A million dollar prize for those who can help us achieve immortality






Who wants to live forever ? We know vampires can, at least the ones on TV. Immortality or, at least, the path towards it could be found with the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, born at the heart of Silicon Valley with the support of a wide variety of scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and even risk capital firms.

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Although it seems a surreal project is not the result of a meeting of Hollywood screenwriters, but it is a very serious idea from a group of very serious people. The Verge quotes Aubrey de Grey, chief scientist SENS Research Foundation and one of the authors of “Ending Aging”. According to him, it is not only stop aging, but to turn back the clock to the age of our choice.

When will this happen? It will be more for our grandchildren than for us. According to Grey, “with adequate funding, we have a 50/50 chance to have all this running in the next 25 years, but could also happen in the next 100”. At the same time, the director of the Palo Alto Longevity Prize, Keith Powers, said that “based on the rapid growth of biomedical advances, we believe the question is not whether we can break the code of aging, but when we will.”

Promoting research in this direction is the main role of the prize. Yun Joon one of the sponsors of the prize, indicated that “the purpose of the award is to catalyze the revolution”. And they are not the only ones in it. The peculiar Calico project, launched by Google in 2013, also aims to end aging, and has unlimited funds from Google.

The prize money for this comes from the pockets of Yun, but everyone involved in it, but also from all kinds of companies and institutions in the orbit of Silicon Valley, plan further on the topic in future contests. So this first Palo Alto Longevity Prize will not with immortality, but get us there a little closer.

The award is more realistic than it seems. It is divided into two phases: $500,000 for equipment that is proven capable of returning the heart rate variability at a young adult. And the other $500,000 will go to the first team that can expand life expectancy by 50 percent. There are already 11 research teams, who believe they have options to achieve the milestone.