The Biogerontology field has generally suffered from a lack of funding and investment, but things may be about to change. As with all knowledge, until recently so little was known about aging very few people took the movement seriously – but in our post-human genome project era things are moving fast. We’ve had enough success with model organisms and animals that extending healthy lifespan significantly no longer looks quite so impossible – still a huge challenge, but not insurmountable. We now have a rough picture of the hallmarks of aging (although there’s a great deal more to find out), and more importantly some of the key targets to hit already. We’re not close to talking about indefinite lifespan extension yet, but increasing healthy years and moderately extending lifespan is no longer a radical pipe dream.
Back in 2013, Google’s Larry Page and Sergei Brin formed the company Calico with Arthur Levinson, recruiting scientists such as David Botstein and Cynthia Kenyon – placing money alongside expertise. Then in 2014, in partnership with Biotech firm Abbvie Inc, a research centre was announced and a considerable amount of funds funneled into the project. Peter Thiel (PayPal founder), Larry Ellison (Oracle Corp) and Peter Diamandis (founder of the X-Prize and International Space University) have also all founded related organisations or added funds into aging research. With the anti-aging market estimated at $345 billion by 2018, and all the promising developments currently going on, we could be looking at a continuous increase funding as interest and publicity expands.
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