First person to map the human genome starts longevity-boosting company

Craig Venter, a biologist and entrepreneur as well as one of the first people to map the human genome, wants to make 100 the new 60. His latest venture, announced yesterday, will concentrate on extending the human lifespan. Human Longevity has already received $70 million in private backing and aims to use both genomics and stem cell therapies to allow us to live longer, healthier lives.

J. Craig Venter, the man who raced the U.S. government to sequence the first human genome, has a new goal: Help everyone live to 100, in good health. “Our goal is to make 100-years-old the new 60,” said Peter Diamandis, who co-founded with Venter a company that aims to scan the DNA of as many as 100,000 people a year to create a massive database that will lead to new tests and therapies that can help extend healthy human life spans. Human Longevity Inc. will use machines from Illumina Inc. (ILMN), which has a stake in the company, to decode the DNA of people from children to centenarians. San Diego-based Human Longevity will compile the information into a database that will include information on both the genome and the microbiome, the microbes that live in our gut. The aim is to help researchers understand and address diseases associated with age-related decline.

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