Our story begins on a summer day in 2016, sort of, but we’d be better off starting with today: Lifespan.io is proud to announce the launch of LifeXtenShow, a new show on our YouTube channel that’s entirely focused on popularizing aging research and rejuvenation.
The show, co-hosted by yours truly and our brand-new volunteer Giuliano Didio,
can be blamed on owes its existence to some friends of ours who thought we’d work well as a presenter duo and suggested that we should have a YouTube channel about science. We didn’t take the suggestion too seriously at first; taking things seriously isn’t quite our forte, but in late 2018, we thought we could make an exception in this particular case, and we started jotting down ideas for what would go on to become LifeXtenShow or simply X10.
Giuliano and I met for the first time during a stay at a campsite with our theater group in the spring of 2016; later on, in the summer, I bumped into him again on campus in the cafeteria. At the time, we were both nearing the end of our master’s studies—Giuliano was studying neurobiology, while I was studying mathematics. We didn’t know each other all that well yet, but we’re both Italian; sitting down for lunch and chatting for hours is second nature to us.
This was well before I became fed up with Facebook and stopped using it almost entirely, and at the time, I used to post often about aging. Giuliano was already among my Facebook friends, and being frank and inquisitive as he is, at a point during the conversation he said upfront: “Do you mind me asking something?” At that point, I just knew this was going to be about aging, and I wasn’t wrong there. “You’re kind of fixated on aging. Why is that?”
In my experience, this kind of conversation starter foreshadows a long, drawn-out dialectic battle between opposers and supporters of rejuvenation, and this time, I was even more concerned that, as a biologist, he might have the upper hand; he might present objections to the feasibility of rejuvenation that, valid or not, I might be incapable of answering, given my limited knowledge. This time around, though, I was wrong.
Giuliano needed no convincing that, if at all possible, rejuvenation would be a great idea. The few concerns that he had, he raised in the spirit of pure inquiry; when he pointed out potential issues that rejuvenation might cause, he did it in order to discuss solutions, not to find an excuse to dismiss rejuvenation off-hand like many people do. He didn’t know about the recent developments in aging research, which isn’t quite his field, and he also used to think that being resigned to aging is the only thing that anyone can do about it. By the end of our conversation, after about two or three hours, he was sold on rejuvenation.
That was only the first of the many science-focused conversations that we have had on aging and a variety of other scientific subjects. Also, thanks to the time spent together in our theater group, on or off stage, we became very good friends, and when I suggested, late last year, that maybe we should listen to our friends and give YouTubing a shot, he said, “I’m in!”
Where do we go from here?
After shooting a few episodes (to be published in the coming weeks) that LEAF’s upper management greenlit a lot more enthusiastically than we’d anticipated, we’re finally going live today, hopefully sticking to a preliminary schedule of one video published each week.
Both Giuliano and I have amateur acting experience, but portraying a character isn’t quite the same as attempting to be science popularizers and advocates on YouTube; we’re also a wee bit self-conscious about our English skills, as neither of us is a native speaker. (He’s one-eighth British, which means he’s got one-eighth less of an excuse than I do.) We’re juggling video-making together with a PhD (Giuliano), DIY chemistry and biology studies (me), theater (both), girlfriends (both), and more generally, having a life (neith—er, both), which means that X10 often gets in the way of weekend plans, but it’s good fun and for a cause we both believe in.
We’re crossing our fingers, hoping we can raise more awareness about aging and rejuvenation while making our audience experience even a little bit of the fun we have each time we shoot a new episode. Who knows—if things go well, one day we might have more than one episode a week, but for now, your appointment with the only life extension-focused show on YouTube is on Thursdays at noon EST.