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Healthier, If Not Longer, Life

Through comprehensive physicals that include genome sequencing, Craig Venter says his Health Nucleus venture will predict and then catch medical conditions in their earliest stages and thus extend people's lives, according to the Robb Report, a lifestyle newsletter.

For $25,000, Health Nucleus, which grew out of Venter's Human Longevity company, will examine customers' genomes and microbiomes, perform high-tech scans of their brains, hearts, and bodies, as well as analyze their blood.

"Our goal is to extend the healthy lifespan, not necessarily the number of years," Venter notes in a Q&A with the Robb Report. "Death is still inevitable. I'm struggling to accept that."

Through sequencing, he says that people can learn their genetic risk of developing certain diseases and, if they have that information early enough, they can take steps to mitigate that risk. Venter adds that more than a million people in the US are diagnosed with cancer each year, but that those diagnoses often come after patients experience symptoms. He wants to spot tumors earlier, before they spread, when they are easier to treat.

"We're trying to drive a new preventive medicine paradigm," Venter adds. "We're not good, as a society, with preventive medicine. We wait for crises, and then we try to respond to them versus trying to predict things and head them off."