A tech CEO who infused himself with a liter of his son’s plasma in a quest to reverse the aging process is defending the move, calling criticism “a trap in time and place.”
“You and I live in a previous generation’s crazy, and every generation falls for the same trap,” self-proclaimed “professional rejuvenation athlete” and Blueprint CEO Bryan Johnson told Fortune’s editor in chief Alyson Shontell.
This week, at Fortune’s Brainstorm Tech conference in Park City, Utah, Shontell asked Johnson if he went too far by accepting “biofluids” from his son—for what he recently admitted on Twitter was no apparent gain.
“We create these boundary conditions and we label things as normal, and we label other things as crazy,” he replied. “And we try to create these sacred spaces where things can’t be touched. But it’s a trap in time and place.”
Johnson, a 45-year-old tech entrepreneur, said society has “never thrived on status quo. It’s always gone forward blazing new trails.”
“If this triggers a non-normal, so be it,” he added.
He did not directly answer Shontell’s question as to how his son’s mother feels about her son’s participation in the project.
‘World’s first multigenerational plasma exchange’
As Fortune previously reported, Johnson conducted what he calls the “world’s first multigenerational plasma exchange” earlier this year, with his 17-year-old son and 70-year-old father. The procedure, approved by his team of 30 doctors, was an attempt to reduce age-related brain decline.
In a July 5 tweet, Johnson reported that there were “no benefits detected” despite surveillance of a wide range of biomarkers, and that he was “discontinuing therapy.”
“Young plasma exchange may be beneficial for biologically older populations or certain conditions,” he tweeted. “Does not in my case stack benefit on top of my existing interventions.”
Discontinuing therapy: completed 6, 1L young plasma exchanges. 1x/mo (1 w/ my son). Evaluated biomarkers from biofluids, devices and imaging, no benefits detected.
Young plasma exchange may be beneficial for biologically older populations or certain conditions. Does not in my…
— Zero (@bryan_johnson) July 5, 2023
Johnson defended the transfusion, telling Shontell that his son volunteered for the project upon overhearing a conversation with his 70-year-old father, a lawyer complaining that he was losing mental acuity with age.
“Dad, I’ll do it too. I’m in,” he reported his son as saying. “He’d been on Blueprint for multiple years. His friends are on Blueprint.”
On his website, Johnson calls Blueprint—his extreme wellness plan involving over 100 daily pills, a stringent diet, and regular labs and other medical tests—“an algorithm that takes better care of me than I can myself,” and says he invested two years and millions into the project. He claims the plan has slowed his pace of aging “by equivalent 31 years.”
Johnson reportedly spends around $2 million annually funding his care. He made his millions when he sold mobile payment platform Braintree, which he founded in 2007, to PayPal in 2013 for $800 million.