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Watching the field of genomics evolve over the past 20 years, it is intriguing to notice the word ‘genome’ cozying up to the word ‘million’. Genomics is moving beyond 1k, 10k and 100k genome projects. A new courtship is blossoming.
Now both Craig Venter and Francis Collins, leads of the private and public versions of the Human Genome Project, are working on their million-omes.
The company 23andMe might be the first ‘million-ome-aire’. By 2014, the company founded by Ann Wojcicki processed upwards of 800,000 customer samples. Pundit Eric Topol suggests in his article “Who Owns Your DNA” that without the skirmish with the FDA, 23andMe would already have millions.
Venter’s path will be through his non-profit Human Longevity, Inc (HLI), launched in San Diego, California in 2014 with $70 million in investor funding. To support the company’s tagline — “It’s not just a long life we’re striving for, but one which is worth living” — Venter aims to sequence a million genomes by 2020.
At a price tag of $1000 dollars per genome, one million genomes could cost a billion US dollars. The original human genome project cost $3 billion only 13 years ago, but produced 1 trillion US dollars in economic impact.
The Collins’ ‘million-ome’ will pull together new and existing genomes, with an initial budget of $215 million dollars. This includes genomes from the MVP, which has already enrolled 300,000 veterans and sequenced 200,000. The focus will initially be on cancer but subjects will be healthy and ill, men and women, old and young; it is the foundation of a Precision Medicine Initiative.
In addition to these projects we will have millions anyway. ARC Investment Analysis suggested we could see 4 to 34 billion human genomes by 2024 at historical rates of sequencing – if current trends in dropping costs and demand continue.
How could we have more genomes than humans living on earth? Cancer genomics is in ‘gold rush’ phase. Steve Jobs was famously one of the first 20 people to have his genome sequenced. He paid $100k but did so to also have the genome of the cancer that killed him sequenced. He left a personal genomics legacy to the world, but his investment in DNA sequencing also serves as a reminder that a genome is not the same as a cure. Hopes are high, though, especially for cancer diagnostics. The International Cancer Genomics Consortium is already backed with a billion dollar budget and the field continues to explode.
Further, an adult human body consists of 37 trillion genomes all working together (plus the 100 trillion genomes of the microbial cells in our microbiome). There is mounting evidence we are all genomic mosaics, meaning we all have more than one genome (e.g. from pre-cancerous cells, transplants, and mothers who carry the genomes of past live-born babies).
It is good to cultivate a healthy skepticism and not be drawn into the hype. Critics exist, as always. At the other end of the continuum, Ken Weiss of The Mermaid’s Tale blog, a geneticist himself, has outlined reasons to put valuable research dollars elsewhere than a million genomes project or precision medicine, but given than they will happen, he also contemplates what should be done with resulting data.
Eric Topol said in response to the rise of ‘million-ome’ projects, that there are now many 100k projects and he “might rather have 100,000 people with ‘pan-oromic definition’ than 1 million with just native DNA”. By high definition he means all the mapping (sensors, anatomy, environmental quantified, gut microbiome, etc.) that belongs to his vision of a “Google medical map”.
There are huge differences between “projections,” “announcements,” and “hard (published) data.” Big projects can fall by the way-side. 23andMe hit a barrier with the FDA decision. The BGI is still tooling up. Obama hasn’t yet secured a budget. Venter is giving himself time. Everyone is starting to think about genomes inside the systems in which they exist in (cells, organs, organisms, ecosystems).
Regardless of trajectory, it is a foregone conclusion that, counting all sources, the number of sequenced genomes will pass one million in 2015, if it hasn’t already.
Google is imagining the day when researchers compute over millions of genomes and is building the infrastructure to support it; Google Genomics has launched offering $25/year pricing to hold your genome in the Cloud.
Why stop at millions? Jong Bhak is calling for billions. He is suggesting that “the genomics era hasn’t even started.” Bhak, a leader of the Korean Personal Genomes Project, a project to sequence the genomes of all 50 million Koreans, has outlined a vision for a Billion Genome Project.
The first to talk of ‘a genome for everyone’ was perhaps George Church, technologist and founder of the Personal Genome Project. He wrote 2005 a paper entitled “The Personal Genome Project.” In it he recalled talking with Wally Gilbert that “Six billion base pairs for six billion people had a nice ring to it”—back in 1976, soon after Gilbert invented DNA sequencing, for which he won a Nobel Prize.
The fact that more voices in global science are debating the pros and cons of ‘millions and billions of genomes’ is evidence that 2015 marks a shift towards a Practical Genomics Revolution. It is becoming practical to think big(ger).
Universal has wrapped up the casting process for the Steve Jobs movie.
According to Deadline, Michael Fassbender will play the titular role. Prior to his hiring, the movie studio tried to convince Christian Bale to take on the part.
Other actors who have also signed on for this project include Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley. Danny Boyle will serve as the director. Aaron Sorkin has been tasked with adapting Walter Isaacson’s biography for the script.
Sony Pictures Entertainment will adapt Walter Isaacson‘s bestselling biography of Steve Jobs, with The Social Network screenwriter Aaron Sorkin writing on the script.
Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman Amy Pascalhad this statement: “Jobs’ story is unique: he was one of the most revolutionary and influential men not just of our time but of all time. There is no writer working in Hollywood today who is more capable of capturing such an extraordinary life for the screen than Aaron Sorkin; in his hands, we’re confident that the film will be everything that Jobs himself was: captivating, entertaining, and polarizing.”
Mark Gordon, Scott Rudin and Guymon Casady will produce the upcoming biopic. Deadline Hollywood has the release.
The twice-married (to each other), domestic-partnered producers and self-described “Pix-Mos”, Anderson (Monsters Inc., Cars, Toy Story 3) and Rae (Up, The Incredibles) started dating in 2001 during the production of Monsters Inc. and when they eloped in 2004, infuriated their family and friends, including Steve Jobs. “I remember Steve Jobs was mad,” Anderson recounted. “He said, ‘I can’t believe you didn’t invite Laurene and I to come down to City Hall to be with you guys.’”
“I was willing to leave the company at that point,” said Rae, expecting professional consequences to their new romance. “But [Pixar was] completely great. They were nothing but supportive, and have been the whole time.” The two maintain the sanity in their relationship by never working on the same film and maintaining strong boundaries. “It’s hard enough making one of these giant movies, and you put your heart and souls into them,” Anderson explained. “If we carried too much of that at home, we would just turn into animated characters ourselves.”
When asked if there will ever be (or has been) a gay character in a Pixar film, Anderson replied, “Our goal is to create great art, and if we’re telling true stories with great characters, people will project and identify with a lot of our films. A lot of people feel like a lot of our characters are gay, and have projected their stories onto it. If we’re doing our job right, that’s what should happen.”
Tech site Pando Daily has been providing amazing coverage of the Department of Justice antitrust invesigation and subsequent class action lawsuits over wage-fixing amongst Silicon Valley tech companies and animation studios.
We’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending October 12, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.
(Debuted at #2 in Hardcover Fiction) Lila by Marilynne Robinson: “Lila, homeless and alone after years of roaming the countryside, steps inside a small-town Iowa church—the only available shelter from the rain—and ignites a romance and a debate that will reshape her life. She becomes the wife of a minister, John Ames, and begins a new existence while trying to make sense of the life that preceded her newfound security.” (October 2014)
As you can see by the photo embedded above, bookstore employees photographed Walter Isacsson‘s book in various locations around the store in a playful memorial to the late Apple CEO. What do you think?
Here’s more from the Tumblr blog: “You know that feeling you get sometimes, like you’re being watched? You keep looking over your shoulder, and even though no one’s there, you just can’t shake it. We booksellers have been feeling that way a lot lately, and we think we know why. (We certainly mean no disrespect with this – it’s been wonderful to have this long-awaited book in our store. We see it as a tribute to a very striking book cover, one that we can’t stop seeing everywhere we go.)” (Via Reddit)
It seems like only yesterday that Margaret Wise Brown's bunny fell asleep saying nighty night to the moon.
Now all sorts of things are glowing in his house -- iPads, WiFi, Nooks -- and the last thing Bunny wants to do is tell them goodnight.
In fact, no one in his family wants to wish their devices goodnight -- well, except Granny. She hasn't warmed up to electronics (at least not that she realizes).
It looks like Granny will just have say all of their goodnights for them -- and give those glowy things the sendoff she thinks they deserve.
In this hysterical parody of Brown's Goodnight Moon, David Milgram (aka "Ann Droyd") shows an old-fashioned gal getting her digital family to bed by hurling all of its distractions out the window.
The result is a bedtime gem for the digital age that underscores how hard it is to tear kids and parents away from gadgets -- made all the more funny juxtaposed with Brown's sweet 1947 poem.
Coming out just weeks after the passing of Apple Founder Steve Jobs, Goodnight iPad feels like a tribute and reminds us how much the iPad and all the devices Jobs created changed how we live -- and go to bed.
In Brown's classic, the bunny wishes goodnight to everything around his room. Then as the sky slowly deepens and he says goodnight to the moon, his eyes slip shut and he drifts off to sleep.
But in Milgram's spoof, the bunny and most of his family are too fixated on their electronic devices to realize it's bedtime.
The sky is already dark. The kids are in pajamas and everyone's clicking away in the family room.
Biographer Walter Isaacson is planning on writing a book on Ada Lovelace, the 19th century scientist who was the daughter of poet Lord Byron. According to Fortune, Isaacson had not yet told his editor Alice Mayhew of Simon & Schuster, about his new idea.
Why is the author of books on icons such as Benjamin Franklin, Henry Kissinger, Albert Einstein and Steve Jobs picking such an obscure subject? Fortunehas more details: “At an appearance Wednesday night in San Francisco, he said he felt he had earned the right to pick someone less iconic, and pluck her out of obscurity. ‘I want to give Ada Lovelace her moment in the sun,’ he said.”
According to Wikipedia, Lovelace was a writer who was credited with creating the first algorithm and is sometimes referred to as the World’s First Computer Programmer.
Preamble: This entry was inspired by Stacey Shubitz and Ruth Ayres at the great Two Writing Teachers blog, where they issue an annual slice-of-life writing challenge. Essentially, to write every day through the month of March. I did not participate formally, but I like the concept — especially for anyone who attempts the near-impossible, i.e., to teach writing. Bless you all.
It was my fourth hotel in little more than a week, I’d attended a literacy conference in Dublin, OH, flown into Philadelphia, and now worked my way north in a rented Kia through New Jersey on my own, personal traveling dog-and-pony show.
I was both pony and dog, whinny and woof.
It’s true there is no place like home, but hotel life has its comforts, episodes of ease and quiet. I’d adapted to the routine, moving like a shark through the murky waters, seeking out a good meal and an elliptical machine, maybe some free weights and a local highlight.
By 9:00 on this particular night, I’d exercised, eaten, washed and folded and repacked a load of laundry, and now read in the hotel lounge, warmed by an electric fireplace. I learned not to spend too much time in the room, supine, half-awake, fat and clickered. A thought came: the hot tub to melt these tired bones, perhaps slide more easily into sleepfulness.
Two men were already soaking in the water. Men like me. Away from home on some job. The younger man said he lived in California, looked about 40. The other was about a decade older — a solid, square-jawed guy bristled with gray, from St. Louis, MO. A sizable man, formerly sturdy, even forbidding, now with a vast distended belly.
St. Louis, I knew, was a baseball town, and in the previous October the Cardinals won the World Series in heart-stopping fashion, so we talked baseball, those cardiac Cards. Sports talk, old glue amongst men, binding us, opening our mouths, a language we shared. I brought up the Steve Jobs biography, said how much I enjoyed reading it, and he said that he was in the middle of it, too.
After ten minutes I rose, ready to leave, but before I could towel off, he climbed out like a great pale bear and produced three cold beers from his personal cooler. He was a bring-your-own-cooler kind of guy, a seasoned traveler, used to making himself at home in anonymous, sterile places.
So he offered me one, here, arm extended, beer tipped a little toward me. Ever have Yuengling? I could hardly refuse. Sat on the ledge this time, submerged in hot water up to my knees. More talk of work and technology and other things. Topics that left me smiling, nodding, a little bored, nearly done. I asked if he had children. Yes, he told me, a boy, 25, and a daughter, 17.
You must be doing the college thing, I said.
No, no, he answered. My daughter has severe cerebral palsy, she was born very small, very early. No, she won’t be going to college.
In the latest episode of mediabistroTV’s “Elevator Pitch,” host Alan Meckler meets with Storyville co-founder Paul Vidich. Storyville is a mobile app for short stories that connects readers and authors. A former music executive, Vidich helped Steve Jobs bring music singles to iTunes. He hopes Storyville will do for the short story what iTunes did for the single.
Apple’s latest iPhone app will clean up your text messages and force you to brush up your French, or Spanish, or Japanese, all at the same time.
This week the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved patent 7,814,163, an Apple invention that can censor obscene or offensive words in text messages whie doubling as a foreign-language tutor with the power to require, for example, “that a certain number of Spanish words per day be included in e-mails for a child learning Spanish.”
Parents are sure to love this multitasker, which puts an end to teen-age sexting while also checking homework. In the spirit of the Supreme Court’s 1978 ban on George Carlin’s “Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say on TV,” Apple’s app will shrink their children’s stock of English expletives—or at least render them unprintable—while setting the kids on the path toward bilingualism, or at least a passing grade in French. This new invention from Apple is two things in one: Mary Poppins and the Rosetta Stone, or, for those parents of a certain age, it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping.
Of course, when Apple closes one door, it opens another. Apple may cut off access to bad words in English, but it then redirects that lexical energy in the profitable direction of foreign-language learning. Teens may find their texting vocabulary circumscribed, but if children’s grades go down, Apple’s iPhone censor lets parents activate a tool that “can require a user . . . to send messages in a foreign language, to include certain vocabulary words, or to use proper spelling, grammar and/or punctuation based on the user’s defined skill level. This could aide [sic] the user in more quickly improving his or her fluency of a language.”
As if Steve Jobs wasn’t already intruding enough into people’s wallets and their private lives, the iPhone device will not only watch your language, it will require you to correct your mistakes and rat you out if you screw up. The app doesn’t just make you do your homework, it even tells you when to do it. According to the Apple patent,
The control application may require a user during specified time periods to send messages in a designated foreign language, to include certain designated vocabulary words, or to use proper designated spelling, designated grammar and designated punctuation and like designated language forms based on the user’s defined skill level and/or designated language skill rating. If the text-based communication fails to include the required language or format, the control application may alert the user and/or the administrator/parent of the absence of such text.
The control application may require the user to rewrite the text-based communication in the required language, to include the required vocabulary words and/or to correct spelling and punctuation errors. The control application may require the user to locate the error. If the user cannot correct the error, the control application may provide hints as to the location of the error by first indicating the paragraph, then, the line and, finally, the exact location.
As figure 10 from Apple’s patent application shows (see below), writers of objectionable texts
Biographer Walter Isaacson has landed a deal with Simon & Schuster to publish an authorized biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. iSteve: The Book of Jobs will be released in early 2012.
International Creative Management literary agent Amanda Urban negotiated the deal with editorial director Alice Mayhew. The manuscript has also been acquired by several worldwide publishers including Little, Brown Book Group (UK), Companhia das Letras (Brazil), and China CITIC Press (China).
According to the press release, Isaacson spent three years interviewing Jobs, his family members, Apple colleagues, and competitors to write this book. He has written biographies of Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin,and Henry Kissinger.
Steve Jobsresigned as CEO of Apple last night, generating thousands of tweets, articles and tributes. As Jobs steps back, Simon & Schuster said that Walter Isaacson‘s biography of the tech leader will include his resignation when it comes out on November 21st.
Here’s more from PC Mag: “Simon & Schuster spokeswoman Tracey Guest told PCMag that Isaacson ‘speaks to Jobs regularly and is still working on the final chapter of the book.’ … The book promises interviews with Jobs’ ex-girlfriends, foes, family, and fired colleagues. Furthermore, Jobs apparently didn’t demand to review the book before it went to print. There are plenty of unauthorized biographies of Jobs, but this is the first written with his blessing.”
Above, we’ve embedded a video of Jobs introducing the Macintosh computer in 1984. Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography will sell for $19.50 in hardcover on Amazon and the Kindle price is set at $16.50. (Via Publishers Weekly)
Social networks help writers, readers and publishers share stories instantly, but they don’t help us archive those stories for future reading.
The Storify platform will help you quickly preserve everything from Twitter posts to photographs to YouTube videos to news stories on a simple, informative page. Below, we’ve listed five ways authors and publishers can use Storify for literary creations.
Here’s more about the tool: “We make it easy to do [to create] by just dragging-and-dropping, creating beautiful, simple stories. We preserve all attribution and metadata for each element. We let you notify all the sources quoted in a story with one click, a great way to help it go viral. Stories with Storify are interactive, and your readers can re-Tweet or reply to the people quoted in stories. Also, Storify’s API opens up new possibilities for developers to display stories in new ways and on different devices.”
Apple, the hottest brand among Millennials, is changing hands (Steve Jobs — one of the most visionary leaders in marketing and technology — has stepped down as the company’s CEO, and Tom Cook, the former COO, will take his place. We have Jobs... Read the rest of this post
Steve Jobs, the legendary guru/CEO of Apple, has had a very interesting life — one that could easily have been imagined by a fiction writer, and writer Caleb Melby is turning his early years into a graphic novel with art by interactive agency JESS3. It’s kind of like a real life Batman Begins, with Jobs going to the far east to meet Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Japanese Soto Zen Buddhist priest following his removal from Apple.
The action takes place in the mid-1980s, after Steve left Apple and went on to start a new computer company — NeXT, which would later be bought up by Apple (and Steve along with it). The narrative flashes back and forward in time, connecting this influential period to other highlights in Steve’s career and exploring the imprint of Japanese design concepts on Steve’s creative vision.
These pages are set in 1986 at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California. Kobun teaches Steve kinhin, a walking meditation, and alludes to Steve’s quest to understand ma. I’m not trying to spoil anything, but that’s something of a central theme throughout the book.
Here’s a couple of art pages…as we said the actual artists name isn’t revealed in the link, but it seems familiar….
The final 60-page book will be released digitally later this fall.
La noticia interrumpe la rutina de la tarde. El lavaplatos se queda sin encender, la carne sin descongelar. Los ensayos se quedan con sus errores y la ropa sucia sigue indiferente en su rincón del baño. Ha muerto un genio. Un verdadero visionario, de esos que nos racionan a dos o tres por siglo.
Llevo varias horas pegada a la tele, yo que como mucho miro uno que otro programa de cocina al mes. La historia la conocen todos. El estudiante rebelde. El famoso garaje, pesebre de ideas que cambiarían el mundo. La manzana mordida. Innovación. Fracaso. Revolución. Éxito. ¿Muerte?
A nadie sorprenda la noticia, pero sí la tristeza.
Me pregunta mi hija si el hombre en la tele de espejuelos redondos y suéter negro de cuello alto es John Lennon. "No", le digo, "pero sí que se parecen..."
Abro mi mac y encuentro media docena de mensajes de pésame como si se me hubiera muerto un familiar. Y de veras me siento triste, sin saber exactamente por qué.
Buenas noches, Steve. Que descanses.
Apple ha dejado esta dirección para quienes quieran compartir recuerdos y pensamientos sobre este genio que acabamos de perder: firstname.lastname@example.org<
There are a lot of historic moments that Millennials will use to mark time in their young lives, and one of those will be remembering where they were when they heard their hero, Steve Jobs, had died. Although Steve Jobs wasn’t a Millennial, he... Read the rest of this post
This Week in World History - After weeks of speculation about what, exactly, Apple had up its sleeve, Steve Jobs made an appearance on October 23, 2001, that ended the mystery. Jobs announced Apple’s newest product, a portable digital music player that would, he said, put “1,000 songs in your pocket.” The iPod was born.