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Billionaires Are Hiring Top Doctors, Nobel Prize Laureates to Help Them Live Forever

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Billionaires Are Hiring Top Doctors, Nobel Prize Laureates to Help Them Live Forever
Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez attend the 10th Annual LACMA Art+Film Gala presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

When you have all the money in the world, are free from the burden of family and children, and have seen Earth from space, what’s left to live for? For Jeff Bezos, the answer appears to be living longer, possibly forever.

The retired Amazon founder, who just turned 58 earlier this month, has assembled a team of top doctors and scientists to lead a startup he funded with a mission that sounds all too familiar in the age of the Metaverse and space colonization: to reverse the process of aging and therefore defy death.

The startup, called Altos Labs, came out of stealth mode on Wednesday with the announcement that it has tapped Hal Barron, the chief scientific officer and president of the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), to be the company’s CEO this summer. Barron has led GSK’s research and development since 2018. His earlier career included various leadership roles at biotech giant Genentech and later its parent company, Roche.

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From 2014 to 2017, Barron served as the president of R&D at the longevity startup Calico Life Sciences, founded by Google cofounder Larry Page, whose business is very similar to that of Altos Labs, which focuses on cell reprogramming in order to “restore cell health and resilience to reverse disease, injury, and the disabilities that can occur throughout life,” according to a press release on Wednesday.

Altos Labs was incorporated in the U.S. and the U.K. last year by Richard Klausner, 70, who was the head of the National Cancer Institute in the U.S. The company said Wednesday that it had secured more than $3 billion in funding at launch. It didn’t disclose who its investors are. Bezos has chipped in through his family investment office, Bezos Expeditions, and Russian-Israeli billionaire Yuri Milner, 60, has invested through a family foundation, according to MIT Technology Review, which reported on the company’s work in September 2021.

The startup has enlisted multiple Nobel Prize laureates to serve as board directors. They include Shinya Yamanaka, the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in stem cell research, Jennifer Doudna, the co-winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her role in developing the gene-editing tool CRISPR, Frances Arnold, who won the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for her work on enzymes engineering, and David Baltimore, a 1975 Nobel laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

Yamanaka, who is a professor at Japan’s Kyoto University, will also serve as Altos Labs’ senior scientific advisor to oversee research activities in Japan.

Altos Labs has operations in San Francisco, San Diego, and Cambridge in the U.K., with significant collaborations in Japan.

“Altos seeks to decipher the pathways of cellular rejuvenation programming to create a completely new approach to medicine, one based on the emerging concepts of cellular health,” Klausner said in a statement. “Remarkable work over the last few years beginning to quantify cellular health and the mechanisms behind that, coupled with the ability to effectively and safely reprogram cells and tissues via rejuvenation pathways, opens this new vista into the medicine of the future.”

Billionaires Are Hiring Top Doctors, Nobel Prize Laureates to Help Them Live Forever

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Review: ‘His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice’

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Review: ‘His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice’

Two Americas collided in the few minutes that Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into the neck of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, after a shopkeeper complained that the 6-foot-6 Floyd had passed a counterfeit $20 bill at a store.

According to the new book “His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice,” Chauvin, a white, 5-foot-9 police veteran, had become a “cowboy” on patrol, a practitioner of rough policing tactics. He had grown up a child of divorced parents but attended good schools and found his way to policing after taking related college courses.

Floyd’s childhood was starkly different.

Floyd was a cheerful child, saying he wanted to “be someone” — a Supreme Court justice, for example.

But just surviving the drug-infested, poverty-stricken, violence-prone neighborhood where he grew up was an accomplishment of note. With better schools and a more stable neighborhood, it’s easy to envision a different adult passage for Floyd, who failed to pass the exit exam for high school.

He had gone to Minneapolis on the recommendation of a Houston pastor who noted Minnesota’s better education, medical care and rehabilitation systems for people with criminal records.

And Floyd seemed to thrive, until he fell back into drug use.

Floyd’s record of drug abuse, robbery and other minor crimes, plus his intimidating size, were offered as justification for Chauvin’s tactics to subdue the much bigger man. But it’s easy to envision a different life for Floyd that did not include a knee to the neck had he not grown up in a neighborhood infested with crime, illicit drugs and poor schools.

The authors, Washington Post reporters Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, say in the book’s introduction that they don’t want to absolve Floyd of responsibility for his actions but rather are striving to analyze the policies that affected Floyd’s life.

And they do a masterful, thorough and even-handed job of this.

Floyd supporters say justice was achieved in Chauvin’s conviction but whether the case led to a national examination of conscience is tougher to answer.

What does seem clear is that George Floyd’s name will be remembered as a prominent casualty of the racial and economic gulf in America.

He did as he said as a child “become someone,” although not in the way he had hoped but powerfully nonetheless, prompting Americans to think hard about race and policing in America.

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Gleyber Torres still owns the Orioles even after wall at Camden Yards is pushed back 26.5 feet

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Gleyber Torres still owns the Orioles even after wall at Camden Yards is pushed back 26.5 feet

BALTIMORE — The Orioles moved their left-field fence back 26.5 feet before this season, maybe hoping to contain Gleyber Torres. It may be more difficult to go over that fence now, but Torres is still tormenting the Orioles. Monday night, he reached base a career-high tying four times as the Yankees beat the Birds.

It’s not just the Orioles anymore, though, as Torres has been putting up good numbers for the last week before coming into Camden Yards to see his favorite victims. Heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Orioles, Torres was hitting  .412/.500/.588 with three runs scored and a home run in his previous five games.

“I think first of all, he’s hit better than his number suggests. He’s done well, he’s hit some balls out of the ballpark. Obviously, he’s got a number of big hits. . . but I feel like his quality and contact has absolutely been there throughout,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “And that dates back to spring training. I felt like he was from the get go, kind of having good at-bats, getting in strong hitting positions, getting good swings off. I think that’s continued.

“He’s playing well on the field. (Monday) night, he did a little bit of everything,” Boone continued.  “I thought his base running was really good. Obviously a huge play in the field and good at-bats. So I think it’s just a talented player, a maturing player, a young player that’s already been through a lot of experiences at the big league level. And to his credit, he’s learning and growing from all those.”

Torres is coming off two miserable years in which he struggled defensively as the starting shortstop, and that seemed to carry over to his offense. The Yankees finally gave up on that experiment last September and moved him back to second base, where Torres is obviously more comfortable. He made a very heads-up double-play that cut short an Orioles’ threat in Monday night’s first inning.

Torres also took the last two seasons to heart, heading immediately to the Yankees complex after last season to work with hitting coaches to find his swing from 2019.

“I think it is a motivator.  I think it’s taking advantage of experience,” Boone said. “He’s a young player that’s been through a lot already for a young man in this game at this level. He’s been an All Star a couple times. He’s had a lot of success. He’s had playoff success. He’s struggled some and he’s hit bumps in the road. How do you respond to that? How do you learn from that? How do you grow from that? And I think this year, we’ve seen him take a big step forward in that regard and I’m just proud of where he’s at.”

And nothing gets Torres going like a trip to Camden Yards or seeing the Orioles across the field. Torres has hit .328/.409/.642 with 14 doubles, one triple, 16 home runs and 44 RB in 59 career games against the Orioles.

STOLE ONE

On Monday, Giancarlo Stanton hit one of the longest balls of the game, a line drive 387 feet that came off the bat at 114 miles per hour. Normally that would put a run on the board for the Yankees, but not in the new Camden Yards. Stanton hit it to left-center field where the Orioles had moved the fences back 26.5 feet and put up a 13-foot wall.

“When he hit it, I didn’t think so. And then going back and looking I do think so,” Boone said. “So minus one for us.”

The wall also presents a challenge for left-fielders, creating new, strange angles. Joey Gallo said it’s now one of the hardest left fields to play in the majors.

“Now there’s angles, different angles everywhere. There’s a 90-degree angle that definitely makes for an interesting and like, not normal, left field,” Gallo said.

DAY OFF

Aaron Hicks was the odd man out of the lineup Tuesday. The center-fielder went 1-for-4 with a single in the fourth inning in Monday night’s win.

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Trevor Williams sets the tone as Mets pick up Game 1 win in doubleheader vs. Cards

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Trevor Williams sets the tone as Mets pick up Game 1 win in doubleheader vs. Cards

The Mets offense did its part, knocking in a few runs early, and it was up to the spot starter in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader to keep the Cardinals off the board.

Trevor Williams, tasked with the job of filling in for Tylor Megill (right biceps tendinitis), established the tone in his second start of the year for the Mets. Williams struck out six, including two against Yadier Molina and another with Nolan Arendado in the box, in what seemed like an effortless outing against a St. Louis team that believes it can be a playoff contender.

“Learning this new role has been a fun challenge for me,” said Williams, who was a regular starter for the Pirates and Cubs before he joined the Mets at last year’s trade deadline.

Williams fired four shutout innings and allowed four hits across 65 pitches to help the Mets beat the Cardinals, 3-1, in the series opener on Tuesday. The right-hander, typically the innings-eater out of the bullpen, picked up where he left off in his most recent relief outing, when he posted 3.2 scoreless innings against the Nationals last Wednesday. On five days’ rest, Williams’ smooth and steady performance against the Cards was just what the Mets were looking for.

The righty credited backup catcher Patrick Mazeika, who is enjoying his promotion from Syracuse while James McCann (left hamate surgery) is on the shelf, for calling a good game.

“To come in as the third catcher and get thrown into it right away, it’s just a testament to the type of player he is and we were really on the same page all game,” said Williams of his backstop.

The Mets (24-13) on Tuesday began a stretch of 10 games in nine days, which meant manager Buck Showalter was forced to be a little creative with his bullpen use in the opener of the doubleheader. After Williams impressed with his four shutout innings, Showalter called on reliever Jake Reed as the first man out of the bullpen.

Reed, making his season debut, had an adventurous fifth inning as he walked two of his first three batters. Mazeika called for a quick mound visit, as Reed’s teammates encouraged him to brush off the nerves and attack the hitters. Perhaps that mound visit was the quick breather he needed. Reed bounced back to strike out Paul Goldschmidt and retire Arenado to end the inning. Reed took the mound again for the sixth, shutting down the side to complete his two scoreless innings. He was optioned to Syracuse between games.

After Reed, Showalter went to his circle of trusted relievers – bringing out Seth Lugo, Drew Smith, then Edwin Diaz to silence the Cardinals. While Smith gave up a home run to Goldschmidt, Diaz in particular was electric. The Mets closer picked up his ninth save of the year. Diaz has struck out 30 of the 60 batters he’s faced this season.

“You ride it when it’s hot,” Showalter said of Diaz’s confidence and results to begin the season. “These are really good hitters. He keeps grinding, he keeps working. It doesn’t go unnoticed. Edwin has been instrumental in what we’ve been able to do early on.”

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