Anti-aging research body the SENS Foundation has received a donation of $1 million USD in BTC thanks to the Pineapple Fund, a philanthropic organization that gives out donations in bitcoin. The SENS Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the medical concept of “negligible senescence”. In layman’s terms, this means the pursuit of a complete and total cure for aging.
Founded in 2009 by Dr. Aubrey de Grey, the foundation’s name stands for “strategies for engineered negligible senescence”. Its goal is to “transform the way the world researches and treats age-related disease”.
The foundation plans to address aging damage in cells through a multi-pronged approach. For example, it is targeting mitochondrial mutations, death resistant cells, nuclear mutations, and cell loss or atrophy.
One of the projects the foundation is currently pursuing is called RMR, or robust mouse rejuvenation. The idea is to use a mouse to demonstrate the ability to turn an old mouse into what is essentially a healthy younger mouse, and greatly expand its healthy lifespan. According to a recent AMA on Reddit, Dr. de Grey stated that his foundation has a 50 percent chance of achieving the RMR project goals within five to seven years.
While the idea of making humans medically immortal (meaning that they cannot die of old age or age-related disease, but could still die from misfortune like a fatal car crash, gunshot, or other diseases) may seem far-fetched to some. However, Dr. de Grey has been slowly changing the minds of both the scientific community and the public at large for almost a decade now.
Dr. de Grey often sites a concept called longevity escape velocity, or LEV. This essentially means that if a person is sufficiently young and healthy and alive today, they very well stand a chance of being able to become medically immortal.
In the Reddit AMA, user zenon22, a 25-year-old, asked what their chances of achieving escape velocity are. Dr. de Grey suggested that he has an 80 percent chance of reach LEV. However, that chance will be greatly influenced by the funding at that the SENS Foundation receives in the following decades.
What is the Pineapple Fund? According to their tagline, they donate bitcoin to charity “because once you have enough money, money doesn’t matter.”
The Pineapple Fund seems to be led by one anonymous person who claims they made a windfall in cryptocurrency earnings in the early days of bitcoin.
The address of the Pineapple Fund is one of the wealthiest the coin addresses today. It currently holds a balance of 4,714 BTC. At today’s valuation of about $17,900 per bitcoin, that would mean the fund currently holds $84 million. In previous donations, the fund has donated to the EFF, the Water Project and BitGive, among others. In total, the fund has given out just over $6.5 million.
Early bitcoin pioneer and developer Hal Finney passed away back in 2014. He was involved with the Extropy Institute which is invested in longevity research much like SENS. After his death at the age of 58 from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) his body was stored in the Alcor Life Extension Foundation’s cryogenic facility in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Some industry insiders have speculated that Finney may have in fact been Satoshi Nakamoto. This has so far not been proven true or false. Finney was, however, recipient of the first-ever bitcoin transaction.
With his remains preserved in cryonic stasis, it is possible that people like Finney could one day benefit from the research that comes from, or is based on, the output of the SENS Foundation.
Would you choose to live forever if you could? Let’s hear your thoughts.
Images via Pineapple Fund, Hal Finney, Pixabay