Foreign painting "Youth Spring"
One problem that many people do not realize is that the mole usually has a life span of 30 years, but mice with similar signs are usually only 3 years old. In this regard, Google's life health company Calico hope to use the $ 1.5 billion in cash to figure out the problem.
A few days ago, the United States of America technology writer Antonio - Rui Geduo (Antonio Regalado) wrote a detailed analysis of Google's Calico will be how to overturn the law of human life and death in the next decade.
The following is the main content of the article:
In a San Francisco lab, Google founders donated a lot of naked mole rats. This animal is very demanding on the living conditions, and the cost of farming is very high. For example, they live the same social life as ants, led by the rat. But the naked mole rats really surprising is that they are up to 30 years of average life expectancy, which is almost 10 times that of ordinary mice.
It is reported that these animals belong to Calico (Calico is the abbreviation of California Life Company) laboratory.
In 2013, Google founder Larry Page (Larry Page) announced the formation of Calico company, and its long-term financial support to start looking for long-term causes of human aging projects.
The ultimate goal of Calico is to establish Bell Labs, which studies human aging issues. Calico hopes that this research can effectively extend human life by finding creative ways.
One of Calico's first employees, Cynthia Kenyon, a vice president of research for aging, 20 years ago, changed the life cycle of a roundworm from three weeks to six weeks in the lab. As a result, Google founders set up a dedicated R & D company to conduct in-depth research based on Kenyon's R & D direction and provide almost unlimited capitals for this top-level research team.
Calico has hired a lot of star scientists, including AI field experts Daphne - Kohler (Daphne Koller).
AI field experts Daphne - Kohler
Moreover, the Google parent Alphabet and drug company AbbVie co-funded, Calico account now has 1.5 billion dollars in liquidity.
Nevertheless, the United States, "Time" magazine is still in the early days of Calico had raised the question, that "Google can solve the problem of life and death? & Rdquo;
US "Time" magazine cover reports
Full of mystery
In the next three years, Calico suddenly turned into a super mysterious company. In the meantime, the company did not publish any results, refused to accept an interview with reporters, or even visit the scientists signed confidentiality agreements, and this approach has aroused the dissatisfaction of some researchers.
"Felipe Sierra, director of the Department of Biological Aging at the National Institute on Aging, says:" We want to know what they are doing so we can work with them or focus on them, "says Felipe Sierra, director of the National Institute of Aging. Other studies. They are a research company, but what are they studying? & Rdquo;
From what we have learned so far, Calico is actually a top-notch university-funded research firm specializing in basic science. Calico currently has more than 100 employees, including yeast, worms and naked mole mice, and these subjects are stored in the Calico San Francisco headquarters 30 miles away from the Buck Institute for Aging (Buck Institute for Research Aging).
Calico's great ambition
In order to find the difference between moles and ordinary mice, Calico plans to spend a full seven years to 1000 mice from birth to death of the entire life course of follow-up study.
Today, we have not found the human "biological age" effective testing methods. And if we can on human "biological age" to start a reliable test, it will play a huge role in promoting scientific research.
"Brian Kennedy, a scientist at the Buck Institute in charge of communicating with Calico, said:" They do not want to reveal too much information, or they feel that humans need a broader understanding of biological aging, Is not a simple matter. & Rdquo;
In fact, Larry Page is not the first technology billionaire to realize that aging is the most important challenge in the biology field. Because as early as 2013, Oracle founder Larry - Ellison (Larry Ellison) took out 335 million dollars to scientists for aging research. Well-known venture capitalist Peter - Thiel (Peter Thiel) has also invested in the development of anti-aging technology, and even set up a 500,000 US dollars "Palo Alto Longevity Prize" (Palo Alto Longevity Prize) for reward Researchers who crack the mammalian biological code.
It is reported that the current difficulty of similar problems is that scientists do not understand the mysteries of animal aging. Calico, hired by Roche, has told the National Academy of Medicine in 2015 that "aging research is not going to be productive in the short term," says Hal Barron, a scientist who must have a long- Of the vision, and can not be anxious. & Rdquo;
The new enemies of human longevity
175 years ago, when many of the population died of influenza, rather than aging. In later developed countries, the average life expectancy of some developed countries increased from 40 years to 80 years after the emergence of vaccines, better nutrition, improved medical and public health. But as the average life expectancy increases, deadly diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and dementia become the biggest enemy of mankind.
For all of these diseases, the prevalence increases with the age of the human being. For example, 80-year-olds have cancer is 40 times the risk of middle-aged, while the risk of suffering from Alzheimer's disease is 600 times the latter.
Felipe-Sierra said: "In the treatment of chronic diseases, take one by one break method does not work, because the main factor affecting the risk of disease or biological aging. & Rdquo;
Calico, a 74-year-old chief scientist at the University of Minnes Institute of Technology (MIT) in November, presented the latest research by Calico, who described Calico's separation of yeast aging cells from daughter cells Technology.
Calico Chief Scientist David Bertstein
Boteste said Google wants Calico to be the "Bell Labs" for research on aging, with the best people, the best technology, and the money to spend.
"They have no quick success requires me to embark on the road to commercial profitability, but give us a lot of money for the study of human little is known about the aging problem." This is a very complex issue, and to be resolved, but also Larry - Pecs are most concerned about the topic. Perhaps, no one but us will give such a big concern to the problem. & Rdquo;
Botestan admits that human beings can not live forever, this idea is like a perpetual motion violates the second law of thermodynamics. But he said Kenyon earlier roundworm test proved that life is scalable.
To be sure, the topic of human aging needs to have a deeper study. Now we are in the same stage as cancer research in the 1960s, when there was a lot of cancer theory, but it was not until the discovery of oncogenes that scientists first really understood the cause of cancer.
"This revolutionary research breakthrough is what we need, and we want to find ways to make humans have a longer life and a healthier life." But we can do a specific number, I do not know. & Rdquo;
Botelstein believes that the ideal situation is Calico breakthrough in a decade, so it can give the outside world an account, and this is probably Calico has always refused to accept the reason for an interview.
In order to achieve its goals as quickly as possible, Calico is constantly improving its expertise and skills. At the same time, Calico also mastered the precise analysis of the organization of the gene of the mole, which may help Calico find the secret of human longevity.
"We spent a lot of time in technology research and development, this is indeed very boring, but it is the only way." "Botstein said.
However, many people insist that Calico in the field of basic biological into a dead end. SENS Research Foundation Chief Scientific Officer Aubrey de Gray is one of the industry experts who have been disappointed by Calico, which is only an hour's drive from Calico.
"Calico's work is based on the assumption that we do not understand the aging mechanism can not start the relevant therapy research. "Gerry complained.
In fact, many of Calico's competitors have adopted more radical research methods.
Biotechnology company Unity Biotechnology founder and CEO Nathaniel - David (Nathaniel David), said: "Calico scientists dedicated to the basic mechanism, I wish them good luck. But we are focused on developing anti-aging clinical drugs, and we are more likely to be the first to succeed. & Rdquo;
This year, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos (Jeff Bezos) to Unity invested $ 127 million. Unity is a San Francisco start-up dedicated to developing anti-aging treatment medications and finding ways to clear the body to stop dividing cells.
Stopping cell division has long been suspected of releasing the aging signal, and the Unity drug clears these cells to rejuvenate the body's tissues, which the company plans to test on knees with arthritis sufferers. At the same time, de-Gerry's SENS Foundation also on gene therapy to eliminate senescent cells of the start-up companies Oisin Biotechnologies funded.
Some other scientists believe that now may be the time to carry out "with drugs to delay aging" aspects of the study. The study, led by gerontologists at the Albert-Einstein College of Medicine in New York, wanted to test an antidiabetic drug, metformin. Scientists found that people taking this drug not only died of diabetes greatly reduced the chance of death, and all other patients than the low mortality rate of a full 15%.
However, starting the research project is not that simple. In order to convince the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve the trial, doctors decided to test the efficacy of three different diseases to prevent metformin.
Steven Austad, a biologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says: "They (FDA) do not think aging is a disease, so our approach," says Steven Austad, a biologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Is to select the disease with minimal overlap in the field of aging. & Rdquo;
It is reported that this test will last 6 years, involving a total of 6,000 people. To be sure, whatever the outcome of this trial will be the most groundbreaking achievement of public health in this century. But the only question now is research funding, who will pay for this test required 65 million US dollars?
The outside world thinks, want the United States National Institutes of Health (NIH) to pay for the entire research is almost impossible. Moreover, because metformin is a patented old drugs, pharmaceutical companies will not have much interest. Finally, S. Jay Olshansky and Ostad, a public health researcher at the University of Illinois, argue that billionaires are perhaps the most likely way out, as this research is likely To bring them to the "eternal life" of the ultimate ticket.
As the long history of alchemy, quack, vitamins and other factors exist, the so-called "anti-aging" definition can easily be misunderstood by the outside world. Even now, scientists are trying to avoid the use of "anti-aging" word, because it sounds like a moisturizer brand advertising.
Gary Churchill, a mouse genetic expert at The Jackson Lab, said: "Many people swear and cheat in the guise of aging research. I have to pay attention to their wording, or else they will probably be used by others." & Rdquo;
Some people have made it clear that their own funding for similar research because of hope to live forever, but this idea may be difficult to become a reality. Calico, as a very serious research organization, its employees are recognized as the industry leader. In this way, this structure makes it difficult for the outside world on the Calico finger, and even the project sponsor is also very difficult to say.
"This is a long game, this strategy is very smart, they may be a breakthrough in a decade." "Churchill said at last. (General / Tom)