Saturday, July 15, 2017

Thiel invests millions in 'immortality project'

Mammoth task: billionaire Peter Thiel funded effort to resurrect woolly beast | Technology | The Guardian - Olivia Solon:

June 30, 2017 - "PayPal billionaire and Gawker war-wager Peter Thiel has invested $100,000 in a research effort to resurrect the woolly mammoth.

'Thiel, who believes that viewing death as inevitable is a sign of 'complacency of the western world', gave the money to Harvard University genomics professor George Church, whose laboratory is attempting to revive the extinct pachyderm .... taking DNA extracted from frozen mammoths and using it to genetically modify elephant cells....

"Peter Thiel’s team did not respond to requests for confirmation of the investment, but Church told MIT Technology Review that it was true....

"It’s not entirely surprising Thiel wants to bring a mammal back from the dead. According to several interviews, Thiel sees death as a terrible inconvenience that needs disrupting.

"'Almost every human being who has ever lived is dead. Solving this problem is the most natural, humane, and important thing we could possibly do,' he is quoted as saying on the website of the SENS Foundation, a charity Thiel funds that approaches aging as a disease in need of a cure.

"In 2015 he continued on his warpath against human fragility.

"'I’ve always had this really strong sense that death was a terrible, terrible thing,' he told the Washington Post, 'Most people end up compartmentalizing, and they are in some weird mode of denial and acceptance about death, but they both have the result of making you very passive. I prefer to fight it.'

"Thiel’s 'fight' involves investing millions in biotechnology and artificial intelligence in what he has called 'the immortality project'. His investment firm Thiel Capital has, according to Inc, expressed an interest in a company called Ambrosia, which is running a trial where individuals can pay $8,000 to receive a blood transfusion from a teenager in the hope that it will restore some youthful vigour....

"He has also signed up with cryogenics company Alcor to be deep-frozen at the time of his death in the hope that he too can be resurrected."

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