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Monday, March 20, 2023

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This startup, which aims for immortality, would have seduced Jeff Bezos

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For a few weeks now, Jeff Bezos has stepped down as CEO of Amazon. However, the 57-year-old billionaire is teeming with projects and we recently saw him afford a brief walk in space aboard a New Shepard rocket from his company Blue Origin.

Far from stopping there, the businessman has decided to invest in a startup called Altos Labs. According to MIT Technology Review who investigated this case, the company was founded earlier this year and is working on biological reprogramming technology. The goal is to find a way to rejuvenate cells in the laboratory with the idea of ​​ultimately extending human life.

This technology allowed a mouse to regain sight

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Based in the United States and the United Kingdom, this new company wants to create several cutting-edge institutes and is recruiting hard. The American media even talks about the salaries of top athletes that can exceed one million dollars for some scientists who agree to join the adventure.

This project is also reminiscent of that of the co-founder of Google, Larry Page. Called Calico Labs, it also works on cellular rejuvenation. Since its launch in 2013, this initiative has not shown much progress.

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Stimulating from a scientific point of view, this research would not be without danger according to our colleagues. For example, work on mice showed signs of rejuvenation, and one of the rodents was even able to regain sight, but others developed embryonic tumors called teratomas.

The MIT Technology Review gives the floor to David Sinclair, a researcher at Harvard University who firmly believes in this technology: “ Hundreds of millions of dollars are raised by investors to invest in reprogramming, with the specific purpose of rejuvenating parts or the whole human body ».

Others are much more skeptical and believe that we are still far from a human therapy because reprogramming would not only rejuvenate the cells but would modify them in the process. This idea of ​​rejuvenation and almost eternal life also poses philosophical and ethical questions which are far from having been settled.

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