Is A Superintelligent Artificial Being Now Being Built?

Posted on March 06, 2015

Anyone who has ever followed movies that involve cyberbeings knows that in the movies artificial beings often wreck havoc. The scenerio of the movie is that the AI can do a number of things that human beings can’t do. For example, an animated robot made of indestructable materials can go into toxic areas without suffering burns. A computer can make lighting fast calculations that human beings can’t. A robot can pick up objects that are too heavy for human beings to handle. The possibilities are endless.

Scientists around the world have considered these possibilities for a long time. An blog in Motherboard suggests that the means are there to create an AI. Sultan Alhokair knows that there are still many variables to consider before work can begin. A global arms race to create the first superintelligent AI could be happening in the near future. Zoltan Istvan in his article “A Global Arms Race to Create a Superintelligent AI is Looming” offers three options. His first option is to make creating an AI illegal. His second option is being the first to create the AI and his third option is for a multi-national collaboration. You can read the whole article here: Global Arms Race for AI.

It is interesting to note that speculation about when artifical intelligent beings will make their debut on the global scene has been going on since the late 1990s. This article suggests that this could happen any day now.

Mark Ahn Explains Why Most Biotech Startups Fail

Posted on January 18, 2015

As originally reported in TheStreet.com, Mark Ahn, Ph.D. has spent 20 years in the biopharmaceutical industry serving as an entrepreneur, executive and consultant. Throughout his tenure Ahn has witnessed hundreds of once-successful biotech companies close shop. So now Ahn, along with his colleagues, are trying to discover how some biotech businesses, and their investors, are successful in such a fickle industry.

While many new biotech startups show great promise early on, generating a lot of interest with a potentially new juggernaut of a treatment for a debilitating disease, most fail to deliver on expectations. However, in an industry that spawns so many failed companies, how do investors earn profits with these businesses?

According to Mark and his colleagues, the successful investors are usually the ones who have either formed research alliances or acquired minority stakes with a broad range of smaller companies, instead of waiting for a single product to become successful. Ahn cites the example of two firms that invested in the two similar cancer-fighting drugs Rituxan and Vectibix. One biotech firm, Genentech, licensed Rituxan at a cost of $30 million earlier in the clinical-trial process, whereas the second, Amgen, waited until Phase III trials before it acquired Vectibix for the much higher cost of $2.2 billion.

Ahn says biotech startups become successful by remaining resilient, and the lengthy development process, as well as the highly-regulated nature of the biotech industry, means new companies generally must be willing to take on multiple sources of outside capital before a new product can reach the market and become profitable. Ahn believes that it is imperative that new businesses take the advice of Vertex CEO Joshua Berger who emphasizes companies need to be committed to their own business model, and just follow the trends that so quickly come and go.

Dr. Mark Ahn is an Accomplished Executive and Consultant in Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals

Posted on January 09, 2015
Mark Ahn, PhD is an accomplished business executive and consultant, specializing in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He holds a BA and MBA from Victoria University. At Essex University he was a graduate fellow in Economics. He earned his PhD at the University of South Australia. Dr. Ahn is also a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Portland, Oregon and has over 10 years of experience in the life sciences industry.

Dr. Ahn’s career, spanning 20 years, has included academia, holding high positions in several biopharmaceutical companies as well as having served in the US Army. Presently, Dr. Ahn is Principal at Pukana Partners, Ltd. This company provides consulting for life science companies by providing real-world solutions, careful analysis and new strategies to quicken value creation for biotechnology companies. He is currently Professor (adjunct) at Carnegie Mellon University and Portland State University. His most recent position, 2007-2014, was President & Chief Executive Officer and Director of Galena Biopharma. Dr. Ahn has served as Chair for Science & Technology Management at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. He founded Hana Biosciences and was President and Chief Executive Officer. At Genentech, Inc., he served as Vice President of Hematology and corporate officer. He served as Senior Director of Immunology at Bristol-Meyers Squibb and before that he was General Manager of Amgen. Dr. Mark Ahn serves on public and venture capital-backed Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board. 

Mark Ahn recognized the need for the development of talent in leadership and management positions within start up organizations. He developed the Center for Civic and Community Engagement at the College of New Jersey (TCNJ). His aim was to prepare future leaders as well as incorporate non-profit research and teaching into the curriculum of the college of New Jersey and bring in developmental funding from companies and foundations. 

Dr. Ahn is accomplished in publishing having authored over 50 peer reviewed journal articles and books. His most recent book, published in 2010, is called Building the Case for Biotechnology: Management Case Studies in Science, Laws, Regulations, Politics and Business. His previous book, published in 1991, is Strategic Risk Management: How Global Corporations Manage Financial Risk for Competitive Advantage.

Research Strikes another Blow to the Popular Paleo Diet

Posted on January 02, 2015
A recent research claims that the hunters and gatherers of the prehistoric times consumed broader types of foods compared to what the proponents of the whim think. 

It is a fine concept. You should forget about the processed junk foods that are eaten by the modern American and go for what our forbearers ate who lived in the pre-agriculture times. This diet has generated myriads websites and books about how-to, disapproving a big and particular list of diets such as diary, wheat, pseudo-cereal grains as well as legumes. However, though Paleo eating consists of thousands of enthusiasts like Bruce Levenson, the fact remains that it only does not match with chronological data. 

At least as per a research published in the Quarteny Review of Biology, researchers based in Georgia State University as well as Kent State University states that there is no accurate “Paleo Diet”.

They researched about the feeding behaviors of living animals and their anatomical as well as paleo-environmental statistics, and they discovered that though the first primates had teeth not fit for most of the plants, they likely only fed in everything that was obtainable for them- just like bears as well as pigs. Cavemen from the north, for example, mostly relied on diet that was meat-heavy, but those that lived close to the equator most likely enjoyed a diet that was plant-based. Another separate research discovered that decayed teeth of hunters and gatherers of the ancient times show that they ate carbs millennia prior to grain cultivation.

Medical Tattooing Brings Hope to Those with Scars

Posted on December 30, 2014

 

Basma Hameed gives hope back to people who have been scarred through tragic accidents, chemotherapy or medical conditions through tattooing. At the age of two, Hameed was burned in a kitchen accident involving hot oil. Over the course of her life, she’d undergone painful plastic surgeries as well as treatments with lasers to remove the scarring to her face. The discoloration and scarring remained until she came up with her own treatment.Cosmetic tattooing and para-medical tattooing is an emerging specialization that allows anyone with discoloration or disfigurement to receive relief. It was originally created for tattooing eyebrows or permanent eyeliner, but is being used for so much more now.

Hameed tattooed her own eyebrow after studying at school. It occurred to her that if she could tattoo her eyebrow, she could work on the rest of her face too. She started with her own face and is happy with the result. She offers her services to others who have scars and skin problems.

After consultation, there can be many procedures to lay the correct skin color over an existing scar. I know a specialist, Dr. Rod Rohrich who can tells you all about this. She has a charity where she’ll provide service to those in serious need. It’s called the Basma Hameed Survivors Foundation.

Sleep Apnea Can Contribute to Dementia in the Elderly

Posted on December 18, 2014

People who have sleep apnea, or spend a shorter amount of time in deep sleep, are more likely to have changes in the brain that are associated with dementia.

The new study shows that people who don’t get as much oxygen when they sleep at night, due to conditions such as sleep apnea and emphysema, are more likely to have micro infarcts in the brain tissue. Micro infarcts are abnormalities in brain tissue that are associated with dementia.

The study also found loss of brain cells occurs more often in individuals who spend less time in deep sleep, or slow wave sleep, than those who spend longer periods of time in deep sleep. Loss of brain cells is associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers studied 167 Japanese-American men, who were an average age of 84. Each had sleep tests conducted in their home, and were followed until they died. After death, autopsies were conducted on the participant’s brains to determine abnormalities. Those who spent 72 to 99 percent of their sleep with low oxygen levels had micro infarcts and other abnormalities. Researchers concluded that the individuals who had less oxygen while they slept were four times more likely to develop abnormalities in brain tissue.

Sixty to eighty percent of people who have dementia, which is a general loss in mental health that interferes with daily life, have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

More studies will need to be done to determine the effect that sleep has on repairing the brain to determine if or how dementia can be prevented by better sleep. A special shout out to my buddy Jared Haftel for showing me this study (and explaining it to me).