[GRG] J. Craig Venter’s Lecture Yesterday

To Members and Friends of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research
Group:After an
embarrassing delay of 30 minutes due to routine, local traffic on the 405
on his way up from San Diego, Dr. Venter’s lecture began at 12:30 PM
instead of the scheduled
start-time of Noon. Nevertheless, his lecture was worth staying for if
you had the patience to sit
through ~250 slides.  Four things he told the audience of ~200
faculty and students that were really
new, at least to me, were as follows:
1. The human biome adds another 10K unique bacterial genes to the ~20K
genes already in our
human DNA sequences.  The E-coli are not just facilitating the
digestion and absorption of calories
that we consume, they are turning on their own genomes to produce unique
proteins in our blood,
that cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) and therefore affect our brains,
depending on the type
of food we eat!  Wow!  These little fellows (commensal
bacteria) are not just doing a simple
synergistic function of absorption, they’re manipulating the way we think
about the world depending
on what we eat, as it were.  If we were to examine the E-coli genome
with a fine-tooth comb,
it’s likely we could identify proteins that modulate physiological
processes (and maybe diseases)
in our brains.  Think of what happens if you were to take an
antibiotic for weeks that wiped out
these little critters leaving a sterile field to be inhabited by eager
opportunistic fungi (Think thrush)
and the complex benefits of having the E-coli present were
2. We, in the next five years, must accumulate 100 million human DNA
sequences with an estimated
cost of $100 million to really understand how to read the human genome’s
SNP’s.  We have identified
those genes in the human genome that are known to be essential [i.e.,
knock-outs are lethal to developing
embryos] and of those [20 – 40] percent have unknown
functions!   It takes a very self-confident
teacher to explain to us what we don’t know.  
3.  Venter’s Synthetic Genomics company now can synthesize
100K BP sequences based the use of
one of their new instruments.  This will help us to facilitate the
process of building artificial chromosomes,
consistent with Prof. Richard Feynman’s (Nobel in Physics from CalTech)
famous blackboard dictum,
“What I cannot create, I do not
4. DNA methylation serves, in part, to protect the genome against its own
anti-restriction enzymes
whose basic function is to chew-up naked sequences like those from
viruses that typically infect
one’s cells on a regular basis and seek to establish a foot-hold in your
body for their own selfish

    For more details, go to

http://ift.tt/1eu4IOS regards,
Steve Coles
PS.  I heard a rumor that Nature magazine is going to publish
an article on Aging and the p16 gene.L. Stephen Coles, M.D., Ph.D., Co-Founder
Los Angeles Gerontology Research GroupURL:
E-mail: scoles@grg.orgE-mail:

About Johnny Adams

My full-time commitment is to slow and ultimately reverse age related functional decline to increase healthy years of life. I’ve been active in this area since the 1970s, steadily building skills and accomplishments. I have a good basic understanding of the science of aging, and have many skills that complement those of scientists so they can focus on science to advance our shared mission. Broad experience Top skills: administration, management, information technology (data and programming), communications, writing, marketing, market research and analysis, public speaking, forging ethical win-win outcomes among stakeholders (i.e. high level "selling"). Knowledge in grant writing, fundraising, finance. Like most skilled professionals, I’m best described as a guy who defines an end point, then figures out how to get there. I enjoy the conception, design, execution and successful completion of a grand plan. Executive Director Gerontology Research Group (GRG). Manages Email discussion forum, web site, meetings and oversees supercentenarian (oldest humans, 110+ years) research. CEO / Executive Director Carl I. Bourhenne Medical Research Foundation (Aging Intervention Foundation), an IRS approved 501(c)(3) nonprofit. http://www.AgingIntervention.org Early contributor to Supercentenarian Research Foundation. Co-Founder Geroscience Healthspan Forum. Active contributor to numerous initiatives to increase healthy years of life. Co-authored book on conventional, practical methods available today to slow the processes of aging – nutrition, exercise, behavior modification and motivation, stress reduction, proper supplementation, damage caused by improper programs, risk reduction and others. Fundamental understanding of, and experience in the genomics of longevity (internship analyzing and curating longevity gene papers). Biological and technical includes information technology, software development and computer programming, bioinformatics and protein informatics, online education, training programs, regulatory, clinical trials software, medical devices (CAT scanners and related), hospital electrical equipment testing program. Interpersonal skills – good communication, honest, well liked, works well in teams or alone. Real world experience collaborating in interdisciplinary teams in fast paced organizations. Uses technology to advance our shared mission. Education: MBA 1985 University of Southern California -- Deans List, Albert Quon Community Service Award (for volunteering with the American Longevity Association and helping an elderly lady every other week), George S. May Scholarship, CA State Fellowship. BA psychology, psychobiology emphasis 1983 California State University Fullerton Physiological courses as well as core courses (developmental, abnormal etc). UCLA Psychobiology 1978, one brief but fast moving and fulfilling quarter. Main interest was the electrochemical basis of consciousness. Also seminars at the NeuroPsychiatric Institute. Other: Ongoing conferences, meetings and continuing education. Aging, computer software and information technology. Some molecular biology, biotech, bio and protein informatics, computer aided drug design, clinical medical devices, electronics, HIPAA, fundraising through the Assoc. of Fundraising Professionals. Previous careers include: Marketing Increasing skill set and successes in virtually all phases, with valuable experience in locating people and companies with the greatest need and interest in a product or service, and sitting across the table with decision makers and working out agreements favorable to all. Information Technology: Management, data analysis and programming in commercial and clinical trials systems, and bioinformatics and protein informatics. As IT Director at Newport Beach, CA based technology organization Success Family of Continuing Education Companies, provided online software solutions for insurance and financial professionals in small to Fortune 500 size companies. We were successful with lean team organization (the slower moving competition was unable to create similar software systems). Medical devices: At Omnimedical in Paramount CA developed and managed quality assurance dept. and training depts. for engineers, physicians and technicians. Designed hospital equipment testing program for hospital services division. In my early 20’s I was a musician, and studied psychology and music. Interned with the intention of becoming a music therapist. These experiences helped develop valuable skills used today to advance our shared mission of creating aging solutions.
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