6 Billionaires Who Are Funding the Pursuit of Living Forever, Making Funeral Home Unneeded

September 20, 2015
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Article originally appeared on Business Insider

A growing number of tech moguls are trying to solve their biggest problem yet: Aging.

From reprogramming DNA to printing organs, some of Silicon Valley’s most successful and wealthy leaders are investing in biomedical research and new technologies with hopes of discovering the secret to living longer. And their investments are beginning to move the needle, said Zoltan Istvan, futurist and transhumanist presidential candidate.

“I think a lot of the most important work in longevity is coming from a handful of the billionaires,” Istvan told Tech Insider. “There are approximately six or seven billionaires that are very interested in life extension and they are putting in $40, $50, $100 million out there every year or every few years into this stuff. It makes a big difference when you have these legendary figures saying ‘Hey, we can do this.’”

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Here’s some of those billionaires investing in the anti-aging and longevity research and development.

Peter Thiel

Peter Thiel

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images

Peter Thiel, the billionaire co-founder of PayPal, is known for his early investment in Facebook, but now he is betting big on biotech. Thiel said that he believes anti-aging medicine is “structurally unexplored,” according to a report from MIT Technology Review.

“The way people deal with aging is a combination of acceptance and denial,” he told Technology Review in March. “They accept there is nothing they can do about it, and deny it’s going to happen to them.”

Thiel takes hormone growth daily and is planning to participate in cryonic freezing after his death, according to the Technology Review report.

The 47 year old isn’t accepting or denying it, though. He has invested heavily to try to fight death for the last several years. Back in 2006, he pledged $3.5 million to the Methuselah Foundation, which is a non-profit group working on life extension by advancing tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Thiel has also heavily invested in biotech companies. Most of his investments in the space are made via his Thiel Foundation. But at least five investments — including the DNA laser printing company Cambrian Genomics and cancer drug developer Stem CentRx  — via his venture capital firm Founder Fund. He has also invested $17 million in Counsyl since 2011, which is a company that offers DNA screening.

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