Apply Your Own Oxygen Mask First Before Helping Others

How to Be Charitable: Apply Your Own Oxygen Mask First Before Helping Others.

  1. Learn how to create/apply valuable technology that helps mankind.
  2. Start or work for businesses that help others with this technology.
  3. Generate a profit that will enable you to do:

a) Employ others (create jobs)

b) Invest your profits helping others and creating the next generation of tech entrepreneurs

I belive in the following concept when it comes to charity: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

I think contributing technological innovation that moves mankind forward is one of the most “charitable” acts.

Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

I am a layperson in the field of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and stem cell research but I think the applications that the company Life Technologies produces are extremely interesting. It’s like I’ve stumbled across a whole new, excited world. I’m going to be digging deep into their applications and potentially attending their 24 Hours on Stem Cells event to learn about their products.

The range of their applications is quite exciting.

I think this blog should be about new discoveries, and increasing knowledge.

J Craig Venter's Synthetic Organism Applications

In an interview with Wire magazine, J Craig Venter, the creator of the world’s first synthetically-originated living organism, argues that “Synthetic biology can help address key challenges facing the planet and its population.”

The following are some possible applications he mentioned:

  1. [Theoretical]: “Research in synthetic biology may lead to new things such as programmed cells that self-assemble at the sites of disease to repair damage. “
  2. [Work in Progress]: “We can feed digital DNA code into a program that works out how to re-synthesise the sequence in the lab. This automates the process of designing overlapping pieces of DNA base-pairs, called oligonucleotides, adding watermarks, and then feeding them into the synthesiser….The receiving unit, where the transmitted DNA information can be downloaded and reproduced anew, has a number of names at present, including “digital biological converter”, “biological teleporter” and — the preference of former US wired editor-in-chief and CEO of 3D Robotics, Chris Anderson — ‘life replicator’. “
  3. [Successful proof of concept]: “The most obvious [application] is to distribute vaccine in the event of an influenza pandemic:” He claims “We and Novartis have produced vaccines in fewer than five days. Since the completion of a proof-of-concept demonstration in 2011, the process has been successfully repeated for multiple additional influenza strains and subtypes. “
  4. [Theoretical]: “Unlike traditional antibiotics, which can cause collateral damage by killing “friendly” bacteria in our bodies, phages are like molecular “smart bombs”, targeting only one or a few strains.”
  5. [Theoretical]: “At this point in time we are limited to making protein molecules, viruses, phages and single microbial cells, but the field will move to more complex living systems. I am confident that we will be able to convert digitised information into living cells that will become complex multicellular organisms or functioning tissues.”
  6. [Theoretical]: “We could send sequence information to a digital-biological converter on Mars in as little as 4.3 minutes, that’s at the closest approach of the red planet, to provide colonists with personalised drugs. Or, if Nasa’s Mars Curiosity rover were equipped with a DNA-sequencing device, it could transmit the digital code of a Martian microbe back to Earth, where we could recreate the organism in the laboratory. We can rebuild the Martians in a P4 spacesuit lab — that is, a maximum-containment lab — instead of risking them crash-landing in the Amazon.”
  7. [Successful/work in progress]: “Since my own genome was sequenced, my software has been broadcast into space in the form of electromagnetic waves, carrying my genetic information far beyond Earth. Whether there is any creature out there capable of making sense of the instructions in my genome, well, that’s another question.”


  1. [Theoretical Based on Extrapolating Data on Earth]: “Simple calculations indicate that there is as much biology and biomass in the subsurface of our Earth as in the entire visible world on the planet’s surface. The same could be true for Mars.”
  2. [Theoretical] “…if advanced DNA-based life does exist in [Gliese 581, which is 22 light years away]…perhaps it has already been broadcasting sequence information.”
  3. [Theoretical] “Creating life at the speed of light is part of a new industrial revolution. Manufacturing will shift from centralised factories to a distributed, domestic manufacturing future, thanks to the rise of 3D printer technology”