Billionaire Facebook board member Peter Thiel wants a lot of things — to see Donald Trump elected president, to build techno-utopian floating city states, and to see the Gawker media empire crushed. He also, we learn today via Inc., wants the blood of young humans coursing through his veins in an effort to live forever.
Now I know what you're thinking — wouldn't that make Thiel some sort of modern-day vampire? Well, the answer is (perhaps surprisingly) no. Instead, it would just make him someone who is very, very interested in a little known scientific field called parabiosis. The idea, tested on lab rats and in human trials now in China, is that transfusing the blood of young people into old people can counter the effects of aging — not only slowing it down but perhaps reversing it.
"I'm looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting," Thiel told Inc. bureau chief Jeff Bercovici in a conversation about his biotech investments. "This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect. And so that's ... that is one that ... again, it's one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely underexplored."
He then clarified that he is interested not for business purposes, but for actually using it purposes. "It may just be it's not necessarily patentable," observed Thiel. "The parabiosis would not require -- there's no FDA approval needed because it's just blood transfusions."
Thiel, observes the Guardian, is well known for his interest in various life-extension efforts and is a proud transhumanist. He is also exceedingly rich, a fact which allows him to indulge his passionate search for immortality.
And, in Monterey-based anti-aging company Ambrosia, it looks like he might have found just the right outlet.
Ambrosia is doing just the kind of parabiosis research that interests Thiel — injecting people over the age of 35 with the blood of people under 25 — and so perhaps it is no surprise that Thiel Capital's chief medical officer Jason Camm reached out to Ambrosia founder and Stanford-trained physician Jesse Karmazin to inquire about his company's efforts.
Karmazin told Inc. that, at present, he's not looking for investors, and Thiel Capital's involvement with Ambrosia appears to at this point to be merely one of interest. But with Thiel long on the record as trying to buy his way out of death, we can imagine it's an interest that will be sustained. After all, where's the fun in a Trump presidency if you can't live long enough to enjoy all of its disastrous effects?