Sure, radically expanded lifespans sound great on paper, but just because the technology works it doesn’t mean that it will be affordable to anyone but the incredibly wealthy. Near-immortal Koch brothers, anyone? Rupert Murdoch the Undying?
J. Craig Venter is the latest wealthy entrepreneur to think he can cheat aging and death. And he hopes to do so by resorting to his first love: sequencing genomes.
On Tuesday, Dr. Venter announced that he was starting a new company, Human Longevity, which will focus on figuring out how people can live longer and healthier lives.
To do that, the company will build what Dr. Venter says will be the largest human DNA sequencing operation in the world, capable of processing 40,000 human genomes a year.
The huge amount of DNA data will be combined with huge amounts of other data on the health and body composition of the people whose DNA is sequenced, in the hope of gleaning insights into the molecular causes of aging and age-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.
Slowing aging, if it can be done, could be a way to prevent many diseases, an alternative to treating one disease a time.