Some of the technologies and methods researchers say will allow humans to live far beyond today’s life expectancies might seem a bit sci-fi, but last week’s CED Life Science Conference presentation by a California scientist behind national headline-grabbing Human Longevity Inc. considers the equally radical inventions of the last 150 years. 

1881 marked the discovery of germ theory, which led to the vaccines, antiseptics and antibiotics, which combined have helped to double life expectancy.

The pace of innovation has only accelerated in recent years. Human Longevity Inc. co-founder Craig Venter sequenced the first human genome over nine months in 2000, and at a price tag of $100 million. Today’s machines sequence a genome in a fraction of the time and for as little as $1,300. What will provide even more insight into the genome and ways to predict, prevent and treat disease within it is the advancement of computers to learn typical genomes based on origin and ethnicity and measure ours against them.

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