Aging discussion group meeting December 13, 2022: Vitamin D; epigenetic age & therapeutic plasma exchange; MiniCircle and their follistatin trial; did I have long COVID and did exercise cure it; Bryon Johnson’s web page & aging interventions. Also introducing Dr. Lakshika Weerathunge

The meeting notice:

It is approaching that time of month again.  I will be finished with my UAF class (at least the class part of it; I will probably still be working on the final!) so we can resume having our meetings at 11:30, which seemed to fit most people’s schedule better than 10 am.

This time around the 2nd Tuesday of the month falls on December 13th, so I hope you aren’t superstitious!  As usual I will send everyone signed up for the meetings the zoom link on the morning of the 13th.

A month ago I gave a lecture to the UAF Chemistry club about therapeutic plasma exchange.  This is basically a wrap-up of all the things I have taught in class and/or talked about at the discussion group meetings.  If you are interested you can check out the slides: Reversing aging: how the development of heterochronic parabiosis led to an aging treatment for humans.  I have included a lot of notes on the slide info area to help you understand the slide.

At this meeting I have several topics I am going to very lightly touch on:

  • Vitamin D:  I will briefly discuss a new paper about the benefits of vitamin D.  I have been supplementing for nearly 3 years, and just took a test to make sure I am getting enough.
  • I got ahold of a epigenetic age report and thought it might interest you…especially since it is before & after a therapeutic plasma exchange
  • A short discussion on MiniCircle, a company developing disease cures using tiny bits of DNA organized in a circle.
    • HIV gene therapy
    • Follistatin therapy (one of the targets of this is sarcopenia)
  • Beating long COVID with exercise
    • I may have had long COVID (symptom: congestion), but noticed exercise made it better–so I ‘exercised it away’
    • This article indicates I was on the right track
  • This was kind of an interesting website about a guy who has developed a diet and how it appears to have reduced his biological age.
  • I have hired a Sri Lankan who will finish her internship to be a doctor in a year or two.  I will give a brief introduction to her.

I will have to keep each topic very short, to keep it under 20 minutes.  After my 20 minute lecture I will (as always) stop the recording and we can discuss anything you want until our zoom session runs out at 40 minutes.

Those of you who might have medical questions for our Sri Lankan ‘doctor’ let me know.  I have hired her full time for this month, just to get her started.  After that I am hoping to have enough work for her on a part time basis (20 hours a week).  She will act as a conduit to specialists in Sri Lanka (for example, right now she is consulting with a heart specialist for a couple friends of mine who are having heart issues).  I anticipate having her train on some of the more advanced ways of extending lifespan so she can advise us about them (e.g. using rapamycin).

Hope to ‘see’ you the 13th!


Aging discussion group meeting November 15, 2022: Plasma exchange: human trials.

The meeting notice:


Very sorry about vanishing like that.  Work snowballed on me (my main worker, Gene, ended up in the hospital and I don’t expect to see him back to work for another month; Frankie wasn’t feeling good; a well at my 8 plex went out and took 40 man-hours to fix…etc!!!).

Comments on class:

I lack the time to do separate emails to the aging discussion group and to those of you from my class, so I am lumping all this together.  Sorry if it makes it a bit long!  Those of you in my class are invited to join.  We hold meetings (supposed to be the 2nd Tuesday of the month–but last week I looked at the calendar wrong and so here we are at the 3rd week).  Anyone from my class is welcome to join–just send me an email and I will add you to the mailing list (FYI I try not to send very many emails out, meaning 1-3 per month).  The format is supposed to be a 20 minute lecture followed by a 20 minute discussion (at which time zoom shuts me off because I just have a free zoom account).  This varies quite a bit depending on how long-winded I get in my lecture.  The lecture part is recorded and then uploaded to the internet; if you want to check out past lectures please visit my blog at Defeating Aging.

The link to my last lecture for class:

I do intend to teach another class in the spring, after returning from my cruise (if I even get to go on the cruise–that will depend on Gene’s recovery).  Right now it looks doubtful.  Either way I will be here in April to teach another class; I just submitted my class description to OLLI.  If you liked this last class I encourage you to sign up for the new one; I am developing all new material for it–I want to stretch my knowledge as well as contribute to yours!

Aging discussion group:

A couple of weeks ago I presented a lecture about plasma exchange to the UAF Chemistry Club.  I have discussed with this group several times: primarily how plasma exchange started from parabiosis and led to an aging treatment now in human clinical trials.  Since I don’t have time to prepare a new presentation for tomorrow I am going to present a very short lecture over the last few slides, which has a bit of new information for you.

I have lacked the time to get the last group lecture uploaded to the web for you.  I will send the group a copy as soon as I get it uploaded, but who knows when I will have time.

I have now hired a medical intern (soon to be a doctor) in Sri Lanka.  I am just starting to work out the routines to make this kind of access useful to us.  The first project for her is to set up a link to a cardiac doctor because I know 3 people with cardiac issues and am hoping it would be useful to have an alternative source of advice.  For example a friend has questions about exercising but his doctor has not responded to several calls.  Not sure yet how well this will work out; it is just an experiment.  But it is very cheap compared to the US ($3 an hour is a top wage for a doctor there!!).  My intention is to act as a conduit between top quality doctors in Sri Lanka and members of the aging discussion group (and others)–but certainly not to provide medical advice!

Lots more, but I have an appointment and have to take the trailer off the truck before I can go…so hopefully things will slow down soon so I can concentrate more on this!

Hope to see you tomorrow. I will send you a zoom link in the morning as usual,


At this meeting we had 8 attendees. Discussion after the presentation covered a Fairbanks independent clinic (Labcorp–thanks Kraig!) and a cancer test that looks for 50 cancers at once (Galleri–thanks Mary!). Paolo also mentioned that those of us over 65 can access the University of Alaska gym for a very modest sum ($60 I think he said).

Aging discussion group meeting September 13, 2022: A guest lecturer from Well Haven Occupational Therapy and Consulting.

The meeting notice:


It is that time of month again!  This month we will be having a guest speaker, Emily Byl.  She owns Well Haven Occupational Therapy & Consulting who focuses on keeping people healthy and active.  She gave a really interesting talk to a UAF group a couple of months ago and I thought it would be pertinent to us.  Good timing for me too, since I am working on getting ready to teach my next OLLI class, in which I will be expanding a lot on what we have talked about over the summer.  I see several of you signed up for that, I am always encouraged by your continuing interest, thanks!

Our August meeting is now on my website.  The slides are here.

The Doctor search continues…I hired a firm to evaluate them and am now starting to do interviews.  Hopefully I can finish this long process soon!

I am taking Environmental Toxicology this semester.  The class may have some interesting pointers for aging, because as we age our resistance to environmental toxins decreases.  A good example would be PM 2.5, where tiny (2.5 micron and smaller) particles in the air cause an increased death rate, which is almost entirely among the very old.  For us here in Fairbanks this poses an immense problem: we can have affordable heat (eg wood or coal) and stay warm, suffering the increase PM 2.5.  Or we can suffer the economic damage that comes from sending millions out of our economy (20 years ago, when I had a friend in the heating business, he told me Fairbanks burns 50 million gallons of heating oil a year, so the $2 increase in heating oil cost means this winter we will be sending $100 million more from our economy than we did last year).  So PM 2.5 is an immense conundrum for our aging population in Fairbanks.

In early August I attended a virtual aging conference by a group who is focused on supporting aging research, age reversal tech, & rejuvenation called It was a great conference with talks by some of the great people of aging science.  I will cover parts of the conference over the next few months, focusing on the talks by George Church (eliminating viral disease) Irena Conboy (plasma exchange in humans is reversing aging blood biomarkers) and Brian Kennedy (supplementing with alpha ketoglutarate extends lifespan in mice).  I had hoped to provide people an opportunity to drop by and watch bits of it with me, but this last month has just been so busy.

This last month I came across a number of articles I thought you might like to read:

31 Surprising Signs You’ll Live to 100 (

The truth about supplements and who should be taking them – BBC Reel

Scientists have mapped the genetic code of the immortal jellyfish that can age in reverse after reaching adulthood (

The Top 5 Walking Habits That Slow Aging, Fitness Expert Reveals — Eat This Not That

As usual, I will send you a link just before the meeting. 

Aging discussion group meeting August 9, 2022: An overview the American Aging Association’s 50th annual meeting Part 3.

The meeting notice:

Hi all,

Wow, it is already time for another meeting.  I hope you are having as good a summer as I am.    Among other things I succeeded in selling one of my 6 plexes.  Since my goal is to sell one building per year, I am happy–and I even have someone interested in a second apartment building.

We will have our meeting at 11:30 on Tuesday the 9th.  Hope to finish by the time zoom cuts us off!  I have been thinking of alternatives like google meet or paying zoom the money for unlimited; anyone have any other suggestions?  Would any of you like to have the meetings in person, or perhaps a hybrid meeting (half in person, half over zoom)?

At this meeting I will attempt to finish the “brief” review of the American Aging Association’s 50th annual meeting.  If you find some topic that particularly interests you please let me know and I will expand on it in our October meeting.  Note that we hope to have a guest speaker at our September meeting.  As usual I will send the meeting link the morning of the meeting.

Summer is flying away…school starts soon and I am glad I am only taking one class (in addition to teaching another OLLI class…page 17, if you are interested).  I am hoping to have more time to invest in my blog as I finish off my summer projects…unfortunately I have a long way to go on them and may still be working on them in October!

Our July meeting is now on my website.

I did not manage to read any interesting science articles this last month, but here are a few general articles I came across:

Of course our goal is to push toward increased health span.  Doing it is often a matter of changing our bad habits, which is very difficult.  For example my daughter made chocolate cake, which I ate in spite of the sugar spike I am sure I had from it!
I am closing in on hiring a Sri Lankan doctor.  It looks like I will not end up with a full doctor, but one who is an intern and will become a doctor soon(ie just out of med school).  If anyone is interested in reviewing some of the resumes/etc let me know.
It seems I messed up on last month’s emails.  I accidentally used an old list.  So I spent several hours this afternoon re-doing my email list completely to assure that it will not happen again.  To those of you that didn’t get the last meeting notice, my deepest apologies.  I hope you get a chance to watch the video on DefeatingAging.
One of my applicants to be our remote doctor wanted to write an article for us about a kind of medicine called Ayurveda which is practiced in Asia (India and neighboring countries).  It gives a completely different slant on many of the diseases of aging; whether the Ayurveda approach will be useful or not I am not sure.  Anyhow the article is done, hope to have it online by next month.  Anyone interested in helping edit let me know!
I am changing the blog posts that have our meeting videos.  From now on they will include these emails.  Any other improvements, please let me know.
I got a number of interesting emails from our members this last month.  I have been thinking of how to share them, but am not sure what format I should use.  Would you rather I put them on the blog or send them as an email (or both)?
Well this is plenty long.  As always, let me know if you don’t want to receive these any more.


Link to the slides.

Aging discussion group meeting July 12, 2022: An overview the American Aging Association’s 50th annual meeting Part 2.

The meeting notice:


Wow, the last month sure vanished on me.   So it is already time for the next meeting, which I will start tomorrow at 11:30.  I will send you the zoom link tomorrow morning.

A very brief update on what I have been working on:

1.  Aging experiment in Sri Lanka.  Not much progress to report.

2.  Hiring a Sri Lanka doctor.  I have had about 10 people apply.  One had a very interesting treatment for arthritis and joint issues; I have asked for a paper about it.  I will post that on the blog when it is finished (maybe in a couple months).

3.  Local aging experiment is moving along slowly.

4.  Last month I “attended” a very interesting zoom lecture by Emily Byl.  She owns Well-Haven, which is an occupational therapist company in Anchorage that focuses on older Alaskans.  She had a lot of really interesting things to say about aging and recovery from issues for the old.  I am hoping that she can be a guest lecturer in September.

5.  My favorite paper this month: Human Aging Reversal: Fact or Fiction, by Adiv Johnson et al.  It talks about experiments to reverse aging in humans (as measured by various techniques).  My favorites:

a.  25% calorie restriction [after 2 years, age was 0.6 years younger]

b.  Vitamin D [after 16 weeks, age was 1.9 years younger]

c.  Antiretroviral therapy [after 96 weeks age was 3.6 years younger]

d.  Plant-centered diet, supplements, exercise, sleep and stress management [after 8 weeks, was 3.23 years younger]

6.  (Unrelated to aging): I sold my 6 plex.  A fair amount of the sales price is going to be put into aging research :).  6 more buildings to go.

Tomorrow’s lecture will be a continuation of the last: more information about the May meeting of the American Aging Association.

And here are the slides from our last meeting.

As usual, tomorrow I will do a short talk and then have an open discussion.  We can talk about any topic you want to discuss.

I hope you can attend,