Inverse Daily: New Research Shows Humans Can Reverse Their Biological Age

Someone call Brad Pitt, because it might be time for a sci-fi spin on 'Benjamin Button.'

Mani

Welcome to Monday Inverse Daily gang!

I know, somehow Monday happened again, but that’s alright because today we’re bringing you the weird, the wonderful, and the . . . iPhone? How tempted am I going to be to throw cash at Apple this time? Looks like you and I will find out below.

This article is an adapted version of the Inverse Daily newsletter. Subscribe for free and earn rewards for reading every day.

INVERSE QUOTE OF THE DAY

“This adds to a growing body of evidence that suggests T.rex and other species were warmer-blooded than we used to think.”

— Casey Holiday, Ph.D., University of Missouri professor.

Apple of My i

When executives take the stage at the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino at 10 a.m. Pacific on Tuesday, they will have a few hours to convince the world that it’s worth splurging around $1,000 on a phone that, on the surface, basically looks like the other iPhones.

Lucky for Apple it’s a ritual the company has gone through before, and they’ll likely follow a play they’ve used before. In previous years, Apple took an invisible feature then made it the focus of its marketing. In turn, the iPhone 4S’ Siri capabilities, the 5S’ fingerprint scanner and the 6S’ 3D Touch became showpieces used to wow buyers. Why care about the outside of the phone, when there’s cool new do-dads inside?

This time an A.I.-intelligent wide-angle camera, better waterproofing, and reversible wireless charging are all ways Apple could convince people to head on over to the store. If the company sticks to the pattern, folks will likely be convinced — and Apple’s earnings will continue to rise.

To get ready for Tuesday, read up on the iPhone 11 over here.

The more you know:

Meditation, Hesitation

What’s the secret to Jerry Seinfeld’s energy, Harry Styles’ eternal sunshine, and Hugh Jackman’s sense of purpose? According to them, the answer is a practice called transcendental meditation (TM). It’s been embraced by stars since the Beatles but while it’s popularity is no question, it’s also a hotly debated form of mindfulness meditation.

That’s because it’s uncertain whether the zen feeling TM practitioners say they experience actually results in measurable mental and physiological effects. Inverse science fellow Ali Patillo reports that while some research has linked TM to reduced blood pressure and decreased stress, the scientific evidence behind users’ miracle claims is severely lacking. For example, pop artist Katy Perry says it fills her with “some of the most incredible stillness.”

“I notice when I meditate that my whole brain kind of opens up; it feels like a halo is ignited around my head,” Perry said at, well, the Vatican. “It’s like I’m clearing out the cobwebs of my neural pathways and finding new neural pathways to ignite.”

Read Ali’s deep dive into the science of TM at Inverse.

The more you know:

Turn Back the Clocks

While we’re not going to be living among any Benjamin Buttons yet, scientists did announce they’ve discovered a way to reverse an individual’s “biological age.” That age refers to how old a person looks, while chronological age refers to the number of years a person has lived. If you’re surprised by this reveal, take care in knowing the researchers were too. They expected to slow down the clock — not set it back.

There are, of course, caveats. The study didn’t have a control group, looked at just nine people, and included only white men. But they did find something: The process of taking three common medications — a growth hormone and two diabetes drugs — on average took two-and-a-half years off the participant’s biological age.

Lead author Greg Fahy, Ph.D. explained to Inverse’s Nina Pullano that one of the lessons his team drew from the study is that aging is “not necessarily something that is beyond our control.” In fact, it’s seems to be largely controlled by biological processes that we may be able to influence.

For the secret of youth, click over here.

The more you know:

Musk Reads

Elon Musk is pushing the boundaries of where we can go and what we can do. Don’t miss a beat by signing up for Musk Reads, our newsletter about all things SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company.

Sign up here.

New Blue, New You

During the CNN climate town hall last week, Elizabeth Warren took environmental advocates from wired to inspired with her support of a Blue New Deal. This take on the Green New Deal addresses the way the oceans are changing due to the climate crisis and what can be done to protect those waters.

Emma Betuel reports that protecting the ocean wouldn’t just keep our planet from going off the deep end — it could protect humanity’s psyche as well. Scientists are currently exploring how “blue spaces,” like green spaces,” can better mental and physical health. So far research indicates that exposure to watery environments like the ocean reduces stress and boosts mental restoration, and that’s just what scientists have learned at the start of exploring this new field of interest.

Find out why it’s okay to be blue.

The more you know:

Puff, Puff, Pass

E-cigarettes have been embraced by millions of young Americans, which means that while youth cigarette use is going down, youth nicotine use is not. There’s a growing body of research that shows why this isn’t a good thing and the most recent study centers in on sleep.

Scientists explain the Journal of Sleep Research that when they examined a group of 1,664 college students, e-cigarette smokers and cigarette smokers were much more likely than their non-smoking peers to have trouble sleeping. This means tossing-and-turning, sleeplessness, bad dreams; all of it. Furthermore, e-cigarette users reported taking more sleeping medication than the other groups.

This suggests to the study authors a couple of things — one being that, it’s simply easier for people to vape, so they do it more often than cigarette-smokers smoke. The other idea is that a misrepresentation of e-cigarettes has persisted. While vaping was originally marketed as something that’s better than traditional smoking, that doesn’t mean that it’s good for a person who has never smoked. In fact, the opposite appears to be true, while the popularity of e-cigarettes continues to rise.

Before you bedtime vape, read this.

The more you know:

Today’s Good Thing

Today, that’s the effort being made by some California lawmakers and activists to phase out non-recyclable single-use packaging containers by 2030. Not all plastic is recyclable, everybody!

Meanwhile …

  • Florida’s weird purple sky looks like Stranger Things, but rightside up.
  • This technique used by expert musicians can help you master new skills.
  • Here are five supplements that scientists actually take.

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Thanks for reading, gang! I’m curious to know what y’all think about Transcendental Meditation. If you have any thoughts on it, send an email on over to sarah.sloat@inverse.com.

In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about what one of grossest articles we’ve ever published on Inverse (I’m sorry, I think about it all the time).