Steven Austad is a pioneer in the field of aging, with over 200 scientific papers and book chapters on pretty much every aspect of biological aging that you could think of. He’s a strong believer in the potential for anti-aging therapies, and he puts his money where his mouth is. In 2001, Steve bet a billion dollars that the first person to reach 150-years-old had already been born. I had a chance to talk with Steven for today’s podcast and asked if he still thinks the bet was a good idea. Steven is the Protective Life Endowed Chair in Health Aging Research, a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Biology at the University of Alabama Birmingham. He's also Senior Scientific Director of the American Federation for Aging Research, which is managing a groundbreaking longevity research trial that started this year. Steven is also a great science communicator with five books, including one that comes out later this year, Methusalah’s Zoo, and he publishes prolifically in national media outlets.

See the rest of his bio, linked below in the show notes.

Show notes:

​2:36 - Why a particular opossum convinced Steven to dedicate himself to studying longevity.

​6:48 - His billion dollar bet that someone alive today will make it to 150-years-old.

​10:38 - ​I ask Steven about Elon Musk’s comments this month that if people lived a really long time, “we’d be stuck with old ideas and society wouldn’t advance.” Steve isn’t so fond of that take.

​13:34 - Why women are winning maybe the most important battle of sexes: living longer than men.

18:20 ​- Why women actually have more morbidity earlier on than men even though they live longer.

​23:10 - How the pandemic could affect sex differences in longevity.

​24:55 - How often we should work out to maximize our longevity and health span.

​29:09 - The latest update on the TAME trial, plus how Steven and other longevity experts designed this groundbreaking research in a castle in the Spanish countryside.

​32:10 - ​Which therapies are the most promising at this point.

​39:32 - ​The drug cocktail approach to address multiple hallmarks of aging.

​41:00 ​- ​How to read health news like a scientist.

​45:38 - ​Should we try a Manhattan project for aging?

​48:47 - Can Jeff Bezos and Larry Ellison help us live to 150?

Steven explains why we should want to live a long time, assuming that involves a longer health span, and why it would be good for society.

Show links:

Steven Austad's bio - https://www.uab.edu/icar/about/icar-leadership/steven-austad#:~:text=Bio%20Information%3A&text=Austad%20is%20a%20Distinguished%20Professor,American%20Federation%20for%20Aging%20ResearchPre-order Steven's new book, ​Methuselah's Zoo - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09M2QGRJR/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Steven's journal article on Sex Differences in Lifespan - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27304504/

Elon Musk's comments on super longevity "asphyxiating" society - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/11/elon-musk-on-avoid...

Steven's article on how to read news articles about health like a pro - https://www.cnbc.com/2022/04/11/elon-musk-on-avoiding-longevity-research-i-am-not-afraid-of-dying.html

AFAR's research on Targeting Aging with Metformin (TAME) - https://www.afar.org/tame-trial

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