Andrew Hessel is the coach of the biology section at the Singularity University. He is also the founder of Pink Army.

Strategies for biological and neurological persistence.

Actually, you're not going to get much technical detail in talk. I don't run a lab. I work with different organizations and act as a bridge. I was asked to speak on strategies for biological and neurological persistence. I think the people in this room are a lot more familiar about this than I do. I have a terrible memory. Really, I have a sliding window of 6mo. It's great because I don't have baggage from my past. It lets me think about some of these things over time. I was asked last year to work on the xprize and look at some sort of biological persistence model. Some of this is drawn from that thinking.

So, really, this is the answer. If you wanted to do biological and neurological persistence. Go have kids. This is the one reliable technology. Some people get this. If that's not in your strategy right now, there are a few alternatives that are important. Perhaps you guys recognize Richard Dawkins and his book The Selfish Gene. It turns out that the gene is pretty easy to back up these days. They really are. This is where we're starting to see most of the acceleration in technology. You can get your genes profiled, you can learn a lot about your bodies and what's happening. You can get whole genome sequences at affordable costs, like Knome. Some are starting to do sub-5k. In a few years it could be a $100 test. These guys will biobank your cells. It's not expensive. You can do a physical backup of your DNA. We're doing groups like this. Halceyon Molecular believes they will be able to do really high speed genome sequencing. It's easy to do gene backup. Down the raod, that information might be used to generate clones at a reasonable cost. I'm always surprised when people say a person is not enough.

You actually want to backup your memes. The component of ideas. This is what we talk about: uploading, protecting your memories, etc. On the extreme, to protect our memes, we're actually willing to store our heads in liquid nitrogen at Alcor, instead of a few cells at Knome. This is fascinating. We might be able to capture memes in generation, or do some sort of translation of the biological encoding of our memories to a computer, upload it. We don't know what the structure of our memories, and we don't have the Watson and Crick moment yet. Or you can just capture all of your memories electronically, like Steve Mann has been doing. The hardware has improved over time. It fits in your pocket, your phone. This captures a lot of similar information that might otherwise be going into your body. This is the Quantified Self group in San Francisco, and in New York. Where they are trying to capture more and more life data about yourself. If you have to type it all in, you can only get so much. It's about getting it accurate and in real time. This is all lifelogging and really interesting.

What we're talking about here is not creating selfish genes and memes, it's selfish selves. We're not happy with just clones or our ideas being published. This is how I do this: people videotapping me. Then you have to go to the whole idea of immortality. How do we protect the shell of our brains? Aubrey has been driving the thinking in this forward. We have to learn so much more biology. How do we maintain this shell for a long time? It's difficult.

What I talk about most of the time is that for most of this to happen, we need to win over the hearts and minds. We need them to understand why this is valuable and why it's important. These are some great ads from Green Peace. Raising awareness of genetically modified foods. It hits on our fear of insects and green onions, and scorpions. This is fascinating, but this is what you're up against in winning under hearts and minds. Brilliant. We need people like that, working for us. Then there's things like H1N1. Again, this is a global meme. I haven't even looked at how many people have been hurt or killed by this virus compared to a typical flu. The idea of the virus is spreading very quickly. I was in Mexico when it broke out, and there wasn't a single case in Guadalarja. We have to change heart and minds. We have to support this better, faster, and cheaper, better. But you're also getting an idea that these technologies are moving really fast. How do we support this? How do we channel money into that? How do we do it?

We have to worry about the foundational changes. Can we measure the brain. Ultimately on the human scale, you're going to reboot a synthetic human? No, this is about synthesizing a human genome. Do it in a cell culture. A nucleus replacement. We need this tech if we want to drive anything similar. Right now you can monkey around for 2 years. This is why I created the Pink Army Cooperative. The economic model allows it to make personalized medicine. It's a container. Will it work? Maybe, it's an experiment. We need to be able to take research and align it with development. We have exponential research, and a linear translation to development. It takes 10 to 15 years: that's not going to support a singularity.

Talk with each other, not at each other. For people that are watching online, come and get involved in these meetings. The back room where you get to have conversations with these people is absolutely amazing. Research is important, but we have to start development. Development lets us understand what people want. Live a satisfying life. Live a balanced one if you're going to try to preserve it. Be interesting. If you're going to capture memes, make them good. Be fearless, really fearless. Don't be afraid of dying. Love what you do. Echoing Jason's ending talk last night: love what you do. Be proud to be plus, go share this stuff.

"Be proud to be plus, go share this stuff."

I think you're totally right on. I think we do need to be interesting. The long-term ancestors on this planet might have to decide which of us to ressurrect. I do bridge and networking: if you want to connect.