R&D into eternal life doesn't come cheap

If you're going to live forever, then you'll probably need to set aside a little something extra in that retirement account.


And if you're doing research into getting people to live forever--or at least well beyond their three score and ten--then you'll probably need some up-front cash. To that end, PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel has ponied up a $3.5 million gift for scientific research into aging and its ravages. But the scientist receiving the gift wants to do a little more then fight wrinkles--he's hoping to "cure" aging itself, letting humans live for a thousand years.

The Methuselah Foundation, a Springfield, Va, organization run by Aubrey de Grey, sounds like something out of a Robert Heinlein novel. According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, De Grey believes there are seven main causes of aging, which if conquered, could allow people to live indefinitely.

"I'm backing Dr. de Grey, because I believe that his revolutionary approach to aging research will accelerate this process, allowing many people alive today to enjoy radically longer and healthier lives for themselves and their loved ones," Thiel said in a press release.

Blog community response:

"I expect Thiel's donations to be the first of many very large donations aimed at reversing the aging process. The large number of multi-millionaires are very sharp people who know they really can't take their money with them when they die. So why not use a piece of their wealth to take a stab at making their bodies young again?"

"It would give a whole new meaning to 'Until Death do us part'. Would wedding vows have finite endings written into them? 'Until death, or 100 years pass, do us part'. I wonder what sort of gem you give your sweetie on your 300th wedding anniversary."
--Goofy Log

"However, this does goes to show that Barnum was right: there's still one born every minute!"
--Bits and Pieces