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These Russian scientists are working to extend life

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Russian scientsist work to extend life

Zhavoronkov views aging not as inevitable, but a failure of science to give people a few more years. “Large pharma doesn’t view aging as a disease yet,” he complains.

It’s questionable if extending life in itself is a particularly commendable or noble goal of scientific research. There are already a lot of people in the world, and many of them are already living significantly longer than people used to. Allowing a few people to live a few extra years doesn’t seem urgent in the way other scientific goals certainly are.

The quest to extend life, though, has lately become an obsession among a certain Silicon Valley crowd—a moonshot sort of thing. Heavyweights like Peter Thiel, Larry Ellison, Peter Diamandis and Craig Venter are putting significant energy and money towards the goal.

“There’s a convergence of IT and biomedicine,” says Alexander Zhavoronkov, who’s part of the extending life scene. “There are more and more people from the IT industry entering the biomedical field. Many people in aging research come from IT.”


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