It may sound like a ghastly technique used by a vampire from an Ann Rice novel to get his daily fix. But top brass in Silicon Valley are turning to blood from young people in the search for the ‘biological fountain of youth.’ A procedure and technique known as parabiosis.
While the procedures are relatively new, early studies have suggested that the parabiosis procedure, which involves the transfusion of blood plasma from a young donor, can have age-reversing effects on the body – but it will cost you $8,000.
Larry Ellison, 73, billionaire founder of Oracle, is investing in startups developing and researching on the ‘age-reversing’ technique, according to The Times. Speaking to his biographer, Mr Ellison once said: ‘Death has never made any sense to me.’ (Related: Watch out Under Armour, Bacteria open vents in this shirt when you sweat)
The parabiosis technique involves transfusing the plasma from ‘young blood’ into ‘old blood’, but unless you are ready to fork over large sums of cash, it doesn’t come cheap. Ambrosia, a start-up based in San Francisco, offers plasma infusions at $8,000 for just two liters, to anyone aged over 35. The firm sources the blood plasma – which comes from 16-25 year olds – from blood banks.
Speaking to The Times, Ms Jesse Karmazin, founder of Ambrosia, said: ‘Our first clients were biotech chief executives.
‘Now it’s broader. More men, mostly in their sixties, though it ranges from thirties to nineties.
‘About 10-15 per cent are really into ‘biohacking’ and will be doing other treatments, diets etc.’
One of the most known executives turning to parabiosis is billionaire tech investor, Peter Thiel.
Ambrosia was contacted last year by Thiel Capital’s chief medical officer, Jason Camm, who expressed interest in the work.
In an interview last year, Mr Thiel said: ‘I’m looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting.
‘This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect.’
Thiel went on to clarify that the procedure was of interest as a personal-health treatment, and said it would not require FDA approval. (Related: First look inside Chinese sex robot factory making ‘human-like’ dolls set to ‘GO GLOBAL’)
Still, the investor remarked then that he hadn’t ‘quite, quite, quite started yet’ in moving forward with parabiosis, and according to Inc, this is still the case.
Scientists first experimented with parabiosis in the 1950s, and in recent years, it’s begun to gain attention once again.
In the organ systems of both animals and humans, the procedure has been found to reverse the symptoms of aging.
But scientists don’t yet understand all of the mechanisms at work.
Ms Karamazin explained to Inc that the blood of a young organism is rich with proteins that improve cell function, and can spur the production of these proteins in the recipient’s body.
And, the researcher says this effect appears to be ‘almost permanent.’
Other tech experts are pumping vast amounts of money into technologies aimed at slowing – or stopping – the aging process or enabling immortality.
Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has plowed cash into Unity, a Bay area company that hopes to stop the aging process – and which had raised $116 million in funding by October last year. (Related: Trump’s Twitter so powerful he just cost Amazon billions with this one tweet)
The firm hopes to find a way to eject senescent cells – which stop cancer cells, but build up over time and go on to cause macular degeneration and arthritis – from the body.
The Global Elite Will Become God-Like Human Cyborgs
Using biotechnology and genetic engineering, Professor Yuval Noah Harari, a historian from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, claims the wealthy will transform into a new type of divine, immortal human with complete power over life and death. (Related: Chinese scientists teleport photon from Earth to space in breakthrough)
Harari argued that the rich are set to become God-like cyborgs in what could be the ‘biggest evolution in biology’ since life emerged.
During a recent lecture at the Hay Literary Festival in Wales, Professor Harari said, ‘We are programmed to be dissatisfied,’ The Telegraph reported.
‘Even when humans gain pleasure and achievements it is not enough. They want more and more.
‘I think it is likely in the next 200 years or so homo sapiens will upgrade themselves into some idea of a divine being, either through biological manipulation or genetic engineering of by the creation of cyborgs, part organic part non-organic.
The technology to do this, however, will be restricted to the very wealthy, claims Professor Harari.
Until now, he says society has been held together by inventing ‘fictions’, such as religion, money and the idea of fundamental human rights.
As long as humans believed they relied more and more on these gods they were controllable, he said
‘But what we see in the last few centuries is humans becoming more powerful and they no longer need the crutches of the Gods.’
A study that was carried out on mice suggests that removing the cells ‘can prevent or delay tissue dysfunction and extend healthspan.’
Google co-founder Sergey Brin, 43, also got in on the act this year, attending the launch of the National Academy of Medicine’s Grand Challenge in Health Longevity in May. (Related: Both Right and Left Voices Claiming Google Censorship — The Problem is HUGE — Just how powerful is Google?)
The academy has put $25 million into research hoping to ‘end aging forever.’
But that’s small bananas compared to Google’s Calico (short for California Life Company), which has allocated an entire $1 billion into anti-aging research.
Needless to say this is an interesting story to follow, with many top Silicon Valley executives becoming involved.
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