Aren’t most of us curious about what life after death would like? But, some powerful and affluent Silicon Valley techpreneurs are not interested in such measly answers. Instead, they’re more drawn to ditching on the plan of dying and further extending their lifespans to continue on their quest for global domination (and contributions to the futuristic technology world).
One of these individuals would have to be Google’s co-founder Sergey Brin (and of course, his partner in crime Larry Page), who both have invested heavily into their biotech subsidiary Calico Labs. Short for the California Life Company, this research, and development center was launched back in 2013, set up inMountain View itself with the primary objective of working on a long-term project to sort out the causes of aging and put an end to them. If the code of aging is hacked correctly, thermodynamically, then it means that we can definitely defer entropy indefinitely to become immortals.
Bill Maris, the founder of Google Ventures (now known as GV) is seen as the founder of the said research project, working on beating death by grabbing hold of the basics behind aging. Calico is currently engaging with a team of scientists from varied fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology, genetics, and computational biology.
This startup has been operational for a good three odd years and is focused on building countermeasures for age-related diseases. It now has a team of around 100 research scientists and a host of exotic samples – yeast, DNA, worms, and naked mole rats (whose life span is three times the normal house mice). It has recently also partnered with C4 Therapeutics to advance the research on targeted protein degradation by about five years.
While Alphabet’s biotech division is already aggressively devoting time to find a cure for aging, others in the industry are also focused on achieving the same end goal – ‘end aging forever’. Tad Friend, staff writer at The New Yorker was recently present at the National Academy of Medicine’s Grand Challenge in Healthy Longevity in Las Vegas. Narrating an incident about Sergey Brin’s apprehensions with death, he quoted a story narrated by his girlfriend Nicole Shannon.
Nicole Shannon, for those unaware, is the founder and CEO of the patent management company ClearAccessIP. She will be working with the National Academy to streamline the process of filing their ground-breaking biotech patents. On stage at the event, Shannon took the time to address Alphabet’s ongoing anti-aging research and how Sergey responded to a remark about the same in a book he’s recently been catching up on. She said,
I’m here with my darling, Sergey,” she said, referring to her boyfriend, Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google. “And he called me yesterday and said, ‘I’m reading this book, “Homo Deus,” and it says on page twenty-eight that I’m going to die.’ I said, ‘It says you, personally?’ He said, ‘Yes!’
For those wondering, the book’s author Yuval Noah Harari shines a light on the company’s Calico biotech research labs and mentions something that no human would like to read. It states that Calico won’t be able to develop a cure to prevent aging in time to save both Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This means their ambitions to remain immortal were crushed with just a handful of inscriptions in a book. But, they’re still heavily investing into ongoing research and are positive about the outcome — possibly only for themselves to begin with.
Presently, the biggest fear for these Silicon Valley magnates isn’t dying of an infection or failing in an entrepreneurial endeavor. They are more fearful of death itself, the slow process of aging, which we say is inevitable. Everyone life has to come to an end one day, said someone a long time ago. But, the amalgamation of technology and science has given the super rich “life extension community” some hope. The appeal is mesmerizing and these individuals are now trying to stay young and healthy indefinitely.
In addition to Google co-founders, other affluent individuals who’ve invested in accelerating efforts for the development of anti-aging solutions are Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, former PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, and Oracle’s co-founder Larry Ellison. Bezos’ along with Bezos has poured in about $116 million in Unity Biotechnology, whereas Ellison directed over $335 million from his foundation’s grants to scientists working on deterring age and polio in 2013.
The progress is currently looking attractive, adding that glimmer of hope to the eyes of these affluent individuals. The biggest question (or worry) that definitely remains is whether scientists would be able to complete their research and attain a solution to aging in their lifetime. What are your opinions on the future of anti-aging solutions? Comment your thoughts down below.