Longevity Hackathon is bringing together aging researchers, developers, and entrepreneurs to build new tools, raise awareness, and attract talent to the field.
Tracks & challenges
Science and technology are the keys to both our longevity and our demise. Our entire existence on this planet is a double-edged sword.
Harnessing the power of living systems and accommodating them to solve outstanding problems in longevity research is the focus of this track. If you are interested in combining natural sciences with engineering acumen to cure aging, choose a challenge below.
Biotech equipment repurposing
Can you think of ways to repurpose retired biotech equipment or maybe how to construct an open-source, 3D-printable PCR machine?
Extracellular matrix - friend of foe?
Modifying the structural or biochemical properties of the extracellular matrix could be crucial to a longer and healthier life. In bodies, the cell microenvironment is often as important as the genotype. Is it possible to quantify or even modify age-related changes in the ECM?
The composition and dynamics of human microbiota have been shown to impact physical and mental health. Could you think about how to better understand their impact on human longevity or maybe even harness them to combat age-related decline?
Tailoring therapeutic interventions
Tailoring therapeutic interventions to an individual, taking into account their idiosyncrasies, is one of the major research areas in evidence-based medicine. You have a chance to enable more affordable and efficacious treatments to the most vulnerable members of society (elderly, adolescents, people with disabilities, those under prolonged stress, etc.) through developing more reliable drug delivery methods in the form of novel needle designs or delayed-release per os pill depots, or by taking an individual's metabolism into account.
Improve the speed of drug testing via organ-on-chip microfluidics. There's a need for new hardware which is able to simulate organs, enabling scientists to perform close-to-reality lab tests.
Pharma and diagnostics
In the past 150 years, we have seen tremendous advances in pharmacology and medicine in general, such as the discovery of antibiotics, widespread adoption of vaccines, and many more. As a result, the average life expectancy in the world has more than doubledsince the 1900s. If you believe that there is unexplored potential in existing treatments and diagnostic methods to combat age-related diseases or aging in general, choose this track.
The problem is that we cannot measure biological age easily, as it is not the same as one's chronological age. This makes it difficult to assess life extension treatment efficacy without having to invest in lifelong longitudinal studies. Possible solutions could be aging clocks based on walking speed, change in Resting Heart Rate, etc.
Aging process simulation
Development of an in silico aging model to simulate the aging process based on open datasets and probably some form of a generative or even a mechanistic model. This could be related to clinical measurements, or maybe to some molecular features, like gene expression, etc.
A complication with medications is their secondary effect, so-called polypharmacy. Think of harnessing currently existing medications, or their combinations, for repurposing in life extension. A possible way to do this is to enable collecting and organizing grassroots trials for mTOR inhibitors (rapalogs), statins, metformin, etc., as these seem to increase lifespan and healthspan in model organisms.
Patients' risk assessment
To assess patients' risk, one could develop an open-source platform or possibly a custom software for hospitals. For example, using nomograms, one could combine several diagnostic results into an easy-to-understand 1-5 / 0-1 / 0-100 risk scale.
By creating a platform, we could enable physicians worldwide to share anonymized data about the efficacy of treatments versus diseases.
Lifestyle choices, such as diet, immediate surroundings, quality of sleep, etc. are arguably as important in modulating human health as genetics. It is likely that less than 10% of human longevity is inherited, moreover, these differences are expected to become more salient the older people get. Check out the challenges below.
"Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are." How does our diet affect longevity and things associated with longevity? Is there a combination of lifestyle choices, dietary choices, or supplements that we can easily adjust to and that will make people live longer and healthier? Possible ways to approach the subject are via blue zones characteristics, an intermittent fasting app, etc.
How do microbiota affect our health? There are links between a number of mental health conditions and microbiome in its various representations. For example, a link between H.pylori and depression has been found. How can we test for these links?
Can you move beyond current on-the-spot diagnostic functionality into the prediction of developing chronic diseases? Can you offer a personalized prevention plan?
Ethics and awareness
The ends justify the means. If this phrase makes your blood boil, you are in the right place. What comes first, ethics or innovation? How should one evaluate the impact of the discovery? Choose your track here.
Biohacking, also known as DIY biology, is the optimization of mental and physical performance, without the use of traditional medicine. Some popular examples include intermittent fasting, and the tracking and optimizing of sleep. However, a lot of these biohackers take less conventional routes, injecting themselves with a variety of things, implanting devices or following routines and treatments that some would consider questionable. Should we allow individuals to be able to do this? Where do we draw the line?
Scientia potentia est. Solving ethical issues is impossible without a clear picture of the problem. Can you help to increase awareness by making data sets more available? Or will you create a viral video? You decide.
Developing ways to help citizens understand longevity research, for example by citizen science games, can help promote longevity research.
Making things work out is not always easy. Even great ideas need financial backup. What crazy apps can we build in order to fund longevity with crypto?