Billionaires Jeff Bezos and Yuri Milner are reportedly funding a startup biotechnology firm with the aim of discovering a way to reverse aging.
Altos Labs was incorporated in the US and the UK earlier this year, and has raised at least $270million to look into the potential of cell reprogramming technology to turn back the clock in animals, and potentially, humans.
While little is known so far about Altos, early hires give an indication of the kinds of anti-aging techniques the lab might be looking into.
They include Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, who pioneered researched into cell reprogramming, earning him the 2012 Nobel Prize for the research.
He discovered that by adding just four specific proteins to cells, they can be instructed to revert back into an earlier state with the properties of embryonic stem cells that make up building blocks of new animal life.
Other talent being brought on at Altos include Dr. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a Spanish biologist working at the Salk Institute in California, who has pioneered research into cell switching.
In 2016 he demonstrated Yamanaka’s embryonic stem cell technique and applied it to mice, which exhibited signs of age reversal.
Any anti-aging research would need such a ‘biological clock’ to measure the effectiveness of the techniques.