Monday 10th March 2014
Our new company, Human Longevity (HLI), will be sequencing 40,000 genomes in the first year, growing to 100,000 genomes per year. It’s not just a long life we’re striving for, but one which is worth living. In success, 100 Yr old will be the new “60” – Peter Diamandis
Craig Vente, the US scientist who raced the US government to map the human genome over 10 yrs ago, and created synthetic life in Y 2010, is now on a mission to treat age-related disease.
Mr. Venter has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Dr. Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder Dr. Peter Diamandis to form Human Longevity Inc, a company that will use genomics and stem cell therapies to find treatments that allow aging adults to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible.
HLI’s funding is being used to build the largest human sequencing operation in the world to compile the most comprehensive and complete human genotype, microbiome, and phenotype database available to tackle the diseases associated with aging-related human biological decline.
In addition to gathering whole genome sequences, the company will gather genetic data on the trillions of microbes; including bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on humans.
The company’s initial treatment targets will be some of the toughest age-related diseases: cancer, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver diseases, and dementia.
From your genome, we will know everything about who your ancestors were genetically, what you got from them, your type of memory, your type of fundamental metabolism, even whether you are an optimist or a pessimist – Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence
Monday 14th July 2014
Achievable Developments in the Next 10 Years
I’m most excited about developments in the two areas that I’m pioneering: asteroid mining and the extension of the healthy human lifespan.
Through Planetary Resources, we expect to be identifying, prospecting and eventually mining materials from near-Earth asteroids well within this decade. This will create an economic engine that will propel humanity beyond lower orbit.
Through Human Longevity Inc, we will be creating the largest database of human genotypic phenotypic and microbiology data ever assembled and using machine learning to analyze it to truly understand disease and healthy aging. We feel we have the ability to extend the healthy human life by 30 to 40 years. For me, going to space and living longer — it doesn’t get better! – Peter Diamandis, Co-founder of Singularity University
The OS Fund
Today I am announcing the OS Fund — $100 million of my personal capital dedicated to investing in inventors and scientists who aim to benefit humanity through quantum leap discoveries at the operating system, or OS, level.
We are at one of the most exciting moments in history. At no other time has the distance between imagination and creation been so narrow. We now have the power to build the kind of world we could previously only dream of. With new tools such as 3D printing, genomics, machine intelligence, software, synthetic biology and others, we can now make in days, weeks or months things that previous innovators couldn’t possibly create in a lifetime. Where da Vinci could sketch, today we can build. And yet, there are still so many problems that we haven’t begun to solve, so many rich opportunities that lie in wait.
Right now, scientists and inventors all around the world are working on amazing things we couldn’t have imagined 50, 25, or even 10 years ago.
Scientists working with genomics and synthetic biology are proving that we, our environment and our universe are essentially software, which we have the power to read, write and create. In a San Diego lab, Human Longevity, Inc. is assembling the world’s largest database of genomic information and applying advanced machine learning to reinvent medicine and cure age-related diseases. Synthetic Genomics is using synthetic biology to create a global immune system to protect us from pandemics in real-time, find a solution to super bugs and create xenotransplants of vital human organs to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each year.
At the OS fund, we want to support those who see what others cannot, who chart their own course toward the future and who have the courage and determination to pursue their vision. We want to help them turn their most audacious ideas into real, sustainable businesses that scale by providing capital, support, advice and an interdisciplinary network of like-minded people who are there to help each other – Bryan Johnson
Wednesday 6th May 2015
‘Supercharged’ Genomics: 100 Years of Breakthroughs Possible in 10 Years
A “supercharged” approach to human genome research could see as many health breakthroughs made in the next decade as in the previous century, says Brad Perkins, chief medical offer at Human Longevity Inc.
“I don’t have a pill” to boost human lifespan, Perkins admitted on stage at WIRED Health 2015. But he has perhaps the next best thing — data, and the means to make sense of it. Based in San Diego, Human Longevity is fixed on using genome data and analytics to develop new ways to fight age-related diseases.
Perkins says the opportunity for humanity — and Human Longevity — is the result of the convergence of four trends:
1) The reduction in the cost of genome sequencing (from $100m per genome in 2000, to just over $1,000 in 2014)
2) The vast improvement in computational power
3) The development of large-scale machine learning techniques
4) The wider movement of health care systems towards ‘value-based’ models.
Together these trends are making it easier than ever to analyse human genomes at scale.
“Our focus is not being a fee for service sequencing operation,” Perkins says. It is to “fully understand and fully interpret all the meaning in the human genome”. To do that Human Longevity Inc is building machine learning systems which can act as a ‘Google Translate’ for genomics, taking in genetic code and spitting out insights.
The results, he believes, will be revolutionary — and make genuine differences in people’s lives — including his own. “My daughter is graduating from university next month, my father if he were alive would be 78 years of age… I’m encouraged that we’re on the verge of having lots more grandfathers and grandmothers at the special events of all of our lives,” Perkins says. “As genomics begins the process of revolutionising human health and the practice of medicine, and opens the door to the next steps… of regenerative medicine. It’s going to be an extraordinarily exciting ride.” – Michael Rundle
Sunday 28th June 2015
How Computers Will Crack the Genetic Code and Improve Billions of Lives
Machine learning and data science will do more to improve healthcare than all the biological sciences combined.
Human Longevity Inc. (HLI) is working on the most epic challenge — extending the healthy human lifespan.
Your genome consists of approximately 3.2 billion base pairs (your DNA) that literally code for “you.”
Your genes code for what diseases you might get, whether you are good at math or music, how good your memory is, what you look like, what you sound like, how you feel, how long you’ll likely live, and more.
This means that if we can decipher this genomic “code,” we can predict your biological future and proactively work to anticipate and improve your health.
It’s a data problem — and if you are a data scientist or machine-learning expert, it is the most challenging, interesting and important problem you could ever try to tackle.
When we compare your sequenced genome with millions of other people’s genomes AND other health data sets (see below), we can use machine learning and data mining techniques to correlate certain traits (eye color, what your face looks like) or diseases (Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s) to factors in the data and begin to develop diagnostics/therapies around them.
It’ a Translation Problem, Like Google Translate
With millions and millions of documents/websites/publications online that were already translated, and a crowd of 500 million users to correct and “teach” the algorithm, GT can quickly and accurately translate between 90 different languages.
Our challenge now is applying similar techniques to all of this genomic and integrated health records… and we found the perfect person to lead this effort: Franz Och — the man responsible for building Google Translate.
Franz is a renowned expert in machine learning and machine translation. He spent 10 years at Google as a distinguished research scientist and the chief architect of Google Translate, literally building the system from the ground up.
Now, Franz is Human Longevity Inc.’s chief data scientist, responsible for developing new computational methods to translate between all of the human biological information.
When you ask Franz why he’s so excited about HLI, his answer is twofold: the mission and the challenge.
Franz explains, “The big thing is the mission — the ability to affect humanity in a positive way. If you are a data scientist, why focus on making a better messaging app or better Internet advertising, when you could be advancing the understanding of disease to make sick people better and of aging to make people live longer, healthier lives?”
As far as the challenge, he goes on: “The big mission is to learn how to interpret the human genome — to be able to predict anything that can be predicted from the source code that runs us.” – Peter Diamandis
Friday 2nd October 2015
Personal Genome Test Will Sell at $250
The next decade will be the most exciting in the history of biological sciences. – Craig Venter
A company formed by genome pioneer Craig Venter will offer clients of a South Africa-based insurance company whole exome sequencing – sequencing all protein-making genes in the human genome – at a price that marks yet another dramatic decline in the cost of gene sequencing.
Venter’s company, Human Longevity Inc, will provide the tests at a cost of $250 each through a special incentive program offered by Discovery Ltd, an insurer with clients in South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Venter, the U.S. scientist who raced the U.S. government to map the human genome 15 years ago for a cost of $100,000, said the $250 price point per whole exome marks a new low in the price of gene sequencing.
Clients who choose screening will receive a comprehensive report detailing their risks for specific diseases and potential strategies to modify those risks. “It’s our goal to really make this (sequencing) available to broad populations,” he said in a telephone interview.
The multiyear deal gives Discovery’s clients access to low-cost whole exome sequencing, tests that look only at the protein-making segments of DNA known as exons, which represent 2 percent of the genome but account for 85 percent of disease-causing mutations.
The deal also covers testing for whole genome and cancer genome sequencing services. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Until recently, whole genome sequencing – which maps all of an individual’s 20,500 genes – was prohibitively expensive, costing about $20,000 just five years ago. As of last year, the average cost of whole genome sequencing fell to $1,500. – Julie Steenhuysen
Wednesday 28th October 2015
The Health Nucleus
The Health Nucleus is Human Longevity’s first health center
$25,000 gets you “a physical on steroids.”
This October Human Longevity Inc will open a “health nucleus” at its La Jolla headquarters, with expanded genetic and health services aimed at self-insured executives and athletes.
The center, the first of several Craig Venter hopes to open, will carry out a full analysis of patients’ genomes, sequence their gut bacteria or microbiome, analyze more than two thousand other body chemicals, and put them through a full-body MRI scan.
The Health Nucleus platform uses whole genome sequence analysis, advanced clinical imaging and innovative machine learning – combined with a comprehensive curation of personal health history – to deliver the most complete picture of individual health.
The Health Nucleus provides a novel approach devoted to exploring, quantifying and beginning to understand as much as possible about individual health and disease risk. – Human Longevity Inc
OS Fund Turns 1: A Year of Learning, Adventure, And Reward
One year ago, we launched OS Fund; what a fantastic year it’s been! It’s been uniquely satisfying to work alongside many of the world’s most capable entrepreneurs focusing on some of the most audacious projects on planet Earth.
Here’s a snapshot of what some of our portfolio companies are working to achieve:
- Cure age-related diseases and radically extend healthy human life to 100+ (Human Longevity)
- Make biology a predictable programming language (Ginkgo Bioworks & Synthetic Genomics)
- Create advanced artificial intelligence (Vicarious and Viv)
- Mine an asteroid (Planetary Resources)
- Reinvent transportation using autonomous vehicles (Matternet)
- Reimagine food using biology (Hampton Creek)
In less than 18 months, one of our first investments, Human Longevity, has become the world’s largest sequencer of human genomes, launched the newly imagined preventive care center Health Nucleus , and inked a deal with one of the largest insurance companies in the world (Discovery) for low-cost exome sequencing, redefining personalized health care. – Bryan Johnson