Elon Musk and Peter Thiel co-founded PayPal together, but public perception of the two is wildly different. While Musk is often seen as a real-life Iron Man here to usher in an age of green technology and carbon-free living, Thiel has made headlines for supporting Donald Trump and bankrupting Gawker. Now an interview with Thiel has surfaced, in which the tech billionaire says he’s exploring parabiosis, or blood transfusions from young people to help fight aging and death.
Thiel told Inc. reporter Jeff Bercovici, “I’m looking into parabiosis stuff, which I think is really interesting. This is where they did the young blood into older mice and they found that had a massive rejuvenating effect…it’s one of these very odd things where people had done these studies in the 1950’s and then it got dropped altogether. I think there are a lot of these things that have been strangely underexplored.”
Thiel is referring to 1950’s experiments in which scientists connected the circulatory systems of two rats by stitching them together. For decades parabiosis was generally considered fringe science, but now some researchers in the U.S., China, and Korea are taking another look. A U.S. company, Ambrosia, is conducting trials where participants over 35 pay $8,000 to receive blood transfusions from donors younger than 25. Thiel Capital Chief Medical Officer and Thiel’s Personal Health Director Jason Camm reportedly reached out to Ambrosia for more information, but a Thiel Capital spokesperson told Inc. Thiel has yet to begin parabiosis treatments.
Thiel has spoken out on his unique perspective on death before. He’s invested in biotech startups and plans to be cyrogenically frozen upon death. Nearly two years ago he told The Telegraph, “You can accept [death], you can deny it, or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are into denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.” Back in 2009 he wrote in the journal Cato Unbound, “I stand against confiscatory taxes, totalitarian collectives, and the ideology of the inevitability of the death of every individual.”