Juvenescence Raises $100 Million With Goal of Increasing Human Lifespan to 150 Years

Juvenescence is creating antiaging therapies using artificial intelligence and biotechnology with a near term goal of extending human lifespan to 150 years. They just raised $100 million in a Series B round, including a total of $10 million from its founders and a further $10 million each from four cornerstone investors, including Grok Ventures, the investment company of Mike Cannon-Brookes (Atlassian cofounder), and Michael Spencer’s private investment company, IPGL. This brings the total to $165 Million that Juvenescence has raised in 18 months and speaks to the extraordinary opportunity as well as interest in developing therapeutics with the capacity to modify aging.

They have 12 programs based on hard, rigorous science, to attempt to modify aging. They range from stem cell research to senolytics (removing zombie cells) to modifying or preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.

The Juvenescence teams believes within five to seven years at least four anti-aging products will be on the market from their portfolio of about one dozen antiaging companies.

Juvenescence therapeutic strategy includes products targeted at:

Slowing cellular aging
Slowing and reversing neurodegeneration
Destroying senescent cells
Replacing aging organs
Editing patient genes

They are providing funding for several antiaging companies.

AgeX therapeutics

AgeX Therapeutics, Inc. (NYSE American: AGE) is focused on developing and commercializing innovative therapeutics for human aging.

PureStem® is AgeX’s cell derivation and manufacturing platform and UniverCyte™ is its immune tolerance platform. They are designed to work together to generate highly-defined, hypoimmunogenic, allogeneic, off-the-shelf, low COGS, pluripotent stem cell-derived young cells of any type for application in a whole host of diseases with a high unmet medical need. AgeX has two preclinical cell therapy programs: AGEX-VASC1 (vascular progenitor cells) for tissue ischemia and AGEX-BAT1 (brown fat cells) for Type II diabetes.

induced Tissue Regeneration (iTR™) is AgeX’s revolutionary longevity platform which aims to unlock cellular immortality and regenerative capacity to reverse age-related changes within tissues. AGEX-iTR1547 is an iTR-based formulation in preclinical development.

HyStem is AgeX’s cell and small molecule delivery technology designed to stably engraft cell therapies or to slowly release iTR small molecules in the body for higher efficacy and safety.

AgeX is developing its core product pipeline for use in the clinic to extend human healthspan, and is seeking opportunities to form licensing and partnership agreements around its broad IP estate and proprietary technology platforms for non-core clinical applications.

LyGenesis
A spinout from University of Pittsburgh’s McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Lygenesis’ technology will enable the use of a patient’s own lymph nodes as bioreactors to regrow functioning ectopic organs including liver, kidney, thymus, and pancreas.

The initial target for clinical development is liver regeneration, with a focus on helping patients with end-stage liver disease (ESLD) using a hepatocyte cell therapy product which is implanted into the periduodenal lymph nodes. These hepatocytes engraft, vascularize, and perform all of the functions typical to liver tissue, enabling them to rescue patients from ESLD.

Lygenesis’ technology allows a single donated liver to act as the seed for dozens of transplants using outpatient endoscopy. Likely to be classified as a cell therapy, it represents a near-term example of regenerative medicine. In an example of the sort of cross-pollination Juvenescence encourages in its ecosystem, Lygenesis is exploring the use of cell-lines from AgeX in order to create off-the-shelf therapies that may eliminate the need for immunosuppression or donors.

There are no approved treatments for ESLD. Lygenesis’ technology could revolutionize the transplant market, allowing patients to avoid the requirement for liver transplant along with extending the lifespan of those unsuited to a liver transplant.

* Insilico Medicine, Inc. is a Johns Hopkins-based company using artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning for drug discovery to produce compounds targeted to the diseases of aging. Juvenescence and Insilico have created a joint venture, Generait Pharmaceuticals, that has the first right to five compounds per year from Insilico.

* FoxBio is a 50/50 joint venture between Juvenescence and Antoxerene, a subsidiary of growing discovery/pre-clinical CRO Ichor Therapeutics. The company is focused on developing small molecule senolytics targeting a major survival pathway relied on by senescent cells.

Cellular senescence is an irreversible arrest in cell proliferation that occurs in response to severe stresses, including telomere shortening, oncogene activation, DNA damage, and oxidative stress. Senescent cells remain metabolically active and secrete inflammatory molecules, termed the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP), which are linked to many diseases of aging.

* Generait is a drug development and artificial intelligence company with a specific mission of finding diagnostic and therapeutic agents to address aging, as well as age-related diseases.

Previously Juvenescence AI limited, Generait was founded in July 2017, a partnership between Juvenescence and the leading AI drug discovery company Insilico Medicine, Inc, providing a vehicle to develop promising candidates identified using its end-to-end automated drug discovery pipeline through to clinical proof of concept.

* NetraPharma is a 50/50 partnership between Juvenescence and NetraMark Corp, and is a clinical-development focused machine learning company.

NetraPharma’s technology is a novel mathematical technique to integrate the outputs of multiple different machine learning algorithms, including gradient boosting, random forests, neural networks, GANs, quantum computation, and others. It enables the segmentation of subgroups within datasets when only a limited number of inputs are available.

* Souvien Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutic agents to modulate critical epigenetic mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration.

Souvien is founded on the pioneering research of Professor Li-Huei Tsai, the director of The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT, and Associate Professor Stephen Haggarty, the director of the Chemical Neurobiology Laboratory at Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.

The development plan is based on a substantial body of data implicating a critical epigenetic regulator of cellular ageing in neurodegeneration.

* BYOMass is a Massachusetts-based company, focused on developing therapeutics to modulate the central control of metabolism associated with aging and age-related chronic illnesses.

Aging drives the chronic diseases that are the biggest burden on the medical system, and BYOMass has built a compelling case around modulating defined targets to alleviate multi-morbidity.

* BHB Therapeutics is a joint venture between Juvenescence and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. The company will focus on novel approaches to inducing a state of ketosis, which may have protective effects against age-related disease. The work is based on the research in the labs of Eric Verdin, MD and John Newman, MD, PhD.

The work centers on the emerging signalling functions of a metabolite created by the body during fasting or exercise, the ketone body beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB). They have discovered that BHB helps the body respond to stresses, and that long-term exposure to ketone bodies using a ketogenic diet can extend healthy lifespan in model systems.

* Napa Therapeutics is a spinout from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, financed by Juvenescence.

It is a very important first step in Juvenescence’s model to create collaborations between basic scientists and drug developers.

Napa is a discovery-stage company focused on NAD+ metabolism. There is ample evidence that NAD+ depletion is a key feature of aging. Napa’s core IP will surround a novel target within NAD+ metabolism to increase levels of NAD+ within the tissue.

Napa has engaged Insilico Medicine to identify small molecule modulators of an undisclosed target highlighted in Dr. Eric Verdin’s research.

SOURCES- Juvenescence
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com

36 thoughts on “Juvenescence Raises $100 Million With Goal of Increasing Human Lifespan to 150 Years”

  1. I think my brain would be quite happy in the future without a reboot. I am not locked into the music I liked when I was younger. In fact, new stuff I have found I like a lot more. I used to watch sitcoms. Now that seems like a ridiculous waste of time. I only watch science fiction and educational now.
    I am eager to see infrastructural change. And can’t wait to have actual intelligent people/AI running the show. Crime should go way down when people start getting better nutrition, media becomes culpable for their harm, food and other companies liable for their harm and there are less toxins in the environment. Reasonable social safety nets in place would help as well.
    The main things I dread are the possibility that all the large land animals will be wiped out by hunters and poachers that the whales and other sea mammals could be wiped out as well. And the redwood forests in particular I treasure, and would be devastated if they were gone.
    I do hope they don’t destroy all the large dams, fill tunnels, and undo other very expensive and difficult accomplishments.
    One of the biggest things we should be doing is collecting DNA samples of everything especially anything threatened, so at least in theory we can replace these organisms. And I don’t mean 2 samples of each either. Thousands, if possible. And especially anything recently extinct or recently dramatically reduced in population. We need to recover that older genetic diversity.

    Can’t get decent socks though 🙁

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  2. I would think that someone hundreds of years old, whose body was still equivalent to a young athletic person’s, might be extremely graceful. So much so that, in order to hide their age, they have to make an attempt to look clumsy sometimes.

    I don’t think I’ve bumped my funny bone in several decades, and yet, only after being reminded of it, did I recall it used to be a fairly common event for me. Ditto skinned knees, elbows, etc.

    One learns, even if not consciously.

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  3. “Even if you return the body to youth the mind will still be old with all that learned experience. ”

    Oh, to be 20 or more years younger, biologically (about age 20 would be ideal), and know what motivates younger women because you’ve seen just about everything….

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  4. Extension ultimately must fail. Rejuvenation, on the other hand, well. pick any one celled organism out there that reproduces by mitosis. How long has it been alive? Unless you equate its reproduction with death, the answer can only be billions of years.

    In another view, most cars used to fail and/or rust out within a few years after which they were slagged. Yet, when the proper methods and techniques are employed, we still have antique cars in near vintage condition, something their original owners and manufacturers surely did not expect or plan for.

    A lot of them are now so valuable the only way they are likely to ever be destroyed is in a fire, a crash, or some violent act of nature or war.

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  5. Rebooting only works on electronic computers because so much of their present state is stored in dynamic memory, and goes blank if powered off. Then the whole contents of memory have to be rebuilt from scratch when they start up again.

    The human brain doesn’t work like that, we only store a few minutes activity in dynamic memory. Deep anesthesia can completely shut down your brain, but when you come out of it you’ll remember being wheeled into the prep room, and maybe even the nurse sticking a needle into your IV port. Everything from yesterday back is stored in hardware, physical alterations to your brain like the growth of new synapses.

    But, with our sort of neural network memory, memories that aren’t used for a very long time can fade away if your brain is still plastic. That’s why people tend not to remember much of their very early childhood. Then some time not too long after puberty, neural plasticity is majorly dialed down, trading reduced learning capacity for not forgetting what we do learn.

    In theory that plasticity can be dialed back up for a while, and you’ll become as mentally flexible and fast learning as a child, but at the cost of having old memories start fading. Not the sort of thing you’d want in place all the time, but probably worth going through a couple of years every decade or two.

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  6. Actually, I’m not really thinking ‘hardware’ related at all.

    Remember how we used to have to reboot any machine running windows every few days or it would start getting really messed up, sometimes even crashing?

    Servers were more stable, but even those we had on a periodic restart schedule.

    Problem is, if someone’s mind starts getting this way, what are we to do? Even if we could ‘reboot’ from an earlier saved version that would be a dubious solution for any number of reasons.

    And assuming we might someday have the skill to go into the mind and fix the operating system while the machine is still running seems even iffier. We never could do that with computer operating systems.

    Family, friends, and loved ones might be happier with a reboot (or even a restore — until they start to need it again) but it’s a real question if the original person gains anything out of either process when the choice is between being looped in time, so to speak, or effectively replaced by a new person in the same body, or at least with the same name, memories, etc.

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  7. LOL! No, not unless you really like onions. Even then, the fiber would probably flush it through your system too fast to absorb any.

    That’s the key, of course: Your gut does an absolutely horrible job of absorbing quercetin. I suppose that’s also why the dietary LD50 is so high; I think the “toxic” dose was killing the rats by intestinal blockage…

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  8. The date of specific scientific discovery cannot be predicted based on the historical ramp rate of computational power.

    All that remains as a consequence of their own actions, is the hope their personal rate of attrition will outpace the current limited rate of progress. That is the smallest consequence from the drag on progress due to them fostering a subculture whose foundations are built upon the rejection of empiricism and the veneration of belief without reason.

    The older generations should have made better choices if they wanted better outcomes.

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  9. @DocPat & Laci:

    When in history, Chinese or other, has aging been R&D’d with anything like the sci&tech, financing, and widespread involvement as e.g. all of fusion R&D (ITER + all others).

    ICBW but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t happened.
    Curing aging to the point that we’re in some fluid but effectively static brownian motion WRT aging is not that super special, rather it’s the inability and then the neglect up to this point in our history, to address the disease of aging, that’s out of the ordinary.
    There’s already examples of species that effectively do not age, and they’re not even trying (they’re barely sentient).

    Which is part of the crucial difference between aging and fusion or NanoMfg etc. Curing aging puts time on our side. We’re long past the point of having more space and matter to know what to do with within our lifetime.

    By and large, across all demographics etc, having the choice to live arbitrarily long is essentially the ultimate carrot on the stick — nothing compares and nothing will shake and remake the foundations of human civilization, up to this point, as making aging arbitrary.

    The Manhattan project, the Renaissance, the discovery of fire, writing, etc, are all pivotal points in history, but abolishing aging is forever. It’s the one ultimate humane thing to do for every soul on the planet, sooner rather than later, for every day passes a soul is robbed of its chance to have the time, to reach something like full potential.

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  10. On my chart I drew my strong scenario with a slowdown. Actually it has achieved LEV at around 2040, after that it slowed down a little bit, then took off with a vengeance :). There can be bumps on the road, it can reach some plateaus as well.
    Just imagine how much money will be poured into this, once it will be recognized worldwide, that the biomarkers show actual irrefutable proof of robust antiaging. It is a legitimate assumption, that lifespan can be put on an exponentially growing path. It’s happened with many other things. They say lifespan could be increased to 500 or a 1000 years, we just need to find out how. If they only manage to increase it with another hundred years, where would tech. be then? 
    I could imagine, that humanity might be able to produce computronium at the end of this century! Why couldn’t be life expectancy be a meager 165 years by then, and 2-300 not so much after that?
    But of course it would be foolish to overestimate, because life extension is one of the hardest things, we don’t even really know how metabolism works. And if you look at fusion that’s always 20 years in the future, and might be a simpler thing to achieve, then we have every right to be sceptic.

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  11. I’m just in the research phase. I only know, that the effective way of resupplying NAD is not through dietary supplements. William Fallon (a funny little guy) talks about NAD+ INFUSIONS!

    I’ve searched for a random video with him. According to him, there are some other things one could do besides the aforementioned interventions:
    Young plasma infusion, GDF-11 restoration and rapamycin.
    37-40 min
    https://youtu.be/Y6OeDRft1Gg?t=2207
    Here he speaks about quercetin and dasatinib doses. Once in a month seems to be overkill!
    https://youtu.be/ATd-fFV_srI?t=562
    At age-reversal.net one potentially can find a physician, who will prescibe rejuvenating therapies.
    I will look into SAMe.
    /////
    On a sidenote, out of the blue I put here a stock recommendation. We’ve been following this stock for years. It’s fair value could be 10 or 20 times higher. It’s a quite illiquid penny stock, so it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
    Unfortunately it’s too late to mention, because in an ideal world it should blow up around next week :D. It would be nice, if anybody could use this info, but there is very little time for diligent research, and I can’t explain why it is a good choice in a paragraph. So I just put it here as a curiosity, because it’s very exciting! The shale-gas revolution in Australia could be played by owning shares of this company. It’s been in correction for two and a half years, it’s time for it to jump a level. Ticker: fo.v on TSX.
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/937b6d1312265162

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  12. The idea that longevity can achieve an “escape velocity” assumes that once lifespans start growing at a particular rate they will never slow down again.

    Is there any technology of which this has been true?

    Even worse, if we look at other cultures, China for example, they probably have had periods where the expected lifespan DID increase more than one year per year just because the government decided that mass famines weren’t such a good idea.

    And nobody is saying that they didn’t slow down again.

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  13. I was a member, until I got married, and decided I couldn’t do a proper job of supporting my family while continuing with them.

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  14. I’ve been looking into NAD, what brand do you recommend?

    I might be able to swing metaformin, as my blood sugar is just a bit below the new “pre-diabetic”. (A1C is fine, though.) So I could make an argument for it.

    I’m already taking quercetin, single large dose, on a monthly basis. When I remember, at least. I remember the first few times I did that some age spots on my hand got rather inflamed, and then healed up better looking than before, so anecdotally it actually did some good.

    Dastinib might be a stretch with my current doctor. Looking, there’s a doctor on the LEF’s list, just a few miles from here. I should check to see if he’s in network for my insurance.

    Not on your list, (And maybe not needed by you at 37.) is SAMe. It has had remarkable success in suppressing the traumatic arthritis I developed after badly breaking my ankle back in my 40’s. For a while there my orthopedic surgeon thought I’d need a joint replacement, but thanks to it I’m still walking on my original ankle.

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  15. cont.
    Preventive healthcare with realtime comprehensive health evaluation and personalized medicine will be commonplace. Computational performance will be through the roof.
    But one thing is sure, we won’t make it just by watching paint dry. WE HAVE TO BE PROACTIVE WITH THIS! We have to make interventions to reach LEV.

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  16. From what I understand, you could be proactive, and do these three things:
    – Take metformin every day! 
    – Resupply NAD every few months. 
    – Once a year do a senolytic treatment with dasatinib and quercetin.
    Of course you have to research everything around these things, and also gain accessibility to them.
    I think after 2025 these will be acclaimed antiaging treatments. These will be the first wave. It makes a world of difference if you use them in the next five years, until official recognition, or you don’t.
    In the long run they may even buy you TEN years if you’re lucky.
    From 2030 the first gene therapies are coming.

    I’m 37 now, and made a nice chart with a baseline, a weak and a strong scenario. It’s a very nice chart that shows how quickly we could reach two, three and four times LEV after we’ve reached LEV.
    http://www.imagebam.com/image/ef680b1312196828

    In my weak scenario I should die at around 98 years old in 2080 (that’s a linear extrapolation of the trend of the past century). In my baseline scenario LEV occurs at 2095, and I will have to be very lucky to escape from the jaws of death. In my strong scenario LEV occurs at 2068, and I can live forever.
    Of course a case could be made, that a very strong scenario exists, and we can reach LEV in the fourties! They say nowadays medical knowledge doubles every 72 days! Biotech companies are thriving. Narrow AI-s will be super strong at the end of the thirties, we will maybe also be able to get to general AI. cont.

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  17. Sooner or later is fine, but if it’s later somebody else is going to benefit, not me. I’m already 60. I read The Immortalist when it first was published back in the 70’s, when I was in high school. It’s taken a long, long time for Harrington’s vision of a war on death to finally be realized. I’ll be content if my son never has to deal with aging, but it’s going to take some fast progress to save me from the grim reaper. I anticipate that, best case, I’ll be in pretty bad shape before I start climbing back up that hill I’m now over and on the downward slope of.

    The issue you bring up is probably related to the decline in neural function with aging, and is potentially reversible. Some people just decline faster than others. I suspect that if we really do get rejuvenation, we’ll need to periodically restore our neural plasticity to childhood levels to get caught up, and just accept that doing to will cause old memories to fade. Keep a diary, some day if you live long enough it will be somebody elses life you’re reading about.

    Which would be fine, I don’t really need to be boring people with my recollections of what life was like in the 60’s a thousand years from now. I just want to still be around then, in some form.

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  18. In modern America :
     2.5% don’t make it to age 40.
    2.5% check out between 40 and 50.
    5% more don’t make it to 60.
    12% depart in their sixties.
    23% exit in their seventies.
    33% hang on only into their eighties.
    18% go in their nineties.
    4% hit the triple digits.

    So, if the 2040 (or 2045, per Kurzweill) estimate is accepted, you’ve got somewhere around a 50% chance of getting it. If you don’t hit 80 until after that (and can afford to pay for it, as I’m betting medical insurance won’t cover it unless it is dirt cheap).

    I’ve got kids in their twenties. Somehow, I don’t think any of them are making plans for what to do with themselves if they should live hundreds of years.

    How curious that, if it is not my own generation, it could be theirs that will likely be the last generation to watch their parents decay and die. Generations born after that will probably feel the same way about aging that we do about a 50% infant survival rate in the dark ages (or people then having all of the teeth in their head rot, with no treatment possible save to eventually yank them). Many of the people in these future generations may even have a hard time making themselves look at pictures of old people. Eww, Ugh.

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  19. The “They are providing funding for several antiaging companies.” link is broken because there is an error in its html markup.

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  20. I do not see the physical side of things as being the source of the biggest problems. Sooner or later, they will all be solved. Kurzweill said 2045 but I expect the rate of progress will accelerate rapidly as research progresses (and funding).

    I’m more concerned about the mental side of things (and no, I don’t think having a much larger percentage of older people in young bodies will be overmuch of a problem to society).

    Aside from the memory limitations of human brains (which may be amenable to inorganic augmentation) a somewhat likely problem is likely to manifest in something we don’t yet have a good definition for, but is related to the person’s general mindset and personality. You can kind of think of it as the brain’s operating system.

    A lot of people’s internal operating systems (their minds) are probably not capable of remaining relevant as they age beyond the confines of one life, let alone several, even if the physical components remain fully viable and undamaged. Yet, some people’s will be; mileage seems to differ according to the mind.
     
    Compare Leonardo da Vinci, creating and learning and growing to the day he died, to that eccentric old guy down the block who hates anything new-fangled and has made keeping the kids off his lawn into the reason for his existence.

    It may come about that the most valuable thing in existence will not be any physical thing at all but a mind that can handle an indefinite lifespan.

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  21. Don’t die before 2040 was on my to do list anyway, though the actuarial tables say I’ve only got a moderate chance of accomplishing it.

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  22. Global death rate is 0.8%. Birth rate is nearly 1.9%, and likely to decline by the time rejuvenation is mainstream. So even if all deaths are eliminated, the population isn’t going to grow all that much faster than it does today. And even with the speed up that will occur, it’ll take a long time.

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  23. “I am over 50 and if I had the clock rolled back 20 years I would not act like a 30 year old. I would be a good looking old man.”

    You’d likely have limited identification with your seeming contemporaries, among other things…

    Robert J. Sawyer’s ‘Rollback’ explored some of this, albeit for just one man who took life-extension because his wife’s professional project required it of her, and she insisted to her employer that he be included….but then it failed to work for her.

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  24. It kind of crucially depends on how quantum computing goes – quantum computing is useful only for a narrow set of problems, but biophysics happens to actually be one of them.

    At about 2031 if current progress continues we’d be at the point where we could model DNA -> protein folding in real time with relatively cheap time slices on a quantum computer. I imagine the progress would be quite uncorked at that time, and we’d have a lot of (relatively expensive but worth it for upper middle class Americans) treatments by 2040. And cheap enough for the entire world to afford 15 years after that.

    My recommendation is invest in close to or at beachfront property at least 25 feet above sea level – that would benefit the most $$$ from the resultant population expansion, and don’t die before 2040.

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  25. We don’t have to speculate. We know what 50, 60 even 70 year olds are like with testosterone levels equal, or greater, than the average teenager.

    Just look as Sylvester Stallone for example. Or so I assume.

    Yes, they are probably more adventurous and risk taking than the average person their age. But they do nothing like the silliness that a 17 year old can get up to.

    Especially the silliness a 17 year old with the financial and social resources that a successful middle aged man has at his disposal.

    The brain can over ride the gonads. And a brain with decades of experience and education will override a lot more than a brain that doesn’t know what’s going on.

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  26. Yes, exactly. Even if you return the body to youth the mind will still be old with all that learned experience. If you want to be mentially young you may need to purge memories … if that is even possible in the future.

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  27. But you assume that 100 years old man would have less testosterone. What if a new therapy restores testosterone high again like it was when you were 20. You assume that a body would be young but a mind would be old.

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  28. I rather expect that, before anyone under the age of 75 today could reach 150, indefinite life extension is likely to be available in some form and at some price.

    True rejuvenation, rather than extension, would also obviate the need to deal with diseases of the elderly that we have not yet encountered (because few, if any, of those currently alive have lived long enough to encounter them).

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  29. Has anyone read any science fiction about what happens when youth is a small part of the population and the major part of the population is over 100 but looks 30? If things go that way the world will be a whole lot calmer. I am over 50 and if I had the clock rolled back 20 years I would not act like a 30 year old. I would be a good looking old man.

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