One of the non fungible tokens (NFTs) in my 2Tulips Series is 2Tulips: Proof of Work. This video and GIF follows the process of me creating the 2Tulips painting.You will notice in the NFT details that proceeds from the sale will be going to help fund the research by Michael Levin.
Dr. Levin is a fascinating researcher. Before I get into that I should probably answer a few questions. Why in the world am I donating an art project to these researchers when I myself am living off pennies in a developing country? Well because we need them. People like me are in constant chronic pain. I take things one day, one hour or one moment at a time. Imagine if you had to decide between sweeping the floor or going to work. Watering your flowers today or washing the dishes. I can’t do both in a day without triggering pain that debilitates me and prevents me from functioning without pain medicines. And pain medications are addictive and alter our neural pathways over time. We need scientists who can offer us hope for a better future.
His research is opening entirely new areas of research. What he is doing feels like science fiction and when I watched an interview with him it felt like he was some kind of magician. I literally had to stop his interview multiple times to text my friend to discuss what I was watching. Our mutual perceptions of reality were blown by his research. There is no way to describe it except awesome. It literally inspired awe in the reverent use of the word.
Dr. Levin induced limb regeneration in a frog! Frogs do not naturally regenerate limbs like some species of salamanders. He managed to get a vertebrate to regenerate a limb without genetic modification! And when the limb was touched, Mr. Frog felt a sensation and leaped away. How insane is that! He also did this neat study where he altered the electrical signals in a planarian, a type of flatworm, and in doing so it grew two heads or two tails. How crazy is it that altering electrical signals can lead to different structural growth? I hope you can understand now my excitement and sense of wonder at his research. His work very much feels like creation which it should as he co-discovered xenobots and did research into synthetic biology. This is why I picked him to donate to when we sell 2Tulips: Proof of Work which shows the process of creating 2Tulips.
I reached out to Dr. Levin and asked if he would consider himself a longevity researcher or mind being called one. His response, to paraphrase, was that he’d been called all sorts of things so wouldn’t mind that but that he only works indirectly on longevity. His research on rejuvenation will in my opinion have an enormous influence on longevity.
Longevity is the most important research being done right now. If death can be solved then all other disorders and diseases can too because the brilliant researchers that we have will be around to find those answers and those of us suffering from debilitating diseases and chronic pain can have hope that someday we won’t, which can give us the needed push to keep fighting.
Dr. Levin’s Publications can be found here