Lifespan.io president and co-founder Keith Comito was interested in longevity before it was trendy. “We started our nonprofit back in 2014,” Comito said. “Back then, few credible researchers would be caught dead saying they were working on aging. It was still kind of a scientific backwater. So, we wanted to emulate what the cancer research advocates did, starting in the 40s.”
He said those early champions used telethons and the most reliable research to crowdfund. Their scientific understanding and the grassroots movement grew. Through their efforts, millions of individuals worldwide are fighting cancer, a terrible, age-related disease.
Comito said Lifespan.io uses a similar approach for all aging problems. Sharing verifiable news about longevity advancements, crowdfunding research using blockchain technology, and creating some of the “most successful YouTube collaborations in the industry” have built their network.
“In 2017, I helped write the scripts for a popular series of aging videos that were the highest-viewed videos the week they came out, with 14 million views within days. That was huge to hit those numbers six years ago, and the like ratio was overwhelmingly positive.” Keith stated this demonstrated to the field, that it was okay for longevity researchers to come out into the open and not be ashamed of their revolutionary and life-saving work.
Comito uses computer programming, biology, and mathematics from diverse backgrounds. He accidentally made a top-charting Chuck Norris joke generator in the early days of mobile apps. HBO Now, MLB at Bat, Disney+, and others use his program. Today, he is researching ways to combine our environment into the metaverse to entertain and heal our brains and bodies. Keith sees Web3 as combining gaming, virtual reality, and longevity.
Comito said he has worked with Gitcoin and Angel Protocol to establish new crypto philanthropy methods to fund scientific research over the past few years. “Crypto heavyweights already support life extension research,” he says. Vitalik Buterin has donated cryptocurrencies to longevity projects like the SENS Research Foundation. According to Comito, early cypherpunks like Hal Finney supported the creation of Bitcoin, and the common thread is transcending financial and biological limits to lead humanity to a better future.
Blockchain technology can improve longevity research beyond finance, especially in decentralized science (or “DeSci”). He said blockchain-based crowdsourcing can generate promising Alzheimer’s drugs without business goals.
Flickering lights and particular tones can treat dementia. Comito is working with his colleagues at Lifespan.io to create a first-of-its-kind decentralized clinical trial to examine non-drug therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease with government institutions including the National Institute of Health.
“There have been very public failures on the treatment of Alzheimer’s with traditional approaches,” Comito noted. “Over a trillion dollars has been spent on research, with strikingly little progress.”
He called a decentralized internet user-discovered non-drug treatment a “huge earthquake.” Decentralized science, led by DAOs, can also avoid issues with conventional research institutes. DAOs promote transparency and productivity, which can help longevity research.
“I think we tend to view organizations like the FDA and the NIH as being calcified and anti-crypto,” Comito added. “But my experience has been that leaders of such organizations want us to shake things up. With the help of blockchain technology, we can achieve medical advances so powerful and undeniable that existing systems will have no choice but to change.”
Crypto will boost innovation
After the FTX disaster, Comito admits crypto faces perception issues. However, he blames the market. Comito believes exponential growth is coming, even though nonprofits are having trouble raising funding.
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