Cracking the Age Code: Can Science Buy Extra Years?

Can Science Buy Extra Years

Humans are living longer, and the average American now lives to about 80 years old, but many believe 80 is not long enough. The question of how long we can live is central to extended life experts’ research and is the driving force that fuels longevity science and extended life technology innovation.

Question: if you were offered a pill that could extend your life for an additional 50 – 60 years and keep you at physical peak performance, would you take it?

I’ll go a step further. What if I told you I could give you a pill that could reverse and rejuvenate your body’s cells and organs while giving you the vitality and mental rigor of someone in the prime of life? Would you take it?

Let me jump to conclusions and answer on your behalf. Yes, you most likely would. I have a WhatsApp group chat with a few of my friends. I asked the same question; one of my friends answered, “Can I split it in half with my wife? Will my extended life come with more money, and can my family have some, too? The other said yes, no questions asked, and even offered to take my other friend’s life extension pill if he didn’t want it.

Suppose you, the reader, answered no to the offer about taking the life-extension pill. Please permit me to assume that you may have a moral, philosophical, ethical, spiritual, or religious reason for refusing to sample the fountain of youth. However, if you refuse, like my friend said, give me your dose, and I’ll gladly double mine. An extra hundred years for me, thank you.

Do you have a Longevity Mindset?

A longevity mindset? I hear you ask. A longevity mindset in part means accepting that life extension and age reversal are possible and then believing that effort should be committed to making it happen.

Longevity Mindset

This aspect of the longevity mindset definition is co-signed by serial entrepreneur and billionaire founder of Human Longevity Inc., Peter Diamandis, and Dr. David Sinclair, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and author of Lifespan,

Below is a comment that Dr. David Sinclair made about aging.

“If you’re offended by the idea that you have a slow, progressive disease, you’re in denial. If you think you can’t do anything about it, you’re even more in denial.”

David Sinclair, PhD, Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School

Longevity science research is at war with human aging, and the industry is putting up an excellent fight to cure what some in the industry label the disease of aging. Yes, you read right. In some circles, human aging is considered a disease that needs to be cured by taking practical action and adopting a longevity mindset.

In other circles, human aging is considered a software problem that needs a reboot or fixing, referring to 3.2 billion characters of code for about 20,000 different human genes.

I recently learned that our genes don’t change over time, but the expression of our genes do. Some genes are turned on, and some are turned off, also known as our epigenome.

My question in the opening paragraph stems from my discovery of life extension technology and longevity science. My knowledge of this field is still fresh and nieve. I’m simply following the path my intrigue and curiosity lead me on.

Another question that comes to mind as I’m writing this is, if age reversal is possible, then at what age does one start taking the pill? (I’m asking for a friend who wants to know.)

The likelihood of Age Reversal becoming possible.

Let’s consider how much the human race has progressed over the last hundred years. Also, factor in the exponential rate at which new technology is being introduced.

It shouldn’t be hard to visualize the possible reality of extended life technology enabling humans to live well beyond 100 years old and possibly 150 yeas old being the new 40. When humans work together, we can create awesomeness.

This prospect of age reversal becoming real reminds me of Altered Carbon, A SCI-FI series on Netflix where humans can achieve a life expectancy of centuries. Exciting times lay ahead.

The Old Age Search For The Fountain of Eternal Youth

Throughout this article, I’ve used the we and us pronouns, but let me rein things in briefly. I don’t want to burst your excitement bubble, but the prospect of having access to pills that make the good times last even longer will initially only be accessible by the billionaire Boys and Girls Club members.

Fountain of Eternal Youth

Just think of Amazon’s Jeff Bezo’z, Open AI’s CEO Sam Altman, and X founder prize founder Peter Dimandias. For those of us not yet in that club, let’s start saving and stacking.

Before expanding on the fact that initial releases of extending life technology and longevity science solutions will only be for the very rich, let’s quickly explore some origins of mankind’s desire to live longer.

The search for the Fountain of Youth is nothing new and became prominent in the 16th century by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, the first Governor of Puerto Rico.

His search for the Fountain of Youth-led him to what we know today as Florida, only for the Native Americans in Florida to tell Ponce de León that the Fountain of Youth was actually in Bimini. (Talk about being sent on a wild goose chase; I wonder when he decided to stop searching, probably when he realized that his time would be better spent making the most of the remaining of his life.)

Fast forward five centuries, and billionaires with an endless pool of cash are splurging on investing in companies specializing in extended life technology and longevity science. Some notable companies in the field of life are listed below:

  • Altos Labs formed by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Russian-Israeli entrepreneur Yuri Milner in September 2021. The company seeks to tap cellular reprogramming technology to develop life-extending therapies for humans.
  • Juvenescence develops prescription drugs and consumer products for age management, disease prevention, and enhanced metabolic efficiency.
  • Insilico Medicine was formed in 2014 and is domiciled in Hong Kong. Insilico Medicine develops AI technologies to accelerate drug discovery, development, and testing. The company also provides solutions to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to facilitate improvements in efficiency in developing their therapeutics and medicines.
  • Human Longevity Inc. was founded in 2013 by author-entrepreneur Peter Diamandis and genomics pioneer Craig Venter. The company aims to create the world’s most comprehensive database on human phenotypes and genotypes, then use advanced AI, machine learning, and genome sequence analysis to develop new methodologies and therapeutics to treat age-related diseases, reverse the aging process, and empower people to live full lives.
  • Unity Biotechnology is backed by PayPal’s Peter Thiel, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and IPO’d in May 2018. The company focuses on developing advanced therapeutics and transformative medicines that address age-related diseases.
  • Boston-based Life Biosciences developed a company formed in 2017 that focuses on new medicines and advanced therapies that prevent, treat, or reverse multiple aging-related diseases.

The Current State of Healthcare

The healthcare system, as we know it, waits for people to get sick and then tries to treat them. By the time a patient sees a Doctor, so much has already broken down in their bodies, making the possibility of reversing or fixing all the issues increasingly challenging.

Current State of Healthcare

Life extension solutions and medicines aim to introduce prevention and preservation of patients to the health care system. Imagine a world where our healthcare system transitions from reactive to proactive. Pop a life extension pill, sip the sweet elixir of extended life, or bathe in the milk of eternal youth: Bye-bye, wrinkles, and bad knees, hello again, Skinny Jeans, muscle vests, and seven aside soccer.

You’ll be pleased to know that researchers from Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported breakthroughs in their work on age reversal. The team, led by David Sinclair, Ph.D., principal investigator on the project, has created a concoction of chemicals that can reverse aging in mice within a week.

The chemical concoction contains a combination of valproic acid, an anti-seizure medication used for migraine and mood disorders, and a drug used for cancer with anti-aging properties that has successfully reversed mice aging. The mice in the tests exhibited the rejuvenation of old cells within muscles, tissues, and even some organs.

Despite this three-year-long study producing promising discoveries, it should be noted that Dr. Sinclair and his team’s work is still in its very early stages. Nevertheless, Dr Sinclair commented, “This discovery offers the potential to reverse aging with a single pill, with applications ranging from improving eyesight to effectively treating numerous age-related diseases.”

Imagine a world where we can all live longer by just popping a pill or subscribing to some scientifically proven program. Sounds awesome.

The progression of extended life technology and longevity science

According to Oxford Economics, longevity science and the extended life technology industry are expected to be worth 7 trillion dollars. Yes, trillion with a capital T. So we should expect to hear more news about breakthroughs within the industry.

Despite promising breakthroughs, experts agree that regardless of technology and science, life longevity requires a multi-pronged effort using everything from biomarkers and cellular rejuvenation to gene editing, diet, and exercise.

In my limited exposure to the industry of life extension technology and longevity science, I’ve learned that experts are exploring a multi-pronged approach to curing aging and extending human life. This multi-pronged approach includes prevention cocktails, rejuvenation-triggering formulas, and reversal-inducing concoctions, all of which are showing signs of promising breakthroughs.

The trials for tests on humans are still some way, but I can assure you that the billionaire Boys and Girls Club members closely monitor developments and will sooner or later facilitate a breakthrough that changes the way we think about aging.

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