He mapped the human genome, now he wants to 'cure' aging

Craig Venter, the U.S. scientist who raced the U.S. government to map the human genome over a decade ago and created synthetic life in 2010, is now on a quest to treat age-related disease.

Venter has teamed up with stem cell pioneer Dr Robert Hariri and X Prize Foundation founder Dr Peter Diamandis to form Human Longevity Inc., a company that will use both genomics and stem cell therapies to find treatments that allow aging adults to stay healthy and functional for as long as possible.

Were hoping to make numerous new discoveries in preventive medicine. We think this will have a huge impact on changing the cost of medicine, Venter said on a conference call announcing his latest venture.

The San Diego-based startup company has $70-million in private backing and has already purchased two ultrafast HiSeq X Ten gene sequencing systems from Illumina Inc, a leading manufacturer of DNA sequencing machines, with the option to buy three more.

The company will use that technology to map 40,000 human genomes in a push to build the worlds largest database of human genetic variation. The database will include sequences from the very young through the very old, both diseased and healthy.

This will be one of the largest data studies in the history of science and medicine, Venter told the conference call.

In addition to gathering whole genome data, the company will collect genetic data on the trillions of microbes including bacteria, viruses and fungi living in and on humans.

By better understanding the microbiomes in the gut, in the mouth, on the skin and other sites on the body, the company said it hopes to develop better probiotics as well as better diagnostics and drugs to improve health and wellness.

Along with the microbiome data, Human Longevity Inc. or HLI will collect data on the metabolome the various metabolites, biochemicals and fats in the body in order to get a better picture of the circulating chemicals that contribute to health and affect how drugs work.

The companys initial treatment targets will be some of the toughest age-related diseases: cancer, diabetes and obesity, heart and liver diseases, and dementia.

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He mapped the human genome, now he wants to 'cure' aging

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