October 4, 2020

Science of Aging

A few things worth sharing: 10-04-2020

Longevity in mice; The wonders of F1.

Read Time 2 minutes

Here are a couple of things I think are worth sharing:  

Canagliflozin extends lifespan in genetically heterogeneous male but not female mice (Miller et al., 2020)

A recent study by the National Institute on Aging Interventions Testing Program (ITP) finding an SGLT2 inhibitor (SGLT2i) extended the lifespan in male mice. To date, seven compounds tested by the ITP have shown a statistically significant extension of lifespan in mice:

Can’t wait to have Rich Miller, one of the authors on the SGLT2i study (and every study cited above) on the podcast to discuss their findings. Not only will we discuss the success stories of the ITPs, but also some notable failures. Stay tuned!


Why it’s unfair to say Hamilton is winning only because of the car (ESPN, August 17th, 2020)

Even if you don’t follow Formula 1, this is a great piece for a few reasons, one of them being it provides a good description of the physical demands of F1. I have, on a few occasions, experienced g-forces of 3 in a race car, but to think that F1 drivers routinely hit 5-g is almost comical, and that’s just part of the physical side. When you add in the mental gymnastics they are performing between each corner, plus constant communications with their engineers, I can honestly say I have zero idea how they do it. Lewis Hamilton and I share one thing in common, which is our shared view (and we’re far from alone here) that Ayrton Senna was the greatest driver of them all. Another thing I like about this piece is that it makes reference to what virtually everyone considers the greatest qualifying session in racing history, Senna’s 1988 Monaco GP in the McLaren MP4/4. It was so special, that years later McLaren made a short video commemorating the event. That Senna, who had yet to win even his first world championship at the time of that race, qualified more than 1.4 seconds ahead of the best driver of that era, Alain Prost, his teammate, driving the same car is a feat I still can’t comprehend. For comparison, Hamilton, who took pole for the race described in this piece, outpaced his teammate in the same car by 0.059 seconds.

– Peter

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  1. Still gives me shivers to read the below
    I was already on pole, then by half a second and then one second and I just kept going. Suddenly I was nearly two seconds faster than anybody else, including my team mate with the same car. And suddenly I realised that I was no longer driving the car consciously. I was driving it by a kind of instinct, only I was in a different dimension. It was like I was in a tunnel. Not only the tunnel under the hotel, but the whole circuit was a tunnel. I was just going and going, more and more and more and more. I was way over the limit, but still able to find even more.

    Then suddenly something just kicked me. I kind of woke up and realised that I was in a different atmosphere than you normally are. My immediate reaction was to back off, slow down. I drove slowly back to the pits and I didn’t want to go out any more that day. It frightened me because I was well beyond my conscious understanding. It happens rarely but I keep these experiences very much alive inside me because it is something that is important for self-preservation.

  2. Senna did not drive to win, Senna drove to achieve competitive perfection. For the 88 Monaco Grand Prix, he was leading with such a vast advantage to his teammate Prost, the McLaren team asked him to slow down and manage his lead to the approaching finish. Senna instead kept driving as fast as he could pushing his body and car to the maximum. He spun out at Portier to hit the barriers, and was out of the Grand Prix leaving the win to his teammate Alan Prost. He walked away from the wreck and straight to his Monaco home and was not seen by his team until they were busy packing up in the evening hours where he walked back into the pits.

    There are a lot of examples for this throughout his sadly shortened career, which in the end leaves us wondering if the Imola accident never happened in 1994 if he would have been able to get close to the numbers Lewis is racking up now. Would Lewis Hamilton in that perfect world with a full Ayrton Senna career instead break Senna’s records these days. Or would Senna’s unrelenting style have him pile up DNFs at a much higher rate than Hamilton’s cautious style of managing races has done.

    That is where Hamilton and Senna are different. Hamilton’s race-craft evolves around managing a Grand Prix to perfection, while he is still wanting to be the fastest on track he is always making sure he is the driver seeing the finish flag in first.

    Both are incredible qualifying racers and it would be tough to say who is edging the other out. In raw speed and talent Ayrton reigns over them all including Michael and Lewis. I just think he always paid a higher price for riding on the limits a bit harder than anybody else. But this is also while he will forever be seen as the fiercest, most competitive racer so far we have seen dominate formula one.

  3. “Something that is important for self-preservation”. The key to his experience. Something we all have access to, given the proper stimulus/circumstance. Athletes and warriors have reported on this since man has kept record. It is a distinctive culmination of intellect and “fight or flight”. Uniquely human. Only a human could realize simultaneously that the raw adrenal biology combined with intellectual “3rd party” watching/knowing along with an ingrained expertise, fuse into a flow reaction. Hyper acute awareness with robotic execution. I have experienced this once in a high school ice hockey match. I “watched” myself play at a level I had never experienced. Calmly intoxicated with the experience, wondering if I would ever again match it and how to make it happen again. And so, it did, with a far greater intensity. This time when caught in a squall of Martha’s Vineyard. in 30 ft, seas, and a 22 ft. boat. Utterly convinced I was about to die, while steering and powering to keep the boat from capsizing lengthwise, the strangest euphoric calm embraced me and allowed me to somehow find a way, a technique really, to pilot the boat and the folks on board with me, to safe harbor. I have never been afraid of death since.

    The fascinating merger of a pure and basic beast mode survival instinct with a human intellect that is juiced to comprehend and transcend the task at hand to control the beast’s raw energy, is when human beings are closest to God, whatever your concept of that may be. I have never achieved a level of meditative awareness that could match the state described above. If you could bottle it and sell it, you would never have enough.

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