From SFGate: “Peter A. Thiel, co-founder and former chief executive officer of the online payments system PayPal, announced Saturday he is pledging $3.5 million “to support scientific research into the alleviation and eventual reversal of the debilities caused by aging.”
The grant goes to the Methuselah Foundation a nonprofit volunteer organization founded by Aubrey de Grey, whose SENS is an engineering proposal to fix ageing-related problems and reach indefinite healthy lifespan. Of course, this amount of money is not enough to solve the problem, just compare it to the $3 billion of Proposition 71 for stem cell research funding in California, where the annual limit is $350 million. Proposition 71 provides General Fund loan up to $3 million for Institute’s initial administration/implementation costs. But the $3.5 million comes from one wealthy man, and the 3 billion comes from a very wealthy state.
The grant marks well Bay Area IT entrepreneurs’s and venture capitalists’ growing interest in biotechnology and bioengineering. Take a look at a previous post here: Google’s coming out in biotech: when and why? IT entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley will be the eventual financial engine behind maximum life extension. They’ve got the money and the desire. Would you like to bet? IT money in BT business: sounds like the pattern of the future. Consider Arthur D. Levinson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genentech, the most successful biotech company in the U.S., who serves on the corporate boards of Apple Computer and Google. Congratulations for the grant, I hope that valuable experiments will be backed by that. With stem cells too.