8 min read

Ending Aging.... the Other Pandemic

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 31, 2020

As the world faces COVID-19, there is a second pandemic killing everyone… it’s called aging.

And for the first time ever, scientists and entrepreneurs think there’s a way to slow aging in its tracks, and perhaps even reverse it.

In this blog, we’ll do a quick review of the cutting-edge tech that gives me tremendous hope that we can add a healthy 20 or 30 years onto our healthspan, ultimately making 100 years old the “new 60.”

COVID-19 Comparison: As of today, there have been nearly 6.2 million confirmed COVID-19 cases globally, and since its initial outbreak, COVID-19 has now become the recorded cause of about 371,000 deaths.

To put this in context, approximately 7.8 billion people are alive today, roughly 9 percent of which are over the age of 65 and suffering from the deadliest disease on Earth: Aging.

Without competition, aging is the #1 correlated variable when it comes to deaths due to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, respiratory disease and dementia. In effect, 9 percent of the population equates to 720 million confirmed cases of aging. And even then, this is an extraordinarily conservative estimate as many people begin experiencing the effects of aging in their 50s.

Despite these figures, the world is only just beginning to recognize aging as a disease. So far, no one has recovered from this disease in the history of humanity, and barring fundamental scientific breakthroughs, you can confidently assume it will take your life.

As a society today, we simply accept that aging (and death) are a part of life, but there is nothing that says our lives can’t be significantly extended.

Many species on Earth live far longer lives… The Bowhead whale can reach 200 years of age, while the Greenland Shark and Sea Turtles can make it to more than 400 years.

If they can, why can’t we? Clearly, it is either a hardware or a software problem, both of which are within the grasp of our understanding, and soon within reach of our modification... using treatments such as gene therapy, CRISPR, and cell therapies, just to name a few.

If you haven’t read Lifespan by Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School (I strongly recommend it), he gives a host of compelling evidence to show there is no reason people born today cannot live to at least 120 in healthy condition, if not 150 and beyond.

As scientists and entrepreneurs race to unlock and rewire the biology of aging, here are some key technologies you can track today to extend your healthspan, i.e. the amount of time you have to live a healthy, functional life, avoiding expensive, bed-ridden, end-of-life care.

Here is the list that I’m tracking (and am excited about):

  1. CRISPR & Gene Therapy
  2. Stem Cell Therapy
  3. Wnt Pathway Manipulation
  4. Senolytic Medicines

Let’s dive into the data behind each of these treatments.


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(1) CRISPR & Gene Therapy: Why does cheaper, faster genomic sequencing matter? It’s a healthcare gamechanger.

Aging is ultimately the dis-regulation or breakdown of the cells in our body. Consider that there are a few main ways to repair such situations. “Gene Therapy” is one such technology that effectively inserts a gene into specific cells in your body, effectively repairing the instruction set that is corrupted or missing. A second technique called CRISPR-Cas9 allows you to edit (think cut and paste) the DNA sequence inside your cells. 

CRISPR-Cas9, for example, has become our leading weapon in the fight against genetic diseases. Technically, it’s an engineering tool that allows us to target precise locations in the gene code and then rewrite that DNA.

Want to remove the string of DNA that produces muscular dystrophy? Simple. Just target that spot in the genome, unleash CRISPR-Cas9, and snip, snip, snip—problem solved.

More importantly, CRISPR is cheap, fast, and getting easier to use. Most recently, scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard unveiled CRISPR 2.0, a next-generation editor that’s extremely precise. It can target and change a single letter in a single string of DNA.

What good is a single letter out of 3.2 billion?

As explained by David Liu, the Harvard chemical biologist who ld thee work, “of more than 50,000 genetic changes currently known to be associated with disease in humans [...] 32,000 of those are caused by the simple swap of one base pair for another.”

(2) Stem Cell Therapy: Each of us is a collection of over 30 trillion human cells. Every one of these cells, those in your brain, lungs, liver, skin, and everywhere else, are derived from a single pluripotent type of cell called a stem cell.

When we are young, our bodies are teeming with stem cells that can replace any damaged tissue. They are the restorative engines of our bodies, helping us repair damage. But as we age, the number of stem cells in our tissues and blood stream can reduce 100X or 1,000X, making repair much more difficult.

But what if we could “restore our body's rejuvenative engine,” our stem cell population? What if we could take stem cells from the human placenta, an organ whose stem cells actually “form” the fetus, and augment your current stem cell population?

Celularity (a company founded by stem cell pioneer Bob Hariri and myself), for instance, has now demonstrated that placental-derived stem cells given to animals can extend life up to 30 percent. Showing incredible promise, Celularity now aims to make this approach viable in humans, harnessing stem cells to amplify the body’s ability to fight disease and heal itself.

(3) Wnt Pathway Manipulation: An incredible company based in San Diego, called Samumed, is now targeting the signaling pathways that regulate the self-renewal and differentiation of adult stem cells, a pathway known as “wnt.”

In animal studies, as well as Phase-1 and Phase-2 human clinical trials, their drugs (small molecules) have been shown to regrow cartilage, heal tendons, remove wrinkles, and, by the way, stop a multitude of cancers and reverse Alzheimer’s. This also explains why Samumed, a company still in stealth mode, has a $12 billion valuation.

Samumed has developed nine different so-called “regenerative medicines.” All are in the FDA’s pipeline, including everything from hair-loss treatments to Alzheimer’s drugs.

(4) Senolytic Medicines: Over the arc of your life, the cells in your body divide until they reach what is known as the Hayflick limit, or the number of times a normal human cell population will divide before cell division stops, which is typically about 50 divisions.

What normally follows next is programmed cell death or destruction by the immune system.

A very small fraction of cells, however, become ‘senescent cells,’ evading this fate to linger indefinitely. These lingering cells secrete a potent mix of molecules that triggers chronic inflammation, damages the surrounding tissue structures, and changes the behavior of nearby cells for the worse.

Senescent cells appear to be one of the root causes of aging, causing everything from fibrosis and blood vessel calcification to localized inflammatory conditions such as osteoarthritis and diminished lung function.

Fortunately, scientific and entrepreneurial communities alike have begun to work on senolytic therapies, driving forward technologies that selectively destroy senescent cells out of the laboratory and into a half-dozen startup companies.

One such prominent company in the field is Unity Biotechnology, which is developing senolytic medicines to selectively eliminate senescent cells with an initial focus on delivering localized therapy in osteoarthritis, ophthalmology and pulmonary disease.

Final Thoughts & Join Me

Beyond these four areas above, there are countless other therapeutics and approaches ranging from metformin, NAD boosters, rapalogs, and GDF-11 to a new generation of AI/Machine Learning-enhanced molecules being discovered.

In success, longevity and vitality therapies are a *trillion-dollar* industry, and today's smartest scientists, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists are investing in its boom.

Leading the charge are three major “HOT SPOTS” for Longevity startups… (1) The Bay Area; (2) San Diego; and (3) Boston.

This August 19-23, 2020 and September 16-20, 2020, I'm taking two groups of individuals on what I call my “Platinum Longevity & Immunity Trip,” visiting two of these hot spots: San Francisco & San Diego.

Each trip will be a 5-Star (luxury) deep dive to meet 20+ companies and 30+ scientists/physicians and entrepreneurs who are leading the charge against age-related diseases and extending the human healthspan. We will also be visiting the top labs and scientists developing the diagnostics, anti-virals, vaccines and therapeutics fighting COVID-19.

Both trips are identical (with only 24 participants per trip). I will spend all 5-days with you as your private guide and provocateur. Through this personalized, action-packed program, my mission is to give you first-hand exposure to the major players, scientists, companies and treatments in the longevity and vitality arena. All your questions answered. Early access to cutting-edge treatments and products. And a behind-the scenes view of tomorrow’s longevity revolution.

Both trips are nearly sold out. To learn more and lock in your seat, visit our website here and schedule a call with Claire Adair, my program manager, to learn more.


(1) Abundance 360 CEO Summit: If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, owner of a company ranging in size from $1M to $1B+, consider joining my personal Mastermind called Abundance360 (www.a360.com). Click here to learn more.

(2) Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop.

Last month, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).

(A360 is part of Singularity University  your participation opens you to a global community.)


(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

Topics: Materials Science Exponentials materials exponential technology biodiversity
8 min read

Materials Science: the Unsung Hero

By Peter H. Diamandis on May 17, 2020

Few recognize the vast implications of materials science.

To build today’s smartphone in the 1980s, it would cost about $110 million, require nearly 200 kilowatts of energy, and the device would be 14 meters tall, according to Applied Materials CTO Omkaram Nalamasu.

That's the power of materials advances. Materials science has democratized smartphones, bringing the technology to the pockets of over 3.5 billion people.

But far beyond devices and circuitry, materials science stands at the center of innumerable breakthroughs across energy, future cities, transit, and medicine. And at the forefront of COVID-19, materials scientists are forging ahead with biomaterials, nanotechnology, and other materials research to accelerate a solution.

As the name suggests, materials science is the branch devoted to the discovery and development of new materials. It’s an outgrowth of both physics and chemistry, using the periodic table as its grocery store and the laws of physics as its cookbook.

And today, we are in the middle of a materials science revolution. In this blog, we’ll unpack the most important materials advancements happening now.

Let’s dive in… 


(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

The Materials Genome Initiative

In June 2011 at Carnegie Mellon University, President Obama announced the Materials Genome Initiative, a nationwide effort to use open source methods and AI to double the pace of innovation in materials science.

Obama felt this acceleration was critical to the U.S.'s global competitiveness, and held the key to solving significant challenges in clean energy, national security, and human welfare.

And it worked.

By using AI to map the hundreds of millions of different possible combinations of elements—hydrogen, boron, lithium, carbon, etc.—the initiative created an enormous database that allows scientists to play a kind of improv jazz with the periodic table.

This new map of the physical world lets scientists combine elements faster than ever before and is helping them create all sorts of novel elements.

And an array of new fabrication tools are further amplifying this process, allowing us to work at altogether new scales and sizes, including the atomic scale, where we’re now building materials one atom at a time.

Biggest Materials Science Breakthroughs

These tools have helped create the metamaterials used in carbon fiber composites for lighter-weight vehicles, advanced alloys for more durable jet engines, and biomaterials to replace human joints.

We’re also seeing breakthroughs in energy storage and quantum computing.

In robotics, new materials are helping us create the artificial muscles needed for humanoid, soft robots—think Westworld in your world.

Let’s unpack some of the leading materials science breakthroughs of the past decade.

(1) Lithium-ion batteries

The lithium-ion battery, which today powers everything from our smartphones to our autonomous cars, was first proposed in the 1970s. It couldn’t make it to market until the 1990s, and didn’t begin to reach maturity until the past few years.

An exponential technology, these batteries have been dropping in price for three decades, plummeting 90% between 1990 and 2010, and 80% since. Concurrently, they’ve seen an eleven-fold increase in capacity.

But producing enough of them to meet demand has been an ongoing problem. Tesla has stepped up to the challenge: one of the company’s Gigafactories in Nevada churns out 20 gigawatts of energy storage per year, marking the first time we’ve seen lithium-ion batteries produced at scale.

Musk predicts 100 Gigafactories could store the energy needs of the entire globe. Other companies are moving quickly to integrate this technology as well: Renault is building a home energy storage based on their Zoe batteries, BMW’s 500 i3 battery packs are being integrated into the UK’s national energy grid, and Toyota, Nissan, and Audi have all announced pilot projects.

Lithium-ion batteries will continue to play a major role in renewable energy storage, helping bring down solar and wind energy prices to compete with those of coal and gasoline.

(2) Graphene

Derived from the same graphite found in everyday pencils, graphene is a sheet of carbon just one atom thick. It is nearly weightless, but 200 times stronger than steel. Conducting electricity and dissipating heat faster than any other known substance, this super-material has transformative applications.

Graphene enables sensors, high-performance transistors, and even gel that helps neurons communicate in the spinal cord. Many flexible device screens, drug delivery systems, 3D printers, solar panels, and protective fabric use graphene.

As manufacturing costs decrease, this material has the power to accelerate advancements of all kinds.

(3) Perovskite

Right now, the “conversion efficiency” of the average solar panel—a measure of how much captured sunlight can be turned into electricity—hovers around 16%, at a cost of roughly $3 per watt.

Perovskite, a light-sensitive crystal and one of our newer new materials, has the potential to get that up to 66%, which would double what silicon panels can muster.

Perovskite’s ingredients are widely available and inexpensive to combine. What do all these factors add up to? Affordable solar energy for everyone.

Materials of the Nano-World

Nanotechnology is the outer edge of materials science, the point where matter manipulation gets nano-small—that’s a million times smaller than an ant, 8,000 times smaller than a red blood cell, and 2.5 times smaller than a strand of DNA.

Nanobots are machines that can be directed to produce more of themselves, or more of whatever else you’d like. And because this takes place at an atomic scale, these nanobots can pull apart any kind of material—soil, water, air—atom by atom, and use these now raw materials to construct just about anything.

Progress has been surprisingly swift in the nano-world, with a bevy of nano-products now on the market.

Never want to fold clothes again? Nanoscale additives to fabrics help them resist wrinkling and staining.

Don’t do windows? Not a problem! Nano-films make windows self-cleaning, anti-reflective, and capable of conducting electricity.

Want to add solar to your house? We’ve got nano-coatings that capture the sun’s energy.

Nanomaterials make lighter automobiles, airplanes, baseball bats, helmets, bicycles, luggage, power tools—the list goes on.

Researchers at Harvard built a nanoscale 3D printer capable of producing miniature batteries less than one millimeter wide.

And if you don’t like those bulky VR goggles, researchers are now using nanotech to create smart contact lenses with a resolution six times greater than that of today’s smartphones.

And even more is coming. Right now, in medicine, drug delivery nanobots are proving especially useful in fighting cancer. Computing is a stranger story, as a bioengineer at Harvard recently stored 700 terabytes of data in a single gram of DNA.

On the environmental front, scientists can take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into super-strong carbon nanofibers for use in manufacturing. If we can do this at scale—powered by solar—a system 10% the size of the Sahara Desert could reduce CO2 in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels in about a decade.

The applications are endless. And coming fast. Over the next decade, the impact of the very, very small is about to get very, very large.

Final Thoughts

With the help of artificial intelligence and quantum computing over the next decade, the discovery of new materials will accelerate exponentially.

And with these new discoveries, customized materials will grow commonplace. Future knee implants will be personalized to meet the exact needs of each body, both in terms of structure and composition.

Though invisible to the naked eye, nanoscale materials will integrate into our everyday lives, seamlessly improving medicine, energy, smartphones, and more.

Ultimately, the path to demonetization and democratization of advanced technologies starts with re-designing materials— the invisible enabler and catalyst. Our future depends on the materials we create.


(Note #1: This blog comes from my new book (just released January 28th), The Future is Faster Than You Think, a roadmap for how converging exponential technologies will transform every industry over the next 50 years. To get your own copy, click here!)

(Note: If you like this blog, share it! | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Or send your friends and family to this link to subscribe!)

Join Me

(1) Abundance 360 CEO Summit: If you’re an entrepreneur, CEO, owner of a company ranging in size from $1M to $1B+, consider joining my personal Mastermind called Abundance360 (www.a360.com). Click here to learn more.

(2) Join FutureLoop: Over the past 2 years, I’ve built a machine-learning algorithm that scrapes the world’s news, science journals and social feeds every day to understand how exponential technologies are impacting specific topics & industries. It’s called FutureLoop.

Last month, I launched "FutureLoop Pandemic Special Edition," a daily comprehensive update on the impact of exponential technologies (AI, Robotics, Drones, Cellular Medicine, CRISPR, Networks & Sensors) on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you participate, FutureLoop will update you every day on the latest breakthroughs in detection, prevention & cure of the COVID-19. This product is still in Beta, but it’s powerful, high-quality info, and it's free.

Your mindset is your most important tool during this pandemic. Making sure you are consuming the right information is critical to maintaining that mindset. FutureLoop offers "Data-Driven Optimism."

You can subscribe here. It’s free, fun + fast (20 seconds).

(A360 is part of Singularity University  your participation opens you to a global community.)

Topics: Materials Science Exponentials materials exponential technology biodiversity
7 min read

Restoring Biodiversity

By Peter H. Diamandis on Mar 8, 2020

The combination of climate change, deforestation, pollution, overfishing, and more, have produced a biodiversity crisis.

On a bad day, 200 species go extinct.

If we project current rates, by century’s end, 50% of all large mammals and marine life will disappear.

Topics: Exponentials exponential technology biodiversity