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Our Expert Voices conversation on DIY biohacking.

People in 2040 will be manipulating themselves and their gene expression across four general categories: genetic disease, vanity, physical and cognitive performance, and metabolic health and longevity.

The first three categories will align with an individual's innate genetics and cultural preferences. Clearly, if one carries hereditary disease markers for something like cystic fibrosis or Huntington's, those genes will be eliminated, akin to vaccination at birth now.

Appearance will be controlled from the genetic level, but instead of converging into a single, universal beauty standard with the same set of gene manipulations, the multitude of subcultures today — with their own dress, hairstyles, and aesthetic standards — will further differentiate at the genetic level. Similarly for physical and cognitive performance standards, each subculture will optimize for different, and likely antithetical, outcomes. Using sport as an example, powerlifters will choose to up-regulate fast twitch muscles, while marathon runners will further optimize for slow twitch muscles.

Metabolism is how our body's cells produce energy, and longevity is heavily predicated on the efficiency of our metabolism.

Bottom line: Manipulation of genes controlling central metabolic regulators like IGF-1, FOXO3 and sirtuins will allow us to live longer. Biohackers today are already targeting some of these pathways through ketosis and fasting.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.