A May 31 article in Bloomberg Businessweek began by announcing, “As the tech industry has matured, people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with developing ways to stop the human aging process.”

It is a phenomenon that recalls Aldous Huxley’s novel of Southern California, After Many a Summer Dies the Swan. First published in 1939, and perhaps inspired by the figure of William Randolph Hearst, the novel is about a wealthy tycoon, Jo Stoyte, who pays for the research of a quack scientist named Doctor Obispo to find the secret of immortality.

Some of the tycoons of the Silicon Valley, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, unnamed in the piece, began experimenting with “really long bike rides and intermittent fasting” and progressed to “taking dozens of pills every morning, or injecting stem cells into their brain [sic], or infusing their body with the blood of the young and virile.”

The goal is what is called “life-extension,” exactly what the millionaire Stoyte seeks in Huxley’s novel. Stoyte eventually finds out about an English lord, the Fifth Earl of Gonister, who discovered that eating fish viscera prolonged life. Eventually, the millionaire finds the earl, who has shrunken to an ape-like state and is hidden in the basement of an English estate. He has found immortality, but it has taken a frightening form….

Scientists are studying the aging process in dogs, the Bloomberg article reports, because the two species have “co-evolved” according to a woman who has a startup called “Cellular Longevity.” She has raised $11 million and projects trials of two anti-aging drugs soon.

She is involved in a growing field of research. Part of this involves the medicine sometimes called rapamycin, developed from a bacteria found in the soil of Easter Island. Rapamycin is used for cancer patients as an immunosuppressant, but there are some people experimenting with low doses to stop aging.

Life-extension experimentation with dogs is a serious project. We live in an age when puppies compete with babies for sympathy. So, it is natural that some 30,000 dog owners are cooperating with a research project, backed with a grant of $25 million from the National Institutes of Health (yep, your tax dollars at work). At least 200 “middle aged” dogs will be given rapamycin doses to see if they can retain their vigor….

The above comes from a July 14 article in Angelus News.