Want to Hack Your Own Body? Neo.Life's Jane Metcalfe Is Making It Easier Than Ever

Wired's co-founder talks about the "Neobiological Revolution" and what happens when computer science and engineering meet evolution.


"How can we optimize ourselves personally to live the happiest, healthiest, longest lives possible? What does that look like? What are ethical ways of doing that? What are unethical ways of doing that? Where are the slippery slopes?"

Those are the sorts of questions that Wired co-founder Jane Metcalfe is exploring at Neo.Life, an online magazine that both chronicles and informs "the early adopters of the Neobiological Revolution." Lushly illustrated and beautifully designed, recent articles include "I Study the Female Brain. Here's What 'The Female Brain' Gets Wrong", "Get Ready for Same-Sex Reproduction," and "Will a $5,000 Checkup Save Your Life?"

"The basis of Neo.Life," Metcalfe tells Reason's Nick Gillespie, "is that computer science and engineering thinking have invaded biology….How do we think about human life differently if we start thinking about 'code'?"

If you're interested in the pioneers, dreamers, and tinkerers who are trying not just to edit a few genes but to overhaul the entire human "operating system," cure their own cancer when doctors have given up, and bring back the wooly mammoth, Neo.Life is a must-read.

Photo of Craig Venter, Credit: K.C. Alfred/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Big Bird's Disease by Twin Musicom is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Artist: http://www.twinmusicom.org/

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  1. I just want spider strength and wall climbing ability.

    1. Behave badly and hope you’re reincarnated as a spider.

      Spiders aren’t fantastically strong, it’s just the square cube law at work. If you were the size of a spider, you’d actually be stronger.

      OTOH, spider silk is some pretty amazing stuff, and there’s been some work on replacing much, much weaker proteins in human skin with it. Result? Bullet resistant skin!

      1. Whoa man! Anyone geeky enough to know about the “square cube law” is a Spider-Man-style superhero in my book!

        Did you know that ZZ Top sang a song about the “Cube Square Boogey”? Even the rock & roll types are getting geeky these days!!!

        I was thinking of starting a garage band named “Cube and the Squares”! Do you want to join me & my knights of the cube-squared table?!? You can even be THE CUBE if you want to be; I am not all THAT hung up on “status”! So let’s square that up, OK?!?!

  2. Good show! So there really is life beyond even Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw.

  3. If you hack (at) yourself, you are a potential danger to yourself and/or others, and forfeit your constitutional rights.
    I would not go around publishing my anti-social behaviors on the web.

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