Aging & Longevity

David Sinclair Explains How Reversing Aging Is Possible: Neil deGrasse Tyson Interview 

Harvard’s Dr. David Sinclair tells Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson about the Information Theory of Aging and the $10 age-reversal pill he has in the works.

Neil deGrasse Tyson (left) and David Sinclair (right).
By Griffin Dean

Key Points: 

  • Sinclair explains that a loss of information alters the activation of our genes, leading to aging and age-related diseases. 
  • By restoring age-related losses in information, we can make mice and monkeys young again. 
  • We may see a $10 age-reversal pill for humans within the next five to six years. 

In a recent StarTalk interview with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., geneticist David Sinclair, Ph.D., explained how we age, according to the Information Theory of Aging. 

He explains that there are two types of information in our body: 

  • Genetic information: the genes written in our DNA, and
  • Epigenetic information: the system that controls which genes are turned on or off. 

Genetic information is like hardware, and epigenetic information is like software. Sinclair says we age because the software becomes corrupted. Excitingly, however, there may be a backup copy of the software that we can activate to reverse aging. 

Sinclair goes on to explain how epigenetic information changes the 3D structure of our DNA. Fitting six feet of DNA into a tiny cell requires that DNA be tightly compacted and bundled. Epigenetic information modulates this bundling and unbundling of DNA, controlling our cells’ access to genes: 

  • Bundling DNA turns genes off, and 
  • Unbundling DNA turns genes on. 

Aging disrupts this bundling through lost epigenetic information, altering which genes are turned on and off. Moreover, lifestyle factors like smoking can accelerate this process. So can cocaine, not exercising, being obese, or even stress in our lives.  

According to the Information Theory of Aging, it is the loss of epigenetic information that gives rise to all 12 hallmarks of aging. These hallmarks are the biological processes thought to underlie aging and age-related diseases. 

Reversing Aging 

Sinclair remembers when many thought DNA determined our destiny. However, he says, how long we live is only about 10 to 20% determined by genetic information. The rest is determined by epigenetic information. Furthermore, we now know how to reboot the epigenetic software.  This means there is a backup copy of epigenetic information hidden within every one of our cells. 

We do not know where the backup copy is but we know it is there because we can reverse the aging of cells and animals by as much as 75% in a few weeks. “It only takes three genes to reset the entire age of an animal.” These three genes, abbreviated OSK, are a subset of Yamanaka factors. The OSK genes rejuvenate mice and monkeys, healing their tissues and making them young again.

This method of age-reversal is called partial epigenetic reprogramming

An Age-Reversal Pill in Six Years 

While delivering OSK genes via gene therapy is one approach, Sinclair says this delivery method will be too expensive. Instead of paying $500,000 for OSK gene therapy, he is working on ways to activate the OSK genes for only $10 per pill. He says his team has already engineered a single molecule capable of reversing aging. If it turns out to be safe for humans, it could be put into pill form within the next five or six years. 


deGrasse Tyson, N. (Producer). (2024, March 22). Is Aging a Disease? Epigenetics with David Sinclair. Startalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson. [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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