Growing A New Liver, How Your Brain Tracks Your Life & The Story Of The Centipede

The Weekly Dose - Episode 91

The Most Detailed Brain Scan Ever….

This image is from the world’s most powerful MRI machine. This sort of image resolution isn’t possible with your typical hospital MRI machine and gives an unparalleled view into the human brain.


Most MRI scanners used in the hospital have a strength of 1.5 or 3 Teslas (T). This MRI machine can get up to 11.7T!.. not only that but it can achieve this resolution in a number of minutes.


Importantly, this high level of detail and resolution offered allows doctors and scientists to study the brain to potentially provide new information which was previously hidden due to limitations on resolution. The new, unlocked information could herald improvements in diagnosis, for example new insights into detecting Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s at an earlier stage.



How To Grow A New Liver Inside Humans… 

If you’ve read this newsletter a while or watched any of my videos online, you’ll know that I am partial to talking about exciting new breakthroughs in medicine and this one is crazy….


In a world first, a company called LyGenesis injected functioning liver cells (hepatocytes) from a donor into the lymph node of a patient with liver disease.


The aim is that once inside the lymph node, the liver cells start to grow, divide and develop blood vessels and eventually overtake the lymph node and become a mini organ… a mini liver!


It’s already been tested with a successful outcome in pigs (all 6 pigs who had liver cells injected into their lymph nodes developed healthy new mini livers and recovered from liver failure!)


Now the human trial will be trialed in 12 patients with end stage liver disease to see if this new therapy can help them avoid liver transplantation.

Essentially, if this works in humans -  one donated liver could be used to treat dozens or even hundreds of patients!


You’re Going To Laugh… Hopefully

Friday 10th May at Union Chapel in London I am doing my first ever Live event.

I am shocked to say that over half the tickets have gone! In just over a week of announcing it!

My vision for this show is something of a fusion between medical education and comedy stand up… I don’t know if that’s been done before but it’s something that I’ll deliver or embarrass myself doing!

Similar to my book, I’ve called it “This Talk May Save Your Life” – I’ll be insulting the flaws and glitches in the human body like when your “shart” avoiding mechanism fails miserably and you end up with code brown pants moments and also tell you some evidence based methods which can help to improve your life and health!

I’ll also be hanging around after the show to chat to people and meet some of you guys that made all this happen!

If it sounds like something you’d want to go to, bring a friend or family member or come along by yourself! Grab a ticket here:


The Centipede And The Rabbit…

A centipede is crawling along and minding its business when a rabbit stops it and enquires “which of your legs is the fastest?”

The centipede thinks about the question and becomes immobilised by thought as he overthinks it.

Where once the centipede was in flow and the act of crawling was a subconscious action, the overthinking that had now overcome the centipede left him stuck in one place.

At various stages in my life, overwhelming amounts of overthinking and playing out hypothetical scenarios in my head prevent me from progression and taking action. Overthinking holds you back from what you want.

Not every decision or forward movement has to be perfect, if that is the mindset then you might become too afraid to move.

Your decisions, whether right or wrong or imperfect can often be made up for or altered at a later date…but sometimes inaction isn’t.

This Is How Your Brain Measures Your Life…

Your brain tracks time in a strange way. Time itself is a construct, not a biological fact or law that your brain necessarily adheres to. It does however keep a note of time, not in minutes, hours, days or years but in adventures and memories.

I’m all for routine in many aspects of life – going to the gym, the routine of sleep habits etc. but routine without interesting moments that break it up can collapse your life and memories into singular dull moments of existence… let me explain.

Your brain timestamps interesting moments from your life, like a highlights reel… the best snapshots of the life you’ve lived.

In fact research shows that people tend to record more events from their teenage years and the late 20s and this is probably because you're encountering more experiences for the first time during that.

But also because your emotional systems are at their most intense and unconstrained since your higher order emotional regulation systems are still developing.

Providing novelty and emotional intensity in your life work hand in hand to create lasting memories.

For example,  the neuroscientist David Eagleman had participants experience a frightening freefall of 31 metres then measured their estimates of the time it took; their estimates were over estimated by 36% as compared to observations of others falling.

His conclusion was that this “time dilation effect” was a consequence of recollection perception and that emotionally charged experiences lead to richer encoding which in turn distorts our memory of them and makes the moment seemingly last longer.

Live a dull life to shrink your life.

Make more adventures.


What You Should Watch

“Ripley” – Netflix

I remember in the early 2000s watching this incredible movie starring Matt Damon and Jude Law called “The Talented Mr Ripley”.

The premise revolves around a rogue underachiever and wannabe conman Tom Ripley who gets sent to Italy to convince the spoilt, playboy millionaire Dickie Greenleaf to return to his father in the US. What happens next is an insidious and sinister series of events whereby Tom Ripley begins to take over another man’s life.

This new series is a “reboot” of that film from over 20 years ago but it stands out on its own too – worth a binge!


P.S If you’ve made it this far and you’re keen to learn more interesting things about science and the human body – grab a copy of my best selling book “This Book May Save Your Life”.

If you’ve already read it – I would gratefully welcome your review on Amazon!