Aging-centric genetic health database in California: 100k people, ~65yrs, 700k SNPs, telomeres too

Kaiser Permanente alongside with UCSF plans for genetic analyses of an unprecedented 100,000 older Californians, the Technology Review writes in Massive Gene Database Planned in California The effort will make use of existing saliva samples taken from California patients, whose average age is 65. Their DNA will be analyzed for 700,000 genetic variations called single-nucleotide… Continue reading Aging-centric genetic health database in California: 100k people, ~65yrs, 700k SNPs, telomeres too

Mountain View – Budapest: 20 days to get my 23andMe profile!

I ordered my first commercial genetic profile from 23andMe on the 9th of September online, FedExed my 2 ml saliva from Budapest to 23andMe, Mountain View on the 12th of September. I got the results today. That said within 3 weeks since the birth of the idea I purchased more than 500 000 SNPs of… Continue reading Mountain View – Budapest: 20 days to get my 23andMe profile!

Understanding Aging Conference is over but it is the end of the beginning

I try to cover some interesting, sciencey points on the conference in later posts, right now just a brief, subjective human- and strategy focused summary: Congrats to Aubrey de Grey and the team, everything went well and if finally a worldwide consensus is around the corner claiming that robust healthy lifespan extension is technologically possible… Continue reading Understanding Aging Conference is over but it is the end of the beginning

Innovation stop: “All they’ve done is created an extra billing event for the doctor”

It’s my first real encounter with a situation in which the officials of the state of California are clearly against innovation for financial reasons obvious enough (is enough): Wired Science, Alexis Madrigal, upcoming BioBarCamper: Exclusive: DNA Tester Reveals Cease-and-Desist Letter Wired.com has obtained a copy of the cease-and-desist letter sent to Navigenics by the state… Continue reading Innovation stop: “All they’ve done is created an extra billing event for the doctor”

Future stop: California health officials against personal genetics risk-takers

It’s official: The California Department of Public Health wants practicing physicians (many of them prehistorically, sorry, traditionally trained) to be the patres familias in issues between personal genetic test takers and direct-to-consumer personal genetic testing start-ups while declining the test takers’ right to get familiar with their own genetic makeup and risks by their own.… Continue reading Future stop: California health officials against personal genetics risk-takers

23andWe follows 23andMe: First generation of Consumer-Enabled Research

Consumer-Enabled Research, the second goal of pioneering personalized genetics company 23andMe, reached its first generation with the launch of 23andWe. From BusinessWire: “23andWe marks a new approach to genetics research. By directly involving 23andMe customers in the company’s research projects, the goal is to conduct large-scale studies powered by a web-based community of diverse individuals… Continue reading 23andWe follows 23andMe: First generation of Consumer-Enabled Research

O’Reilly Startup Camp for geeky biotech startups too!

The O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Startup Camp is a nice option for the emerging personalized genomics companies or any web-related biotech startups to communicate and cooperate with alpha geeks and early technology adopters. Tim O’Reilly writes: The Thursday and Friday (July 10-11) before this year’s Foo Camp in Sebastopol July 11-13, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures will be… Continue reading O’Reilly Startup Camp for geeky biotech startups too!

What is Genentech CEO Art Levinson doing for biotech as a Google board member?

The title question is my million (not billion yet) dollar question for this year. Arthur Levinson is a board member of Google (Apple too) and in his leftover time he is the CEO of the most successful biotech company so far, that’s Genentech. I would be curious to hear about his biotech-related activity as a… Continue reading What is Genentech CEO Art Levinson doing for biotech as a Google board member?

Biotechies at O’Reilly ETech, March 3 – 6, San Diego

The O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (ETech) is on and this year they had a growing number of biotech related sessions. Fellow SciFoo Campers like Hugh Rienhoff and Timo Hannay, Makers like Phil Torrone and Limor Fried, Brain Hackers like Ed Boyden are visiting and many more.

Understanding Aging Conference in L.A.: de Grey, Conboy, Wagers and many others…

Looks like the scientist coalition behind healthy life extension is widening. In line with that the question Why was life extension ruled out of the 14 Grand Engineering Challenges? is fading away. Here is an Aubrey de Grey message from my mailbox: All details, including forms for abstract submission and online registration, are at the… Continue reading Understanding Aging Conference in L.A.: de Grey, Conboy, Wagers and many others…

Bubble City’s South Park: geek tourism

Finally back from my Bay Area trip, the workshop I participated turned out to be very stimulating in terms of people and ideas. Also visiting The Blood Knot performance at the American Conservatory Theater and having a drink with Monya&Dan were absolutely delightful. I missed my flight on Saturday, so I slept in LA (and… Continue reading Bubble City’s South Park: geek tourism

The Spittoon: the eminent corporate blog of 23andMe and Consumer Enabled Research

The personal genomics service 23andMe just launched publicly a corporate blog called The Spittoon that has been internally up for a few weeks. It is a new chapter in biotech corporate blogging. Just like the web page of 23andMe, The Spittoon’s WordPress blog platform, the concept and design is excellent: amongst others you can find… Continue reading The Spittoon: the eminent corporate blog of 23andMe and Consumer Enabled Research

CIRM and NIH stem cell grants to the biotech industry

Different attitudes, same endeavors. 1. The folks at the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) started to offer grants for biotech companies up to $55,000 out of the 3 billion ‘hope’ dollars. San Diego Union Tribune: Industry and academia team up: For the first time in its three-year existence, the state taxpayer-funded stem cell institute… Continue reading CIRM and NIH stem cell grants to the biotech industry

California embryonic stem cell dollars: beyond the embryonic phase

According to the newest Request For Applications (RFA) of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the New Cell Line Awards will support two categories of research: Category 1: Derivation of new hESC lines using excess or rejected early stage human embryos generated by in vitro fertilization. Category 2: Derivation of pluripotent human stem cell… Continue reading California embryonic stem cell dollars: beyond the embryonic phase

The new faces of Silicon Valley: biotech-savvy co-founders Avey-Wojcicki

After Jobs-Wozniak, Yang-Filo, Brin-Page, it’s time to memorize the names of the co-founders of 23andMe, the first personalized genome service, who are turning the tech establishment into a biotech mode. The new faces of Silicon Valley: the age of Blue Jeans/Black T-Shirt co-founder computer nerds is over, welcome to the era of stylish, well-dressed genetics-savvy… Continue reading The new faces of Silicon Valley: biotech-savvy co-founders Avey-Wojcicki

Spit a big in a tube, search with Genome Explorer: the 23andMe way

Detailed article in the New York Times on the early experience of decoding the genetic code and interpreting the customers’ DNA via the service of 23andMe. The buzz name of the project: personalized genetics/genomics. Although other companies are mentioned briefly, the focus is clearly on 23andMe. The basics: get rid of a thousand bucks (sorry,… Continue reading Spit a big in a tube, search with Genome Explorer: the 23andMe way

United State of California: buy bonds in stem cell research

In the unique state of California there is now an offer for individuals to place orders from October 3 during a $250 million sale of state debt to fund embryonic stem-cell research. The minimum bet is $5,000 and over 1 million you need special permission (just like buying more than 2 iPhones in the early… Continue reading United State of California: buy bonds in stem cell research

Ask a good scientist in a San Francisco Cafe: The Reality of Age Research

The Buck Institute in Novato, California is a rich private research center focusing on aging with the mission of “extending the healthy years of life”. They have a real interdisciplinary staff, exactly the one that is needed for studying aging, which is a notoriously multifactorial, multicausal, atypical and complex biological phenomenon. One of the faculty… Continue reading Ask a good scientist in a San Francisco Cafe: The Reality of Age Research

SciFoo Camp, 2007: data (Google) publishing (Nature) geeks (O’Reilly)

SciFoo is over, and I’ve just arrived back to New Orleans from SF. First of all: a big thanks for the organizers (Chris DiBona, Timo Hannay, Tim O’Reilly, Google, Nature, O’Reilly) and campers, it was really the highest end. Here is a quick SciFoo key terms summary (photos, detailed accounts later): “scientific data” One of… Continue reading SciFoo Camp, 2007: data (Google) publishing (Nature) geeks (O’Reilly)

Going to San Francisco and the Valley, SciFoo preparations

SciFoo is coming, so I take my flight tomorrow from humid and subtropical New Orleans (running experiment terminated this afternoon, things in liquid nitrogen for downstream processing) to the cold San Francisco. Besides the Googleplex I am visiting Berkeley, Stanford, UCSF and as many of the central places of high tech culture (you know, the… Continue reading Going to San Francisco and the Valley, SciFoo preparations

Abnormal whole body regeneration from the vasculature at the sea squirt

The sea squirt can regenerate its whole body from the vasculature. I asked Ayelet Voskoboynik, postdoctoral fellow from the Weissman lab, Stanford University, to tell us how. Their findings were published in a recent paper, entitled Striving for normality: whole body regeneration through a series of abnormal generations (FASEB Journal, 2007 May;21(7):1335-44.) Read the whole… Continue reading Abnormal whole body regeneration from the vasculature at the sea squirt

Aubrey de Grey’s Google TechTalk on Prospects for extending healthy life – a lot

Aubrey de Grey‘s presentation in Google Tech Talk series at the Googleplex, Mountain View, May 29, 2007 (Thanks, Russell Whitaker). More on Aubrey on Pimm: Content of Ending Aging, Aubrey de Grey’s coming life extension book 3 Edmonton Aging (Life Extension) Symposium videos Blogterview with Aubrey de Grey: life extension stories

Jobs/Gates on the history, Jobs/other guys on the future of digital revolution

News: “Both Jobs and Gates are slated to jointly discuss the digital revolution’s history and future at The Wall Street Journal’s D: All Things Digital conference on Wednesday.” Comment: Instead of Mr. Gates I’d be eager to see those 2 guys on the right discussing the future of all things digital (especially the future of… Continue reading Jobs/Gates on the history, Jobs/other guys on the future of digital revolution

Second Annual Maker Faire this weekend and expecting the First BioMaker Faire…

Builders, Hackers, Do-It-Yourselfers are gathering around this weekend at the most visible embodiment of the Maker spirit, the Maker Faire 2007 at San Mateo Fairgrounds, California. I remember the inquisitive and incredulous eyes of the traditional tech makers, coders, engineers while presenting my placental stem cell project at Euro Maker Faire last year. Now imagine… Continue reading Second Annual Maker Faire this weekend and expecting the First BioMaker Faire…

Stem Cell Cup: California Embryonics vs Massachusetts Oldies: $3 vs $1.25 Billion

While people in California can think they are in the centre of the (embryonic) stem cell universe due to Proposition 71’s $3 Billion and the invasion of good scientists into the West Coast, Massachusetts academic and biotech people also are thinking along those lines, so state officials quickly set up a $1.25 Billion package for… Continue reading Stem Cell Cup: California Embryonics vs Massachusetts Oldies: $3 vs $1.25 Billion

Competitive strength of California Institutions measured by stem cell grants

Press Release of California Institute of Regenerative Medicine: LOS ANGELES, March 16, 2007 – “Just a month after approving nearly $45 million for embryonic stem cell research, California’s stem cell agency authorized another $75.7 million in additional funds for established scientists at 12 non-profit and academic institutions.” With this latest round of CIRM donation more… Continue reading Competitive strength of California Institutions measured by stem cell grants

Bodyhack redesigned

Bodyhack, Wired’s stem cell focused biotech group blog, written at least by Kristen Philipkoski, Brandon Keim, Randy Dotinga, Mark Woodman and Scott Carney, has got a new dress: In recent weeks Bodyhack has paid more attention to other Wired blogs and sexuality as well, so content can go through a radical change too. I hope… Continue reading Bodyhack redesigned

80 year old Lokey’s $33 million donation for Stanford Stem Cell Labs

Such a Californian story: Lorry I. Lokey, the founder of Business Wire will give a minimum of $33 million to help build a home for Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Lokey says: “The important thing to me is that stem cells might not only extend life, but also improve the quality… Continue reading 80 year old Lokey’s $33 million donation for Stanford Stem Cell Labs

Mac Googlers at Apple Headquarters: from Mountain View to Cupertino

Read this nice and brand conscious weekend off story on Official Google Mac Blog. Scott Knaster, Mac Team Technical Writer at Google organized a trip for a “gang of new Mac fans at Google“ from Mountain View to Apple headquarters, Cupertino. At the Caffe Macs they were eating a Google-like terrific food, but not for… Continue reading Mac Googlers at Apple Headquarters: from Mountain View to Cupertino