Re: [GRG] Why Study Longevity?

Apologies for three messages in a row .. but .. If I happened to be a longevity genomics researcher I would be following BGI very closely and trying to figure out their funding system.

On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 7:24 AM, Richard Harper wrote:

Should also point out – The genetics of height were just searching for genes resulting in all heights and so probably required a much larger database than BGI’s. BGI has both several control populations of various IQs but their emphasis in in searching for genes of genius level intelligence and so their initial database was a mere 2,000 samples from notable geniuses around the globe. Similarly by targeting the most long-lived the need for huge database building is reduced somewhat.

On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 7:22 AM, Richard Harper wrote:

“Many unknown factors could be at work.” Well, almost certainly many unknown factors ~are~ at work. Untangling them isn’t a matter of finding a silver bullet – a single molecular pathway. It’s about finding first one of possibly minor effect, then another, and another, and another .. until a model emerges that can be effectively used to get results by designing drugs or altering lifestyles. Studying centenarians is one of the methods of doing so and has the advantage over many other approaches in that we already know ~something~ or somethings are actually resulting in longer lifespans. A good example from the field of genetics is the untangling of the genes associated with height. It has taken ~very~ large genomic databases to develop models with a high degree of explanatory power — which is still short of complete explanatory power of course and will certainly always be so. The extremely well-funded and State supported Beijing Genomics Institute (now just “BGI”) is doing something similar in searching for genes of high intelligence. They used to suppose it would take three years but in response to the controversial media coverage have revised that to more like 15 years. 

On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 6:52 AM, Craig Cooney wrote:

Identification of factors will allow their recapitulation/mimicry in a broader population thus improving the health and lifespan of that broader population.

On Sat, Jun 21, 2014 at 9:32 PM, Leonid Gavrilov wrote:

Dear Colleagues,
I would greatly appreciate your advice on how to respond to this
criticism of longevity studies:
==============”The uniqueness of people with exceptional longevity and the
focus on tail event longevity limits the overall value of longevity
studies because living to 100 is a rare event.  Animal studies
including genetic animal studies as well as human studies suggest that,
short of dramatic medical advances that increase longevity for a large
proportion of the population, living beyond 100 years old is largely a
random event.  A random event still has causes; it merely suggests
that a large number of factors may exert an impact individually or
jointly. The usefulness of identifying longevity factors is
limited.  Even if some longevity factor is more represented among
centenarians, this information may be of limited use because the
probability of a centenarian among people with this particular longevity
factor is still so small. Many unknown factors could be at
Please advise.  Thank you!
— Leonid


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. 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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