Potential CRISPR Healthspan applications

June 16th, 2016 No comments

Potential CRISPR Healthspan applications:

  • TFAM (Transcription Factor A, Mitochondrial) – gene engineering allows cells to manufacture a nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) precursor on their own
    • Allows “overall rejuvenation, including reversal of signs of muscle atrophy, inflammation, and insulin resistance”
  • GDF11 (growth differentiation factor 11) – GDF11 has been reported to rejuvenate the heart, muscles, and brain: “GDF11 has been reported to rejuvenate the heart,8 muscles,9 and brain.10 It restores strength, muscle regeneration, memory, the formation of new brain cells, blood vessel formation in the brain, the ability to smell, and mitochondrial function. All of this is done by just one molecule. Infusing young plasma, which contains GDF11, into older animals also provides benefits in other tissues, such as the liver and spinal cord, and improves the ability of old brain cells to form connections with one another.”
  • Targeting genes related to muscles and bones

“We’ve shifted from trying to make a young animal live longer to rejuvenating an old animal to a younger state. This is a complete shift in perspective. When people originally thought about aging, they assumed it had a lot to do with accumulation of mutations, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Genetically, your genome is intact. There are no mutations that are causing the aging process. What’s going on when you age is that you get this drift in the regulation of these gene networks so that you have a cell that’s supposed to be, say, a skin cell, but then it starts expressing genes that it’s not supposed to be expressing.” – Dr. Bobby Dhadwar


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4 Pathways to Reverse Damage/Aging

June 6th, 2016 No comments
  1. Use Telomerase activators: “Drugs that turn on our own telomerase (using the HTERT gene) and thereby reset gene expression.”
  2. Use Telomerase Protein
  3. “Use messenger RNA for telomerase (accomplished by Helen Blau’s group at Stanford)”
  4. “Deliver telomerase gene itself (either via liposomes or viral vectors) to the body’s cells”
    1. Several groups are doing this include Telocyte.  Telocyte uses adeno-associated viral delivery.

Source: Michael Fossel – Telomerase Revolution

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What do investors want?

May 24th, 2016 No comments

What do investors want?

  1. Clarity regarding how funds are used: In some cases an entrepreneur has too many projects/ideas (which can be both good and bad) but the company needs to initially be a lot more laser focused. It’s good because it shows the entrepreneur may be willing to “pivot” or adapt to the best potential opportunity. However, it can be bad if it’s distracting and causes the company to lose money.
  2. The path to revenue/profitability needs to be more persuasive
  3. The growth/sales strategy needs to be more persuasive
  4. Milestone based funding to reduce the investor’s risk
  5. Committed entrepreneurs: For example, full time and some cases they have skin in the game.
  6. The upside is explained clearly. For example, creating: a) High growth company (eg. user acquisition b) Creating a cash flowing company c) Creating valuable intellectual property that can be licensed
  7. Regulatory/compliance risks
  8. Barriers to entry
  9. Risk controls (this is a big category). For example:
    1. Budget/cash flow decisions are controlled
    2. Manager/operator do business in a jurisdiction with a good legal system in case something goes wrong
  10. The team’s interests are aligned. You want to ensure that the company can focus on building great things instead of worrying about whether they believe they are fairly treated
  11. Strong management team that works well together
  12. Great product(s) and/or services
  13. Proof that they can get the job done and problem solve
  14. Proof that they can overcome pressure (eg. some investors prefer entrepreneurs that have had setbacks) so that they know that they are dealing with a resilient entrepreneur
  15. Selective and skilled at setting priorities
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Bad Assumptions and Pivoting

May 20th, 2016 No comments

Unsuccessful people tend to fall victim to bad assumptions, which affirms their existing flawed perceptions of reality. Are bad assumptions due to laziness because thinking and due diligence requires effort? It’s quite odd how many people refuse to evaluate new ideas so they get stuck in life. Successful people I know tend to be able to “pivot” — change their path or strategy based on new ideas/facts.

Successful people tend to be more willing to evaluate new ideas/facts, question assumptions and seize opportunities.

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Why Investors Decline Deals

May 5th, 2016 No comments

Beyond financial reasons, the following are some reasons why a deal may not be funded:

  • Entrepreneur makes bad assumptions
  • Entrepreneur avoids conflict too much; they’re unwilling to make difficult decisions and having difficult discussions when needed
  • Entrepreneur is a bad listener
  • Entrepreneur is slow and takes a while to implement
  • Scattered entrepreneur who is working on too many things at once
  • Entrepreneur is unreliable
  • Entrepreneur is sloppy
  • Impatient entrepreneur who may rush into bad deals
  • First time entrepreneur hasn’t made mistakes
  • Entrepreneur is too much of a high risk gambler
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t do sufficient research/analysis before making decisions
  • Entrepreneur does not put sufficient capital controls in their business
  • Entrepreneur is too paranoid or not paranoid enough
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t have a track record of success
  • Entrepreneur gives up too easily
  • Entrepreneur doesn’t follow up
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