Home / Technology / BioScience / Large Biohacking or DIY biology growth, to hack human brains and their bodies, with desire to improve performance, cure chronic diseases and live longer

Large Biohacking or DIY biology growth, to hack human brains and their bodies, with desire to improve performance, cure chronic diseases and live longer

Just as computers could be hacked and made to perform according to one’s wishes, now you hack your own body, a concept called Biohacking. It can be as simple as implementing lifestyle and dietary changes that improve the functioning of your body such as to feel more awake, or optimize  sleep cycle. It can be using wearable technology to help you monitor and regulate physiological data. Or as extreme as using implant technology and genetic engineering to augment your capabilites like seeing in the dark or to Live forever.


Biohacking is essentially the practice of changing our chemistry and our physiology through science and self-experimentation to energize and enhance the body. Biohacking is nothing new, plenty of age-old techniques — meditation, fasting — can be considered a basic type of biohacking.  On a really basic level, the biohacking is driven by the desire to feel and look better, live healthier and longer — and to see just how far we can push the human body. It  ranges from  controlling what we put into our body — whether that’s food, sleep,  anti-aging supplements to nootropics or “smart drugs” to make ourselves better than ever before. According to Dave Asprey, a biohacker who created the supplement company Bulletproof,  biohacking is “the art and science of changing the environment around you and inside you so that you have full control over your own biology.


In addition, biohacking, also known as or Do-it-Yourself (DIY) biology has also come to understood as an attempt to manipulate your brain and body in order to optimize performance, outside the realm of traditional medicine. Bio-hacking is treatment where implants and drug are used in improving cognitive functions both internally and externally, to sharpen memory, cognition, or creativity. It is related to several nootropic drugs that are used to develop focus and intellligence.


Some Rogues mostly very smart people with degrees in biology and computing are also fueling biohacking to bypass tight government regulations by experimenting advanced medications in their home labs. Variety of high- and low-tech solutions are being employed without waiting for a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, traditional medicine’s gold standard. Probably the most famous recent example of a rogue is Aaron Traywick, who took the interesting step of dropping his pants in front of a live audience to inject himself with a homemade herpes vaccine. Some biohackers believe that by leveraging technology, they’ll be able to live longer but stay younger. Some believe that by pumping a younger person’s blood into your veins you could fight aging.


However, these carry many risks such as harming oneself, creating a new, virulent form of the disease that we have no protection against.  As Chavie Lieber noted for Vox, although some limited studies suggest that these transfusions might fend off diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, and multiple sclerosis, these claims haven’t been proven. Food and Drug Administration released a statement warning consumers away from the transfusions.


Gerontologist Aubrey de Grey claims people will be able to live to age 1,000. In fact, he says the first person who will live to 1,000 has already been born. De Grey focuses on developing strategies for repairing seven types of cellular and molecular damage associated with aging — or, as he calls them, “Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence.” His nonprofit, the Methuselah Foundation, has attracted huge investments, including more than $6 million from Thiel. Its aim is to “make 90 the new 50 by 2030.”


Then there are some of the more radical practices: cryotherapy (purposely making yourself cold), neurofeedback (training yourself to regulate your brain waves), near-infrared saunas (they supposedly help you escape stress from electromagnetic transmissions), and virtual float tanks (which are meant to induce a meditative state through sensory deprivation), among others.


Red light therapy has become an increasingly popular form of biohacking used to treat a number of conditions. It has been proven to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and restore function. OsteoStrong, a non-pharmaceutical way of improving bone density, strength and balance. According to OsteoStrong’s website, research indicates that the stimulus required to activate the growth of healthy bone tissue is 4.2 multiples of body weight. OsteoStrong utilizes the Spectrum System, which is part of a new category of devices called the Robotic Musculoskeletal Development System (RDMS). Some people spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these treatments.


Brain activity can be measured in a wave-like pattern and determines if you feel alert, sleepy, relaxed or stressed. There are many things that can affect your brainwaves such as the activity you are currently performing, how much restorative rest you’ve had and what you’ve just eaten or drank. However, one of the most reliable ways to change your brainwaves is through a consistent sound wave. Audio entrainment, a form of music biohacking, uses binaural beats and tones to synchronize with your brain waves and induce a meditative, relaxed state.


Nowdays, the biohacking has become organized into communities. Biohackers congregate in dedicated online networks, in Slack and WhatsApp groups — WeFast, for example, is for intermittent fasters. In person, they run experiments and take classes at “hacklabs,” improvised laboratories that are open to the public, and attend any one of the dozens of biohacking conferences put on each year.


However, with growth of wearable technology and synthetic biology the biohacking is seeing modern methods.  With advancements in wearable technology biohackers are now quantifying every aspect of themselves, they may buy wearable devices to, say, track their sleep patterns or test the performance of their employed methods.  The more data you have on your body’s mechanical functions, the more you can optimize the machine that is you — or so the thinking goes.


Zayner, the biohacker who once injected himself with CRISPR DNA, has also had health problems for years, and some of his biohacking pursuits have been explicit attempts to cure himself. In the US, it can take 10 years for a new drug to be developed and approved; for people with serious health conditions, that wait time can feel cruelly long. Zayner claims that’s part of why he wants to democratize science and empower people to experiment on themselves.


A subset of biohackers called grinders go so far as to implant devices like computer chips in their bodies. The implants allow them to do everything from opening doors without a fob to monitoring their glucose levels subcutaneously.


Market growth

The global biohacking market was valued at USD 12,070.25 million in 2019 and size is expected to reach USD 52,779.36 million by 2027 to grow at a CAGR of 20.4% during the forecast period. 2020 –2027. Market Research Future (MRFR) reveals that the Biohacking market is going to reach to a valuation of USD 25103.13 million by 2023. It is climbing an excellent CAGR of 19.42% during the forecast period (2017-2023).


The growing use of RFID technology, increasing trends of neuro-nutrition, integration of the internet of things (IoT), and rising inclusion of fitness & consumer electronics are set to fuel the growth of the global market. Additionally, the sharp rise in chronic diseases coupled with the increasing geriatric population is anticipated to create lucrative opportunities for the market globally. Furthermore, growing awareness for biohacking, increased R&D activities for product enhancements and wide adoption of wearable analytic technological devices are the key factors driving the growth of the global biohacking market. The global market leaders are working on the synthesis of COVID 19 vaccine likely to gain traction for different projects that can lead to demand for the market.


The global market for the bio-hacking is showing huge potential owing to participation shown by numerous companies. The companies are participating substantially to trigger the growth in the market as the investments are concentrating towards numerous market strategies such as merger, innovation, marketing, acquisition, branding, and others. The companies have been reported and In September 2019, international bio-hacker company confirmed that they are to make a cheaper variety of gene therapy which would considerably lower price in the market and would also assist in the healthier reaching of medicine to numerous patients. The medicine in the question is Glybera which can be used for hereditary diseases and the per treatment costs $ 1 million. The drug is the first-of-its-kind.


Market Segmentation

  • Type-base segmentation divides the biohacking market into inside and outside biohacking. The outside biohacking segment is holding the major market share and it is expected to add more to it with the fastest possible CAGR owing to its preference for safer application inside biohacking.
  • Based on products, the market is divided into smart drugs, sensors, and strains. The smart drug segment is emerging as the leading revenue generator on account of its increasing demand for health supplements, especially memory-boosting supplements for children.
  • By applications, the global market comprises synthetic biology, genetic engineering, drug testing, forensic science, and diagnosis & treatment. Among these, the synthetic biology segment has the potential to lead the market growth due to a rise in the prevalence of chronic diseases and increasing investments by major companies.
  • By end-users, the market constitutes pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies, forensic laboratories, and others. The pharmaceutical & biotechnology company segment dominating the market due to the huge demand for health devices to monitor body movement, heart rate, and blood sugar level.
  • Competitive Development: Leading players are involved in acquisitions, partnerships, product launches, and expansion activities for strengthening their foothold in the global biohacking market. Apple has launched watchOS 7 that continuously monitor patients sleeping pattern is one of the key developments in the market posing competition for other market players.


Type-wise segmentation of the market includes outside and inside biohacking where the former can reach a valuation of USD 16,142.38 million with the fastest CAGR of 19.72% during the forecast period. Product-based segmentation includes smart drugs, sensors, strains, and others. With a projected valuation of USD 11,980.71 million in 2023, smart drug segment is leading the market and is expected to rise further with a CAGR of 19.88% during the review period. Based on applications, the market consists synthetic biology, genetic engineering, forensic science, diagnosis & treatment, drug testing, and others. Synthetic biology segment expects a valuation of USD 3,255.75 million and a CAGR of 19.81% during the same period.


Currently, the wearable analytic technological products are available widely. The present generation have positive approach towards Bio-hacking and devices. Tracking of heart steps, rate, blood sugar level, and the movement of body, burning calories or other metrics, can be labelled as Bio-hacking through the analytics. The choices in terms of the Bio-hacking to keep the track of one’s biological routine are innovative, wide ranging, and ever growing.


Bio-hacking has brought out absolute change in field of synthetic biology. Bio-hacking have settled an urge of innovation and development of new products. It combines aspects of synthetic biology and technology. Laboratory experiments are directed by the research individuals and scientist to explore the new avenues in genetic engineering, biotechnology, and molecular biology. Bio-hackers embark on the numerous experimentations on body such as insertion of microchips to regulate the stress level and to monitor a heart rate. Bio-hackers have advanced and are in process of developing numerous products to discover the human body. Some of remarkable products include microchips, smart drugs, magnetic fingertips, RFID implants, brain sensors, yeast strains, bacteria, body sensors, and the smart BP monitor health trackers.


The Biohacking market, in the future, can receive a boost from several cross-sections such as animal-free leather, electric DNA control, non-browning apples, DNA printing and other. The change can be quite substantial. Various companies are implementing different strategies to gain mileage in the market. Apple’s launch of smartwatch can be considered exemplary in this case.


The healthcare sector is moving gradually towards customization of treatment. The cure for a particular disease depends mostly on individual biology and more the knowledge, more the chances for finding a better cure for various diseases.   Experiments in various segments of the healthcare sector have revealed long back that treatments affect each differently. This has given rise to self-monitoring which as a consequence, is also impacting the research & development section of the healthcare industry.

The comprehensive study of the said Biohacking market reveals that the prevalence of chronic diseases and advents in technology are going to impact substantially. In the U.S., the American Cancer Association reveals that 13% of the population are diagnosed with cancer before they reach age 20.


On the other hand, the American Diabetic Association reveals a daunting 9.3% is suffering from diabetes. These figures are enough to indicate possibilities that the market can have to expand. Advanced technologies are also triggering further growth. Integration of radio frequency identification (RFID) and the inclusion of the internet of things (IoT) is gaining a strong foothold which would considerably inflate the Biohacking market.


Regional Growth & Trend

Regional segmentation classifies the global biohacking market into North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia Pacific, along with the areas of Middle East and Africa(MEA).


North America is expected to retain its top position in the market owing to the presence of most key synthetic biology and biotechnologies companies in Canada and United States region. This clear dominance is also attributed to rapid technological advancements coupled with increasing healthcare expenditure. Furthermore, increasing R&D activities by leading companies to develop new vaccines or drugs to cure the patient is a key factor responsible for boosting the demand for the global biohacking market. Asia Pacific region is also showing stellar progress in terms of growth rate on account of the rapid increase in the cases of chronic diseases, improving healthcare infrastructure, and the need for the development of vaccines for life-threatening viruses such as COVID-19. Moreover, increasing awareness among youths about biohacking is expected to make a lasting impact propelling the market growth ahead.


Based on end-users, the market includes pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies, forensic laboratories, and others. Pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies can rise to a valuation of USD 13,882.08 million during the forecast period. Major companies include ODIN, HVMN, Inc., Synbiota, Apple, Grindhouse Wetware, Thync Global Inc., U.S.A., Moodmetric, Fitbit, Inc., and others. ODIN is leading the market from the front with a 25% share of the global Biohacking market followed by HVMN, Inc., and Synbiota.


The companies operating in the market are involved in the development of the product, strategic initiative, and regional expansion. For instance, Tim Cannon (co-founder of Grindhouse wetware) had implanted a circadia device into his arm. This was the very first event of body implantation. The Circadia device is capable of monitoring body temperature.


Bottlenecks and Constraints

Though, the lack of the security can trigger adverse results. The implantations can be hacked, that can create problems. Though, other factors such as rising elderly population, and will to counter the chronic diseases are anticipated to push market growth in coming years.


However, the market can see sporadic episodes of bottlenecking. Cybercrimes can put up hurdles by leaking personal documents which can adversely impact the progress. At the same time, remote access to healthcare accessories such as insulin pumps, cochlear implants, and pacemakers, if gone to the wrong hands can have fatal consequences. But gadgets are fast becoming the lifeline of the current generation which in a way, would bring out the market from such a situation.


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