“If you ask me today, is it possible to live to be 500? The answer is yes.”
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“In 20 years, chemo will seem so primitive it will be like using a telegraph.”
“Twenty years ago, without genomics, you could only treat cancer with a poison. That’s really different from, ‘We can cure your cancer by reverse-engineering a stem cell.’ You can now legitimately invest in a company that could cure cancer.”
“ ‘We are just on the verge of what science and technology can do,’ says David Shaywitz, chief medical officer of DNAnexus, who’s seated across from Byers and Hodak. His company, also backed by Google Ventures, is building a global bank of genomic information using cloud computing.
Listening to the scientists gathered around the table, it’s hard not to get caught up in the world they see coming. In this vision of our future, science will be able to fix the damage that the sun or smoking or too much wine inflicts on our DNA. Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other scourges of aging will be repaired at the molecular level and eradicated. In the minds of this next generation of entrepreneurs, the possibilities are bizarre and hopeful and endless. We probably won’t live forever, but we could live much longer, and better.
These are the bets Google Ventures is hoping will ultimately be its biggest wins. ‘We aren’t trying to gain a few yards,’ Maris says. ‘We are trying to win the game. And part of it is that it is better to live than to die.’ ”