Barring the suicidal, no one knows how long they will live. Lifestyle factors, environment and family history all weave a complex web that can determine each individual’s potential lifespan, and until rather recent developments in science, all of this has remained hidden under lock and key in the room full of life’s little-and-big-mysteries.
But what if you could know more? Why does one healthy, thriving human contract cancer and another, whose lifestyle seems to open the doors for harm at all chances, somehow manage to avoid it?
Human Longevity Inc. is an American company that is taking one step further towards providing people with answers. The San Diego-based venture which launched in 2013, is a “genomics and cell therapy-based diagnostic and therapeutic company”, that is striving to provide clients with new ways of fighting genetic diseases associated with aging.
What does that mean? Well, maybe your DNA has some clues to what lies ahead for you. Using the power of human genomics, informatics, next generation DNA sequencing technologies and advancements in stem cell research, HLI is hoping to find some new answers to extend a healthy life, and to treat genetic diseases as early as at birth, or before birth, before they occur.
A consultation with the company admittedly, might lead to nothing. But it could, potentially, offer some new news for a patient, which is exciting.
One of the founders of Human Longevity Inc. is Craig Venture, one of the team to first sequence the human genome in 2000. HLI is now continuing that work and creating the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of whole genome, phenotype and clinical data, and putting this information into large-scale computing and machine learning programs with the hope that they will make novel discoveries that can revolutionize the practice of medicine. In essence, by uploading the large database of new genetic and clinical information into a bunch of computers, the hope is that the computers will pinpoint patterns in the information that can allow doctors to identify diseases in patients before they come to the surface.
Using this knowledge, clients can now go to the Health Nucleus, HLI’s first health center and receive individualized services like advanced genomics, to monitor wellness and treat disease before it occurs.
The idea is to shift from treatment to preventive medicine.
Sounds a bit futuristic, but it could be something.
Currently, HLI says they are gathering information that may lead to better prevention of cancer, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver diseases, and dementia.
The company states on its website that it has secured $70 million in its initial round of funding, with a diverse group of investors.
The most exciting thing, to me, is the fact that the human genome once took $100 million USD to be mapped, but it now only costs $1000 to do at Human Longevity Inc. That’s pretty accessible. The company says they are currently sequencing thousands of genomes every month. They may help you pinpoint something you didn’t know about in your body.
Sounds like a terrible opportunity for a hypochondriac with too much spare time and money to spend, but a great opportunity for many, and the chance to help thousands of people to potentially extend their lives with new knowledge. Exciting.