Would you like to live longer, maybe even decide when you die? Thirteen years after scientists pinpointed the Methuselah gene, Google Ventures president, Bill Maris, believes it is now possible to live until the old age of five hundred.
“If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes,” Bill Maris, Google Ventures’ president, said in a Bloomberg profile.
“Twenty years ago, without genomics, you could only treat cancer with a poison. That’s really different from, ‘We can cure your cancer by reverse-engineering a stem cell.’ You can now legitimately invest in a company that could cure cancer.”
Google has invested heavily in life sciences and over the last 2 years has increased funding by 30%, Bloomberg reports. The firm is a collaboration of 70 people, with 17 investment partners.
Google Ventures big plans for the future of science and healthcare. From Bloomberg:
“We are just on the verge of what science and technology can do,” says David Shaywitz, chief medical officer of DNAnexus, who’s seated across from Byers and Hodak. His company, also backed by Google Ventures, is building a global bank of genomic information using cloud computing.
Listening to the scientists gathered around the table, it’s hard not to get caught up in the world they see coming. In this vision of our future, science will be able to fix the damage that the sun or smoking or too much wine inflicts on our DNA. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other scourges of aging will be repaired at the molecular level and eradicated. In the minds of this next generation of entrepreneurs, the possibilities are bizarre and hopeful and endless. We probably won’t live forever, but we could live much longer, and better.
These are the bets Google Ventures is hoping will ultimately be its biggest wins. “We aren’t trying to gain a few yards,” Maris says. “We are trying to win the game. And part of it is that it is better to live than to die.”
What does this mean for the future of the pseudoscience, eugenics?
Will there be a breakaway society that will only allow the rich and powerful to mature to the age of 500?
Is it time to start exploring colonization of our moon and other planets?
*The Methuselah gene was named after Methuselah, son of Enoch. He was the oldest man to live in recorded history. Some accounts say he lived until 960, while others say he was 969 years of age. He died the year of a massive global flood.