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The future speculation of the minority | What have the “biohackers” achieved on the battlefield of longevity and anti-aging?

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Text | Secret Cong Editing | Zhang Wei Huang Wei Ideally, you can live to 120 years old.This is the concept put forward by American scholar Haier Foley in 1961.Human cells generally divide about 50 times, and the cycle of division is about 2.4 years.But can we still break through the physiological limits and live longer?If you ask the “biocivil hackers” in Silicon Valley, they are likely to replied: Of course!Moreover, these ambitious families are not just talking about it.”I am not a vampire!” Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel defended himself in the 2018 New York Times annual forum.He refutes a widely rumored rumor: Peter Till fights aging by injecting blood from young people.Although he does not recognize blood transfusion, he does not avoid his desire for longevity.He publicly admitted that he was taking growth hormone drugs.Some people are more radical than him, and believe that genetic recombination reagents can break through physiological limitations.Aaron Traywick, CEO of Biopharmaceuticals, staged a “behavior art” at the Bio-Hacking Conference: taking off his pants in public and picking up a thin syringe towards his ownThe thigh is injected with a herpes treatment gene agent.This is one of the cheap genetic agents developed by its company.Two months later, he was found dead in the spa, and there were many medicine bottles floating around him.The results of the forensic investigation showed that the main cause of his death was the short separation of consciousness and feeling after neurotoxicity.However, many people still believe that his death is related to this injection.Obviously, they regard “aging” as a disease that can be prevented and cured, and even a mentality of fighting against death.Aaron Ciechanover, the Nobel laureate in Chemistry, represents another view. In an exclusive interview with 36, he said: “I am not old? I don’t believe. The biological system has its own operating principles.I think these people are wasting money. There are some organizations that are trying ‘transfusion therapy’, but none of these treatments have proven clinically effective.” But this does not affect the billionaires who come from the technology industry like Peter Til.Chasing the “immortality”.In 2018, Peter Tyre co-founded venture capital firm Founders Fund and Amazon CEO Bezos’ private fund Bezos Expeditions participated in Unity Biotech, a biotechnology company that researched anti-aging, which was launched in 2018.The starting point for the Silicon Valley venture capital circle to focus on the anti-aging field was in 2013, when Google established the anti-aging research company Calico (California Life Company).In addition, Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison invested more than $400 million in anti-aging research.After subverting the fields of mobile phones, computers, and automobiles, the Silicon Valley giants gradually extended their reach to human life.In order to achieve longevity, intelligence and youth, they want to reprogram their lives.In the past few years, not limited to Silicon Valley, companies and fund organizations that focus on aging and longevity have emerged, such as Juvenescence, Apollo Ventures, Deep Knowledge Ventures, Life Biosciences, Longevity Fund, etc., but they are now more like incubator-like existences..One hundred ways to “reverse” the age In addition to the background of population aging, research breakthroughs in recent years are also the “stabilizers” of these capitals in the anti-aging field.But to fight against aging, you must first understand the concept of “aging.”According to the National Institute on Aging, the process of aging reflects all the changes that occur in a person’s life.It is currently popular to say that these changes are mainly due to the aging of cells and the shortening of telomeres (a small piece of DNA at the end of the chromosome).And aging will bring a series of sequelae, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases.The latest study on long-life drugs about cell aging comes from the University of Southern California’s Viterbi Institute of Technology.In June 2019, a study found that aging cells stopped producing chemicals called nucleotides.”This also means that if we can maintain the synthesis of nucleotides, then the aging of cells may be slower.” A researcher at the institute claims that the study will help develop drugs that eliminate aging cells.“Sometimes aging is also a double-edged sword. It is the protective barrier of the body against cancer. When cells are at risk of potential cancer, they will enter aging and stop proliferating, so that cancer will not continue to spread.” University of Southern California projectNick Graham, the head of the company, said that all aging cells should not be eliminated because it could expose people to cancer.Therefore, anti-aging drugs like Senolytics require targeted targeting to eliminate senescent cells, thus preserving the original tumor suppressor function of senescent cells.Senolytics is a combination of the words Senescence and root-lytic, which can be understood as “eliminating aging.”It is a drug developed by biotech company Unity Biotech that claims to delay aging and solve geriatric diseases.It is diverse, each targeting different aging diseases and specific aging cells.According to a report by Nature, there are currently 14 species of Senolytics documented, including small molecules, antibodies and peptides.In January, Senolytics anti-aging drugs were first tested in humans.The results of the trial showed that 14 elderly people diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis increased the mobility of most patients by more than 5% after participating in the trial.Currently, Unity Biotech is working on the development of diseases such as joint diseases, atherosclerosis, pulmonary fibrosis, and chronic kidney disease.Zhu Jingyang, senior investment manager of Huagai Medical Fund, was once swept by Senolytics.Unlike many people who think it is an effective longevity drug, he said: “Senolytics is a concept put forward by American scientists in 2015. (should) treat it as a general drug, success is a good medicine, no successIt’s normal. Because the medicine itself is a life of nine deaths, full of risks.” 3D printing organs and organ transplants In addition to cells, the battlefield against aging, futurist Ian Pearson proposed: constantly changing vital organs, may beA good way to achieve longevity.However, the shortage of organs and the difficulty of matching have inspired scientists to study how to use 3D printing technology to print autologous organs from human cells.Prellis Biologics is a company that develops 3D organ printing.Currently, it is tackling how to keep 3D printed cells and tissues alive for a long time.If this technology matures, the waiting time for organ transplantation will be shortened and the success rate will increase.3D printing organs In addition, xenotransplantation (nurturing new organs on the animal’s body and being accepted by the human body) is also a solution, but the technology is still in the research and development stage.Kaixin Bio is a relatively representative company in China.Recently, Japan has approved a controversial human-animal hybrid embryo test: creating an animal embryo containing human cells and transplanting it into a surrogate animal.According to Nature, the mouse embryonic organs used for hybrid breeding have been almost completely formed so far.Gene sequencing and gene therapy accurately depicting the true appearance of aging is one of the ways to unravel the mystery of aging, and gene sequencing can be a tool for “drawing”.DNA information can help us to “longevity” better, which means that finding a rejuvenating elixir may no longer be a patent for billionaires, and ordinary people can enjoy it.Human Longevity is a typical genome sequencing company in the anti-aging field. It is founded by Peter Diamandis, founder of Singularity University, and J. Craig, a pioneer in the field of genomics.Venter) co-founded.Dai Mandis once said in a public speech: “We can measure the genome of 100,000 people every day. In 2020, this number is 5 million.” In the field of gene sequencing in China, according to Yan Oike, director of investment in Qingtong Capital,Hypros is the largest domestic sequencing flux and has the highest accuracy in the ctDNA field.Its business currently mainly includes: cancer gene detection and genetic testing of healthy people.In addition, gene therapy technology is catching up.In 2018, Rejuvenate Bio, a biotechnology company founded by Professor George Church, the genetics godfather, genetically treated the hounds to reverse their age.But Rejuvenate Bio has greater ambitions. In an interview with The New Yorker in 2019, Cecchi said: “If all goes well, we should complete the dog’s clinical trial within two years and conduct human clinical trials within five years.”The breakthrough in biotechnology has also attracted the attention of capital.Since 2018, some large pharmaceutical companies have launched a wave of intensive acquisitions of gene therapy companies, and frequent acquisitions.For example, Roche acquired the gene therapy company Spark Therapeutics for $4.3 billion, Novartis acquired Gene therapy company Aves for $8.7 billion, and New Base Pharmaceuticals acquired Juno Therapeutics for $9 billion.Aging is almost the root cause of all human diseases.According to the CEO of Insilico Medicine, an artificial intelligence company in the United States: “The longevity biotechnology industry is very similar to the PC industry in the early 1980s or the Internet in the late 1990s. Everyone understands that this industry is very impressive.” Just like MIT TechnologyAccording to the commentary: “If a company can extend human life by two years, its value will exceed 100 billion.” But unlike other industries, its success is not defined by matter, it depends on how much health and happiness can be extended for human beings.Time.Compared with Europe and the United States and Silicon Valley, China’s investment trend in the anti-aging field is not obvious.Zhang Chen, the founding partner of the probe capital, said: “At present, the anti-aging in China mainly refers to the medical beauty and health care diet.” Escape from aging, but death is still difficult to avoid?With the development of biotechnology and the continuous development of the above-mentioned related companies, perhaps aging will become a bug that can be corrected in the life process.According to Ned David, CEO of Unity Biotech, people are beginning to realize that aging is flexible, and we are entering an era where we can safely change the process of human aging.If aging is cured, people’s physical condition in old age is smooth, but is death still a leap on the edge of the cliff?There is a concept here called the longevity escape speed: as long as you can persist for a long enough time, until you wait for the innovation of Changshou Technology, you will theoretically get eternal life.The futurist Ian Pearson gives an exact time: “As long as you can live until 2050, there is a great chance of achieving eternal life.” Is eternal life the ultimate goal of anti-aging?The father of genetics, George Cecchi, doesn’t think so: “If our technology is effective enough, there is no upper limit to human life. But our goal is not here. We hope that the elderly can still be healthy and young rather than stretched.The aging period.” But the optimism about technology may be too early, even if George Cech’s dog test has made positive progress in age reversal, there is no guarantee that it will cure the disease.A typical example is Alzheimer’s disease, whose basic genetics and pathology seem to have a groundbreaking discovery, but there is still no cure or even better relief therapy.More and more elderly people are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, which is a common phenomenon in developed countries.In addition, if some medical techniques are used to achieve human eternal life, they will face ethical issues, such as genetic editing.Some scholars worry that if “genetic transformation” is not for the purpose of treatment, then the enhancement of human function will become horrible.In his essay “Concise Answer to Big Questions,” Hawking wrote: “The law may prohibit genetic modification of humans, but some people may not be able to withstand the temptation to improve human characteristics such as memory, disease resistance, and longevity.Obviously, he is worried that the development of this technology will eventually violate the original intention. In the book, Hawking suggests that the rich have a better chance to become “superman” – with stronger body ability, higher disease resistance and intelligence, and longer life.Human beings, which will lead to the “polarization” of superhumans and ordinary people in human society, ordinary people may suffer slavery. The distance between us and eternal life When most people accept the fate of death at the end of life, some people are “not confessingThey took themselves as mice, almost frantically exploring ways to live longer or even surpass death. The first is Dave Asprey, the first “bio-hacker” in Silicon Valley who leads the trend of technology health. He insists on mindfulness.Meditation, ketogenic diet, in recent years, upgraded their own “health list”: eat 100 nutrients every day, inject body stem cells, regularly receive infrared radiation, and try to “fill the gas” in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber.Serge Faguet has a similar approach. He eats more than 60 pills a day, including nutritional supplements, antidepressants,Hypoglycemic agents, and even illicit drugs. He also injects growth hormone to promote muscle growth. In addition, he also pays attention to maintaining mental health, good sleep, balanced diet, medical examination (blood and genetics, etc.) and reasonable exercise.“We are (complex) robots that can be adjusted and improved.”Faget said that his main goal now is to maintain a healthy and long life, in preparation for future integration with the machine, and become a “superman.” While Peter Till denied accepting “transformation,” he admitted to himself and Alcor (a family).The company that studies cryogenic technology has signed the “Cryonics Freeze Program.” According to this plan, users can choose to save their heads for about $80,000 or save the body for $200,000. Freezing the body or brain has become the pursuit of eternal life.In fact, the premise of the success of this method is the dataization of the human brain. However, scientists have not yet overcome this problem. Some people want to start from genetic adaptation to delay the arrival of aging. In 2016, biotechnology companyElizabeth Parrish, CEO of BioViva, said that he accepted experimental gene therapy developed by his company, which is also the world’s first human clinical trial of anti-aging gene therapy, but the results of the treatment are still controversial. For example, BioViva claims that PaRish’s telomeres have grown, and her white blood cells have become biologically younger. But from a single person’sThe positive conclusions in the experiment are dangerous, and the current data measurement also has the possibility of deviation. Musk’s “brain fanaticism” is also pushing the distance between human beings and eternal life. Not long ago, Neuralink announced that its brain machineNew developments in interface research: Neuralink uses invasive, electrode lines to prevent brain damage. This may be an advantage that distinguishes it from previous brain-computer interface plans. It is reported that Neuralink will first test on patients with high paraplegia, but MuskHis ambitions are not limited to this. Not long ago, he said on a podcast show that the technology would make humans “effectively merge with AI.” He wanted to make the brain-computer interface become like a mobile phone, even more than a mobile phone.Fully invade human life. So where is the end point of human and AI integration? If the brain-computer interface plan goes well, we will soon be able to “upload thinking”, at this time, the physical immortality is no longer important, because we are one step ahead.Achieving digital eternal life. But are the thinking codes that wander around the cloud represent you? Perhaps George CecchiWe depict scenes more within reach: “The future Many centenarians in old age has also been full of youthful vigor, before the death knocking at the door, we do not have to undergo the pain of torture.”This kind of imagination is not bad.””The future of the minority is conjectured. “The future speculation of the minority” is a new section of the 36-inch focus on technology and small trends.Here, we will interview minority groups with smart brains to deeply understand their conjectures about the future.Although the minority faces are different, they may be book authors, entrepreneurs, or industry experts in the field of research.But the same is true, whether it’s big data, cloud computing, or driverless and 5G, their inspiration for predicting future trends will shine here.”PS: If your company is closely related to cutting-edge technology, the latest business models, and future trends, and is seeking coverage, please contact us. Also, if you are willing to do some compilation in the above direction in your spare time,Become a volunteer of the 36氪 “Minority of the Minority” and welcome to contact us. We will send exclusive benefits from time to time for successful candidates. (Contact: [email protected], please attachPersonal resume or company related information)”.