(.. Don’t want to leave out George Church as an alternative to BGI, but in terms of sheer resources my impression is BGI currently has more.)
On Sun, Jun 22, 2014 at 7:27 AM, Richard Harper wrote:
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:
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!