It has been a job left to scientists for many years but now software developers and billionaires think they can provide the key to unlocking one of the big questions of human existence.
At the turn of the twentieth century, life expectancy for Americans was just over 49 years; by 2010, that number had risen to 78.5 years.
The last hundred years has been one of the most radical periods of change for our life span and the race to prolong human life is very much on.
Here are just a few of the front runners leading the pack.
- Biotech firms in Silicon Valley are pouring billions into pushing the human lifespan past its apparent maximum. In 2014 hedge fund manager Joon Yun launched a $1m prize challenging scientists to “hack the code of life” to “solve aging”. Yun has an impressive list of nearly 50 advisers, including scientists from some of America’s top universities. The competition is due to come to an end in 2019.
- Google has launched its own anti-aging initiative through Calico – which stands for California Life Company. The research and development company hopes to harness advanced technologies to increase understanding of the biology that controls lifespan and from this knowledge they will devise interventions which will lead to longer and healthier lives. It brings together scientists from the fields of medicine, drug development, molecular biology, and genetics.
- Technology is playing a key role in nanomedicine which is also seeking to give rise to life extension by repairing processes which are responsible for aging. One of the founders of nanotechnology Ray Kurzweil stated in his book ‘The Singularity is Near’ that he believes that advanced medical nanorobotics could remedy the full effects of aging by 2030.
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