- There are many companies right now that are making significant steps in finding ways to reduce aging, eradicate diseases, and replace cells to help us live better, longer.
- Unfortunately, the research and breakthroughs happening now, aren’t going to benefit anyone for at least a generation.
- It’s projected that, based on these new technologies, a person in their 60s today, could potentially live to be 115 to 120.
I just returned from Abundance 360, which is an annual seminar held by Dr. Peter Diamandis from the XPRIZE. One of the major areas touched on at the seminar was human longevity. You’ve probably seen those movies which show an old witch becoming young by sucking the life force out of a young person, and while that sounds crazy, some of the research going on right now with human longevity is kind of like that. I’m going to highlight four individuals and the research their companies are doing on human longevity.
- Dr. Mark Allen – Elevian. Over 20 years of experiments, this company found a protein called GDF11. They found it, believe it or not, by pairing a young mouse with an old mouse and sewing them together. The experiment almost always turns out the same: the young mouse gets older faster, and the old mouse gets younger. They found that over time, this GDF11 protein goes down in the body, and that makes us get older. Having the GDF11 protein stay around at higher levels in our body would allow us to live better and longer.
- Dr. Bob Hariri – Celularity. Dr. Hariri has been at the forefront of stem cell research and its application for many years. In particular, he has worked on cord blood banking, which is taking the placenta and umbilical cord blood when a baby is born and storing it for future use of the stem cells within that blood. These stem cells can potentially be used to cure diseases or ailments the person has over the course of their lives.
- Dr. Keith Leonard – UNITY Biotechnology. There’s something called cellular senescence, which is where cells stop dividing. Your cells can only divide so many times throughout your life, and once they’ve reached that limit, they become senescent and aging occurs. Think of it from the standpoint of looking at a person at age 60 versus when they were 20 and you see wrinkles and spots, and those signs of aging. Those are your cells ceasing to divide and thus becoming senescent. UNITY Biotechnology has found a way to eradicate these cells and replace them with good ones, which keeps you looking younger as you age.
- Osman Kibar – Samumed. This company has two big projects going on that are both fascinating. The first project is already in the second stage of looking at how to eradicate cancer from eight major organs in the body. Their second project is looking at regenerating cartilage in knees and disks in your back. Simplifying the science behind it, they basically perform an injection in the knee or back and the cartilage starts to regrow.
This is all amazing new technology and breakthrough research, but many will not be available for some time still. In fact, many of these doctors pointed out that the clinicians who are reading or hearing about this research today, aren’t going to be able to actually use this in their practices for a generation. And that’s the sad part of all these new breakthroughs, because you can see this technology on the horizon, but you may have a parent, friend, or even yourself, who needs this technology right now, and it’s not going to be available for many more years.
Peter asked each of the doctors how long they thought a person my age (60s) might live, given their new technologies, and they all said between 115 to 120. That might sound great on the surface, but it might also be a little scary for a lot of folks because how many people have planned on living that long? The concern of course is the idea that you could run out of money. Living to 115 or 120 is a whole lot different than planning to live in to your 80s or 90s. It’s something to take in to consideration as these new technologies become available.
I’m sure there will be more coming down the road in the area of human longevity, but it’s all fascinating and exciting research that has some pretty amazing potential.
Until next time, enjoy.
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Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them
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