Jeff Bezos, the multi-billionaire Amazon founder, wants to cheat death, simply because he can’t bear leaving all his money behind when he pops his clogs. This is why he’s putting a substantial amount of his money into Altos Labs, a company that is searching for the secret to rejuvenation, and for life extension.
The new company, incorporated in the US and in the UK earlier this year, will establish several institutes in places including the Bay Area, San Diego, Cambridge, UK and Japan, and is recruiting a large cadre of university scientists with lavish salaries and the promise that they can pursue unfettered blue-sky research on how cells age and how to reverse that process.
Scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, will be heading the team. Apart from jointly winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012, he experimented with mice, successfully adding four proteins to cells, now known as Yamanaka factors, they can be instructed to revert to a primitive state with the properties of embryonic stem cells. Unfortunately, although partially successful, the mice grew embryonic tumours, even though there were signs of skin rejuvenation.
There is a growing urgency in Silicon Valley for research into anti-ageing and rejuvenation, as many Big Tech billionaires see time running out for them. Yes, they have amassed huge fortunes by putting their money offshore and avoiding taxation, but dying will mean they will lose all that money. Bezos’ $200bn fortune, paid just £293m in tax in 2019 despite the company collecting UK sales of $17.5bn that year. Everyone fears death to a point, however this feeling of despair is punctuated further by those who are billionaires, for it is their ultimate greed for money and power that has driven them to amass such vast sums of cash, and yet, these people cannot buy eternal life or life extension with their billions. They are thus stuck, and it is their very own greed which defeats them in the end as they take their last breath and their brains shut down forever. Death is therefore the only equaliser left in this greed driven, soulless, plastic society of Big Tech billionaires.
One can imagine Bozos waking up in the middle of the night to check his bank balance, he is all sweated through, it’s his birthday, another foot in the grave, billions of dollars are at stake here. He has to cheat death, anything will do, anything!