London | A Silicon Valley entrepreneur has launched a USD 1 million prize challenging scientists to discover the ‘elixir of life’ and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years. Fifteen scientific teams have so far entered the prize to find the elusive fountain of youth. According to hedge fund manager Joon Yun, the chance of dying between ages 25 and 26 is only 0.1 per cent. He now wants scientists to hack the code of life and push human lifespan past its apparent maximum of about 120 years, the Guardian reported.
Yun believes it is possible to solve ageing and get people to live, healthily, more or less indefinitely. To encourage scientists, Yun set up the USD 1 million Palo Alto Longevity Prize last year to anyone who can extend the life span in mice up to 50 per cent in the first place. Yun plans to offer more money for feats above and beyond until longevity is no longer an issue. Yun is not the only one who sees a new flowering of antiageing research. In 2013, Google launched California Life Company (Calico) with a mission to reverse engineer the biology that controls lifespan and devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives.
In 2014, pioneering American biologist and technologist Craig Venter along with the founder of the X Prize Foundation, Peter Diamandis, announced a new company called Human Longevity Inc. The company plans to create a database of 1 million human genome sequences by 2020 that will give key information for a longer, healthier life.
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