quo of the healthcare system and, access via the Internet to the worlds’ leading experts on every aspect of physiology.
So, it’s not a big surprise that these two groups evaluating the same therapies, garner very different data and produce very different deliverables. To illustrate just how different, lets compare both approaches using a therapy promoted for its brain repair effectiveness. The proposed mechanism of action is to increase the micro voltage on the surface of the mitochondrial membrane through the interaction with water molecules inside and surrounding the cells.
The academic approach uses a large sample size of 50 individuals between the ages of 30 and 70 from different walks of life. The total deliverables are reduced to whether the therapy had any generalized effectiveness. As with almost all these types of studies, due to the uncontrolled variables introduced by the mitochondrial uniqueness of each individual, the study results in more questions then answers, which leads to the inevitable conclusion that “further research is required”.
The citizen scientist approach involves three biohackers. Biohacker A, age 29 also tracks their water intake and observes a small improvement when they are more fully hydrated. Biohacker B, age 66 who is not optimally hydrated observes that the therapy works very well for them. Biohacker C, age 30 who is also not optimally hydrated, observes no appreciable benefit from the therapy.
At first glance the results appear contradictory. Biohacker A and C are almost the same age, the only difference is that Biohacker A noticed a slight improvement when well hydrated. So, hydration would appear to play a role. However, Biohacker B, who was not well hydrated observed the best results.
In traditional research, the Biohacker B data would most likely be considered a statistical anomaly and discarded because it does not fit in with the current logic. That would be the first mistake. It’s the anomalies that can offer the deepest insight into how the therapy works and under what physiological terrain. So, if we throw that current logic out and ask the question, “Is the data truly showing a statistical anomaly?”
The proposed mechanism of action is to increase the micro voltage on the surface of the mitochondrial membrane (the battery of the cell), logically water would have an important role as the conductor of the current. However, despite BioHacker B’s intracellular dehydration, a small increase in micro voltage had a profound effect on their regenerative process. The erroneous assumption is that the effective increase in voltage is equal across all demographics.
Only a small 2% level of dehydration is known to effect muscular strength, on average reducing it by 10% as well as increasing cortisol by 10 – 20%. When you consider that water makes up 97% of the molecules in your body, a 2% level of dehydration would have profound affects on the body’s physiology. Therefore, we can conclude that, as BioHacker B’s markers of oxidative stress improves, and their internal hydration also improves, the therapy’s effectiveness will also improve.
In the case of Biohackers, A and C, we can reasonably infer that due to their age their batteries are much healthier, and therefore the therapy is not as effective. The small voltage does not offer the same benefits as their batteries are fully charged. The conclusion that we can reach is that this therapy is highly effective to jumpstart batteries that are worn out regardless of their age.
By comparison, the biohacking data and deliverables provided us with knowledge of precise interactions of each biohacker’s physiology and the therapy. This knowledge allowed us to identify each biohacker’s physiological terrain as well as how their mitochondrial uniqueness played a role in the effect of the therapy.