The Lighter Side: The Quest for Eternal Life

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Curated by James Angelos

We may be making progress on staying forever young. Scientists say they were able to “rewind the age of skin cells by 30 years.”

  • The 16th century Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, according to legend, was in search of the Fountain of Youth, a mythical spring believed to bestow eternal life, when he found Florida instead.
  • The quest for eternal life—or at least extended life—continues until today. Only this time, it’s not rooted in legend, but in science and, for that matter, a great deal of money.
  • Silicon Valley billionaires like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel have invested some of their fortunes in experimental life-extending technologies involving “cellular rejuvenation.”
  • Some of these technologies appear to hold promise. Scientists in Cambridge, England recently said they were able to “rewind the age of skin cells by 30 years” using a new rejuvenation method.
  • The new method is based on the technique used to create Dolly, the cloned sheep, over 25 years ago. While the technology is not ready to be used in a clinic, scientists say it’s only a matter of time.
  • Not all tech billionaires are excited about recent breakthroughs though. Elon Musk recently expressed his disapproval, saying society would be “stuck with old ideas” if people lived too long.
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