Re: [GRG] Broad Institute / Calico collaboration

Harold – I agree.  My fear has been that Calico will adopt an encyclopedic approach rather than a targeted approach.  Google’s strength has been massive data processing, but I’m skeptical that this approach will work with biology.
– Josh

On Tue, Mar 17, 2015 at 11:06 PM, Dr. Harold Katcher wrote:

Dear All,All of that sounds totally unfocused on aging – not a waste of time – because the knowledge may someday be relevant- but what does any of that have to do with aging – unless you know what you are looking for – otherwise you just have mountains of data and are looking for patterns  whether they make sense or not.  So ” identifying all of the functional elements in the human genome and revealing how these working parts vary both in humans and other species.” so how do we know when we’ve identified all the functional elements of the genome? Fifty years ago we could have easily done so – and fifty years from now – what we missed will be obvious, and fifty years from then….  Okay how long is that going to take? And, ”    Define the biological circuits that underlie cellular responses.”  Okay – when we have single protein kinases that interact with thousands of different molecules in many different networks (circuits),  are we really going to “define” the biological circuits? The complexity of these circuits where individual nodes can change functions entirely based on the intracellular environment – with substrate a protein is an enzyme a part of a metabolic chain- without substrate its a transcription factors that encourages the cell to manufacture whatever it takes to make its substrate.  Now that is a worthy goal – I have no doubt that it will be done – eventually (if money if funneled into a non-productive science like aging research as it exists, maybe never). But that is not what is needed – it’s a fishing expedition – it may produce publications – but it won’t get any closer to what aging is. Now I am pleased that they say ‘biological networks’ leaving the possibility that there are extra-cellular networks – and that is the truth – but they’re leaving out the experiments that work and instead (and I’ll bet with the en(dis)couragement of Tom Kirkwood), so they’re not going out on a limb – it’s business as usual – we’ll pretend to find cures – discover that there are three thousand genes involved in a disease trait according to genome wide association studies (which means absolutely nothing). 
Then we get, ” Uncover the molecular basis of major inherited diseases”; Hey! Why didn’t anyone try that before? What a concept -as though half of all published papers weren’t about just that. And then, ” Discover the molecular basis of major infectious diseases. ” I didn’t realize that the molecular basis of infectious disease was an aspect of aging research. What a total load of crap, what a total waste of money (at least if your interest is aging) – then of course the last goal is truly amazing: “Transform the process of therapeutic discovery and development.” – why not say instead, “perform miracles by as yet unknown methods”.




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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