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Via Popular Science – Original Link Here

valentinarr via Getty Images

valentinarr via Getty Images

Earlier this year, Breakout Labs, the subsidiary organization created by PayPal co-and billionaire-investor Peter Thiel, announced a few select biotechnology startups that would receiving funding to further their ideas. Breakout Labs’ mission is to invest in companies that are looking to make “radical scientific advances” mainstream, essentially boosting the best underfunded inventions to the tune of up to $350,000 (plus consultation help from Breakout Labs).

Well, Breakout Labs is at again, announcing funding ventures for the second time this year. This time, the ideas range from adhesives that mimic the skin of geckos, low-cost sensors that can tell if food has gone bad, metals that repel water, and a mission to fight aging. The overarching trend in this announcement is funding advances in microstructure: three companies use mechanical innovation on a nanoscale to seemingly change the property of the material.


Google’s Calico Lab made headlines in 2013, when the company announced it was going to “cure death.” Now, Thiel is investing in a similar mission. CyteGen tackles aging from the perspective that aging is a holistic process, not specific deterioration of body parts.

“There is an assumption that aging necessarily brings the kind of physical and mental decline that results in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Evidence indicates otherwise, which is what spurred us to launch CyteGen,” said George Ugras, co-founder and president of CyteGen.

While CyteGen has held their cards close in regards to technique, the team members from eight universities will focus on neurodegenerative diseases. The name, CyteGen, is a close parallel to the field of cytogenetics, which looks at chromosomal structure in individual cells.

Jonathon Fulkerson
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About Jonathon Fulkerson

After 15+ years as an IT professional. Jonathon decided to return to school in hopes of one day troubleshooting the most universal problem effecting all. Death, pain, and suffering by aging. As an undergraduate he is currently performing research in Dr. Richard Bennetts lab at the University of Southern Indiana, as well as volunteering for various organizations including the Buck Institute for research on Aging.

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