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posted by LaminatorX on Tuesday January 13 2015, @04:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the ought-to-be-enough-for-anybody dept.

The Guardian has an interesting article on the current quest sweeping Silicon Valley to disrupt death and the $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years. Hedge Fund Manager Joon Yun's Palo Alto Longevity Prize, which 15 scientific teams have so far entered, will be awarded in the first instance for restoring vitality and extending lifespan in mice by 50%:

Billionaires and companies are bullish about what they can achieve. In September 2013 Google announced the creation of Calico, short for the California Life Company. Its mission is to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and “devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives”. Though much mystery surrounds the new biotech company, it seems to be looking in part to develop age-defying drugs. In April 2014 it recruited Cynthia Kenyon, a scientist acclaimed for work that included genetically engineering roundworms to live up to six times longer than normal, and who has spoken of dreaming of applying her discoveries to people. “Calico has the money to do almost anything it wants,” says Tom Johnson, an earlier pioneer of the field now at the University of Colorado who was the first to find a genetic effect on longevity in a worm.

Why might tech zillionaires choose to fund life extension research? Three reasons reckons Patrick McCray, a historian of modern technology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. First, if you had that much money wouldn’t you want to live longer to enjoy it? Then there is money to be made in them there hills. But last, and what he thinks is the heart of the matter, is ideology. If your business and social world is oriented around the premise of “disruptive technologies”, what could be more disruptive than slowing down or “defeating” ageing? “Coupled to this is the idea that if you have made your billions in an industrial sector that is based on precise careful control of 0s and 1s, why not imagine you could extend this to the control of atoms and molecules?,” he says.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:29PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @05:29PM (#134452)

    Is that you, Doctor?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:51PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @06:51PM (#134482)

    The ultimate goal of this exercise is not for extending the lifespan of an earth dwelling human.
    The miltary industrial oligarchy is entering a new phase of research, dangling carrots in front of our faces to swallow like nice little sheep. Their goal is to genetically modify and create special humans to have specific attributes to suit their requirements; one such requirement is a 'space travelling' human.

    The ruling class will eventually look down at us non-genetically modified humans like the way you see ants on the ground. They will continue to throw newer carrots and addictions at us earthlings throughout the life of the research.

    Wouldn't it be lovely if you could design an algorithm whiched always ripped through corporate speak such as "Silicon Valley say's OMFG blah blah blah" and replaced it with "John Kane president of wicked industries Maryland, and Jane Abel the senator for Some State, and Sergei Tossmeoff of GLOOGL, James Nutter president of MOONSANTO, and JIM GEEKSTER a computer science student from Mary Street SanFrancisco, have been given the green light by 'Oligarch X' to spin up a new global reasearch campaign....OMFG blah blah blah"

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 13 2015, @08:35PM (#134525)

      There's still time to join the military industrial oligarchy before they all become eugenicists. And what happens to the oligarchs that weren't born genetically enhanced? Maybe they enhance themselves with gene therapy? Something that could also be used by the masses?

      Getting real, curing aging is about repairing aging damage and curing diseases. You don't get to cure aging without eliminating cancer, Alzheimer's, organ failure, etc.

      • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:36PM

        by Freeman (732) on Wednesday January 14 2015, @07:36PM (#134846) Journal

        Sounds a lot like Star Trek Insurrection to me.

        "I said in my haste, All men are liars." Psalm 116:11