Ageing Elite and the Age of Reptiles

Ageing Elite and the Age of Reptiles

84-year-old Klaus Schwab is increasingly obsessed with the idea that genetic manipulation and the merger of humans and technology will soon allow the super-rich to live forever. But the founding figurehead of the World Economic Forum is not alone in his hope that ‘science’ can save him from dying.

Other global elite figures, including Jeff Bezos, 58, Israeli entrepreneur Yuri Milner, and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are pouring money into ventures meant to make deaths before 100 a thing of the past.

Other, older funders include Gates, 67, Richard Branson, 67, and Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 80, who have all provided prominent financial backup to companies investigating how to lengthen lives in recent years.

This 21st century version of the alchemists’ quest to turn iron into gold is helping assorted snake oil ‘researchers’ to fleece the super-rich of vast sums of money. The ancient temptation for Man to play God has reached new levels in this age of atheism, in which Death holds the terror of total and eternal obliteration for our New Unhappy Lords.

Progress, however, has been somewhat slow until - that is, until relatively recently, where breakthroughs in understanding what causes the aging process, such as damage to our DNA and proteins that misbehave because of outside alterations, have been gleaned by scientists in their quest for the proverbial fountain of youth.

Currently, there are more than two dozen companies looking for safe and effective ways to purge human bodies of ‘defective’ and ageing cells. Unity Biotechnology claims to have successfully used such novel treatments on mice. The company, which started only last year, has already raised hundreds of millions of high-profile investors including Bezos, one of its top backers.

Other companies claim to have found out how to ‘reprogramme’ skin cells to wind back the clock of natural ageing. Some researchers are working on 'senolytics,' which targets aged cells that biologists have tabbed as 'senescent cells' that seem to accumulate in our bodies as we age.

As the claims grow bolder, bioethicists are expressing concern that – even if such technologies can be developed – they will be so expensive that only the billionaire elite will be able to afford them.

Bioethicist Christopher Wareham has warned that such advances could 'exacerbate all the kinds of existing inequalities that we have' already. We can certainly be sure that the global elite wouldn’t share any real anti-ageing breakthrough with the rest of us, because they are already obsessed with the idea that the ‘human herd’ is too big and needs drastic culling in order to be ‘sustainable’. The elixir of life is only for the Very Important People.

Rather like viable nuclear fusion, however, the ‘cure’ for ageing seems always to be a few more years away. Andrew Steele, a computational biologist and author of a new book on longevity, told that there is no biological reason humans can't reach the age of 200.

He believes the big breakthrough will come in the form of drugs that remove 'zombie cells' in the body, which are thought to be one of the main culprits of tissue and organ decay as we age.

Pills that flush these cells out of the body are already in human trials in and could be on the market in as little as 10 years, according to Steele, who believes wealthy patients could make it to 150 with the help of the drugs.

Even that date should, with a bit of luck, come too late for Schwab, Bloomberg, Nancy Pelosi, Gates and Branson.

But what of Mark Zuckerberg? Well, another field in particular that piques the interest of anti-aging scientists is the study of DNA of reptiles and other cold-blooded animals.

Michigan State University experts have begun studying dozens different types of long-living reptiles and amphibians — including crocodiles, salamanders and turtles that can live as long as 120 years. The team hope they will uncover 'traits' that can also be targeted in humans.

If this line of research produces results, the next wave of the global elite’s elixir of life madness could well focus not on merging humans and information technology, but on creating their ‘new man’ by splicing together the DNA of humans and reptiles.

There again, perhaps they’ve already done it?!