Jeff Bezos, Yuri Milner invest in start-up for anti-aging research
Elon Musk might be pioneering brain-machine interfaces at Neuralink but Jeff Bezos doesn't appear to be stopping after flying to space. His latest crazy bet on technology is nothing short of a science fiction flick. The Amazon founder has contributed to a $270+ million fundraise for Altos Labs—a biological reprogramming technology company currently exploring ways to reverse human aging as we know it.
Bezos has a longstanding interest in anti-aging research
MIT Technology Review reported that Bezos has had a longstanding interest in longevity research, of which anti-aging is a subset. He previously invested in an anti-aging firm called Unity Biotechnology. Reportedly, Bezos isn't the only billionaire investing in this field of research. Russian-born billionaire Yuri Milner also invested in Altos Labs. Milner is said to have made his fortune on Facebook and Mail.ru.
Altos Labs plans to rejuvenate cells, expand to prolonging life
MIT Technology Review reported that according to people familiar with the plans, Altos Labs has been formed by scientists who convened last year at Milner's California mansion to describe biotechnology projects and radical attempts at "rejuvenating" animals. Altos Labs reportedly plans to use biological reprogramming technology—a way to rejuvenate cells. This can be extended to revitalize animal bodies and eventually prolong human life.
Altos Labs is hiring academicians, scientists for million-dollar salaries
This new company incorporated in the US and in the UK earlier this year is set to establish institutes in locations including the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Cambridge, and Japan. Altos Labs is reportedly on a hiring spree too, offering million-dollar salaries plus equity and promising to university scientists unfettered research opportunities on the cell aging process and its reversal.
Milner, wife invested in Altos Labs through a foundation
MIT Technology Review confirmed that Bezos had indeed invested in the company, although fellow billionaire Milner and his wife invested through a foundation. The proceeds will be used to try teaching cells to revert to their original stem cell origins, making them re-adapt to skin and deliver a youthful appearance to the subject. Researchers of great notoriety have joined Altos Labs.
Researchers will be led by Nobel laureate scientist
Nobel laureate Dr. Shinya Yamanaka will be an unpaid senior scientist appointed as the chairperson for Altos Labs' scientific advisory board. He discovered four proteins (since named Yamanaka factors) that could reprogram a cell to its stem cell state. Also joining the team is Spanish biologist Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte. In 2016, he applied Yamanaka factors to lab mice, achieving indicators of age reversal.