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BioViva CEO Liz Parrish on Becoming Gene Therapy Test Subject

Liz Parrish InterviewLast time I interviewed BioViva CEO Liz Parrish I had no idea that she would make global headlines shortly thereafter by becoming a gene therapy test subject herself. And so I wanted to bring her back to discuss the kind of experiment she volunteered for, as well as the broad science behind it. So, 4 months after receiving gene therapies aimed at reversing muscle-wasting disease and aging, I finally managed to get Liz on my Singularity 1on1 podcast.

During our 60 min conversation with Liz Parrish we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: why she decided to target these particular conditions – sarcopenia and aging; why Parrish thinks that testing them both at once is a good thing; the best and worst case outcome scenarios; the test protocol and timeline for any definitive results, as well as the potential bio-markers that can confirm or deny the efficacy of these therapies; the costs associated with such treatments and why insurance companies and governments will have an incentive to pay; Zoltan Istvan’s presidential candidacy and his campaign against death; her take on CRISPR and gene editing…

(You can listen to the audio file above or watch the full video interview bellow. To save time you can see the 20 min edited version. If you want to help me produce more episodes like this one please make a donation!)

Who is Liz Parrish?

Liz ParrishBioViva‘s CEO Elizabeth Parrish is a humanitarian, entrepreneur and innovator, as well as a leading voice for genetic cures. As a strong proponent of progress and education for the advancement of regenerative medicine modalities, she serves as a motivational speaker to the public at large for the life sciences. She is actively involved in international educational media outreach and sits on the board of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA). Liz is an affiliated member of the Complex Biological Systems Alliance (CBSA), which is a unique platform for mensa based, highly gifted persons who advance scientific discourse and discovery. The mission of the CBSA is to further scientific understanding of biological complexity and the nature and origins of human disease. Parrish is the founder of BioTrove Investments LLC and the BioTrove Podcasts which is committed to offering a meaningful way for people to learn about and fund research in regenerative medicine.  She is also the Secretary of The American Longevity Alliance (ALA) a 501(c)(3) nonprofit trade association that brings together individuals, companies, and organizations who work in advancing the emerging field of cellular & regenerative medicine.


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  • advancedatheist

    Hey, Liz has started to wear her hair over her left shoulder. She needs to braid it to match her new superhuman persona. https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/439973549336322048/VIc2ku-Q.jpeg

  • billy lee

    thanks for a candid interview.

    would you consider importance of quantifying and helping to actualize state of human awareness and becoming for expanding our capabilities as part of bigger picture in the progress that we seek as humans? are we, and will we be equipped to reconceptualize human suffering and even death when it becomes a “thing”?

    what or who is covering the importance of transitions in human thinking, foreseeing possible consequences such as identity crisis, anomie and other “diseases” that may become part of our times perhaps as consequence of radical changes?

    thinking human evolution and transitions for best possible (r)evolution.

    thank you for this opportunity.

  • Steve Morris

    I really admire the way Liz speaks about ethical issues in biotechnology and medicine. I wholeheartedly agree with what she says about the mandate to push this technology and try to save human lives, and not to allow people to die under the guise of so-called medical ethics.

  • Steve Morris

    Nikola, one thing I am not completely clear about is what gene therapy was actually carried out. Was it to correct a damaged or faulty gene, or was some new kind of gene being inserted?

  • Adam Peri

    Thanks to all involved in the interview. I’m gung-ho about BioViva’s mission, Liz’s courage and commitment to ethics and the goal’s of the firm and other life extension/death prevention trailblazers.

    I do think Billy brings up an important question. It may be bigger than the scope of this specific interview, but it’s an underlying tenor, if not a direct implication of every conversation Nikola has with a field-expert on Sing101: What happens to the human condition when we stop requiring natural selection?

    At least this interview (and others) have provoked that question in me. We certainly know we are entering an age where we can shape our own evolution. And that’s important. One of the most important impetuses for change and forward progress has been curiosity, and BioViva doesn’t threaten that. On the other hand, extremely long life-spans, or potentially infinite one’s (like Zoltan Istvan hopes) take a way an even more powerful force to evolve- pure necessity.

    Pardon my verbosity and pontificating, but do these technologies, one’s that might allow us to transcend natural selection; a powerful driving force of nature that took organisms from point A to point B (the present) truly put us at the tipping point of being transhuman? Because as Billy articulates above, there is a new sort of awareness that longevity necessitates. And there is a question of what will we do and be when we no longer need to do very much just to survive and be “fittest.”

    There is a community of like-minded people out there who read this blog and others. We Follow Nikola, Liz, Roy Kurzweil, other Singularitists, the list goes on. But it’s a small few. We may be ready to know we have no clue what to be ready for. But are the vast majority of people in a potential threatening position an identity crisis as stated above?

  • Liz Parrish

    Steve, hello ! Nikola asked me to answer some questions here. I took two gene therapies, one to lengthen telomeres and the other to block myostatin. In the most basic description, the first is for lengthening lifespan due to increased cellular divisions and the second for increased muscle mass.

  • Liz Parrish

    I think that these are good questions. They are philosophical questions and only the movement into the future will answer them. It will be up to us to decide how we accept change but it will be our human nature that creates cultural change. I don’t think we should feel worried or threatened. Natural selection will just go to selection of partners based on other criteria. We may become a more diverse community with more choices.

  • Steve Morris

    Liz, thank you for replying. I am not a biologist, so forgive me if my question is wrong-headed, but were the genes that were inserted genes that naturally occur in humans?

  • Liz Parrish

    Yes, they are human genes that we all share in common.

  • billy lee

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and further elaborating on my comment.

    Indeed, it is human experience and humanity at stake in our evolution. Although hard to manage and control, I believe that there is good potential, I hope, for greater possibility that it can become better manageable with the changes we are responsible for. I also believe that perhaps this chance can be better had if there are more of us speaking up, asking questions with better understanding of what human experience entails and direction of humanity should be as we become better aware of our past, for better understanding and control of the present for future.

    I believe that the power to realize these changes can be had through awakening of the universes in our bodies, more specifically better understanding and creation of our senses for accelerating and create meaning for vision of humanity. In my vision, at least so far, our physical bodies should play an important part in helping us to be and make better sense of our reality.

    While I don’t disagree with fondling with human desire to live without pain or death for its own promotion, I would not speak up for it as I see other more crucial aspect of our evolution yet to be brought up for quantified understanding as part of our foreseeable future. I can think of few who may disagree with the force and blind optimism behind such changes, like Noam Chomsky.

    If we are born immortal, shaping and desire for our experience can be
    greatly influenced by what gives us pleasure rather than meaning. It changes and eliminates many guiding pillars of human infrastructure and humanity that has been in place for hundreds and thousands of years. Although I am for deconstruction and reverse engineering of our existence, no changes should be done without care and foresight, driven by human instincts (fear & desire) rather than understanding and discussion of our experience and what shapes it.

    What’s important in our times is figuring out what aspects of our existence we need to progressively accelerate for chance at direction for significant singularity. Have little confidence that furthering research will do more good than worse before we are able to hold discussions of it as a small part of the bigger picture.

  • Vladimir Karasek

    I agree with your statement about “so-called medical ethics”. If we would apply same rules to technological development of airplanes, we would still be dreaming about airplanes in our skies.

  • lifebiomedguru

    This is not gene “therapy” – unless a genomic illness is being treated – it’s genomic improvement. The ethical considerations here are enormous and completely unchartered. Shall we now have humans who can afford to improve themselves become superior to others in every conceivable way – and if so, where does this end? Will the gremlin be fair game, and can we determine our children and grandchildren’s genotypes for speed, endurance, body shape, intelligence, personality traits??? Are we so assured of our ability to control the effects of genome editing – that we can simply print new genes and give ourselves new abilities using genes from other species???

  • Michael Afshin

    Hello Liz my name is Michael, just wanted to find out if it is possible by any chance i can be a candidate to be another test subject, i can give u my details of my health in an email. Thank u Liz and best wishes.


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