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Research funding: Expression of interest sought

research funding fundraiser proposals cryonics cryobiology call longecity

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#1 caliban

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:05 PM


LongeCity continues its proud tradition to support small-scale, high-impact life extension research.

This round, in honour of the pioneer Robert Ettinger recently placed in cryostasis, we are looking to support a project dealing with cryopreservation, cryobiology, biostasis or a related topic.

Projects should:
- be basic or applied research but basic research should have potential for applied development
- present short updates for Members with interim data, photos from the facility etc at agreed intervals
- be led or overseen by a person with a postgraduate qualification in the relevant field or by a person with demonstrable equivalent experience
- have clearly defined interim milestones
- have a flexible project structure that can be adjusted according to the amount of money raised
- be small in scale - one or two key workers
- be short in duration - 6 months maximum
- not be confidential. LongeCity will expect open and public presentation and discussion of research results. However, confidentiality will be accepted where a manuscript is prepared for publication or where a patent is filed.

LongeCity will be able to support a project with a minimum of $2000 and up to $6000, subject to matching by other donors.
LongeCity will launch a call for matching donations and every donation generated in that call will go towards the project budget.


Interested parties should send
- a project outline of no more than 800 words written in lay language but supported by up to 5 literature references
- a curriculum vitae of the project leader

to support@imminst.org

Deadline: August 31st!


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#2 Isochroma

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 06:07 PM

Sounds interesting!

How about using the funds to synthesize and test a new nootropic that has, heretofore, only been tested on animals but shows excellent characteristics that put it head and shoulders above the industry-standard Piracetam. It's called Piracetam Hydrazide.

I have started a thread about the molecule which contains excellent research material and also pricing. Human testing is yet to be done.

#3 AgeVivo

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Posted 10 August 2011 - 08:33 PM

we are looking to support a project dealing with cryopreservation, cryobiology, biostasis or a related topic

unusual, surprising, visionary, fun, rash, smart choice? in any case waiting to see such proposals! any idea of the kind of proposal to expect? someone testing for low toxicity protectants? fine tuning of parameters of bigger and bigger animal organs? an alternative methodology? a diy research kit at home?

Edited by AgeVivo, 10 August 2011 - 08:37 PM.

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#4 caliban

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 01:26 AM

Deadline expires tomorrow!

#5 Sun

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 03:50 PM

Sounds interesting!

How about using the funds to synthesize and test a new nootropic that has, heretofore, only been tested on animals but shows excellent characteristics that put it head and shoulders above the industry-standard Piracetam. It's called Piracetam Hydrazide.

I have started a thread about the molecule which contains excellent research material and also pricing. Human testing is yet to be done.


Nice 3d Iso. I'd be happy too, if the request would be accepted. :)

Frankating...

#6 Phil Goetz

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 08:09 PM

I was away and missed the deadline... but I think the best small project that could be done for cryopreservation at present, would be to sequence the DNA of the wood frog (Rana sylvatica), which is the most advanced animal capable of freezing (to -6C) and thawing. The most-closely related organism that has been sequenced is a different frog that diverged from R. sylvatica about 100 million years ago.

Ideally, we would then use the sequence to construct a DNA microarray that probed for all genes and RNAs present in the sequence, and use it on a time series of samples from various tissues taken as the frog froze and then thawed.. (Even more ideally, we would sequence a closely-related non-freezing species, to look for R. sylvatica proteins lacking homologs in that species.)

However, we can't do that for $6000 yet. Its genome is 6 gigabases. Sequencing it and analyzing the output would still cost tens of thousands of dollars. We might be able to do RNA (exome) sequencing for around that price. RNAseq misses any genes that aren't expressed in that tissue at that time.

Phil Goetz, JCVI

#7 AgeVivo

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Posted 11 September 2011 - 10:16 PM

nice. interesting:

Question to investigate what you are mentioning:
Would you think that RNA expression at various points in time (on specific tissues or on a mixture of the whole body, to be defined) and for the 3 frog species (Rana sylvatica (the cryopreserving&thawing frog), the already-sequenced frog, a closer cousin to Rana sylvatica but that can not cryopresenver&thaw well) is likely to bring smthg useful in the field?

More specifically:
What type for useful result could we perhaps get? Is ths feasible with $6000? Who would lead by whom in what lab/environment?

Edited by AgeVivo, 12 September 2011 - 03:44 PM.


#8 Phil Goetz

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Posted 13 September 2011 - 07:24 PM

Would you think that RNA expression at various points in time (on specific tissues or on a mixture of the whole body, to be defined) and for the 3 frog species (Rana sylvatica (the cryopreserving&thawing frog), the already-sequenced frog, a closer cousin to Rana sylvatica but that can not cryopresenver&thaw well) is likely to bring smthg useful in the field?

More specifically:
What type for useful result could we perhaps get? Is ths feasible with $6000? Who would lead by whom in what lab/environment?


I don't know how much value the already-sequenced frog is. It diverged from Rana sylvatica's ancestors in the Cretaceous, when dinosaurs walked the land. (Frogs have been around for a long, long time.)

The purpose of sequencing a closely-related species is to find genes that R. s. has that the related species doesn't. An RNA expression time-series for R. s. and a related species would, similarly, let us see how genes are expressed differently between the two species during freezing and thawing. This would probably be even better than sequencing, and possibly cheaper. Ideally, we'd like to measure protein levels, but we can't easily look for proteins without knowing their sequence first.

I don't believe it will be a simple matter of saying, "We need these three proteins to survive freezing". There's a complex regulatory program involved in freezing. This means many of the important differences will be not in the genes themselves, but in their regulatory sites, many of which can't be found with RNAseq.

On the bright side, if we take enough measurements to measure the time-progression of the different proteins involved, we might be able to reproduce this time progression in human subjects (after testing on others, of course) via intravenous feed, without having to solve how the regulatory network works. This depends on whether the freezing response is more or less the same across all tissues (good, easy), or whether it has to be managed individually for different cells (harder, requires gene therapy). And it also depends on whether you need to keep changing concentrations within cells after the circulatory system has frozen up; if so, you need gene therapy to make the cells do that themselves.

Either way, I expect it will be easier to modify humans to be freezable, than to modify our existing freezing techniques to work on wild-type humans.

I wouldn't start any new eukaryote sequencing project now. There are cheap new DNA sequencing technologies coming out this year that might change the cost a lot.

I also anticipate lower computer analysis costs, because people are going to have to stop their wasteful "BLAST every gene against every other gene ever sequenced" approach to figuring out what genes they've found. Currently, computer time to analyze a genome costs roughly as much as the sequencing cost. That's because it takes several CPU-years to analyze a genome, and you also have to pay the salaries of IT professionals maintaining a large, complex, distributed computing infrastructure, with expensive distributed storage, which seems to not have economies of scale - I think it's actually more costly per CPU cycle than a desktop. I believe you can do a thorough analysis on a single CPU at less than 1/100th of the cost; and people will have to figure this out sometime in the next 5 years, because the BLAST databases are growing much faster than disk storage or CPU speed.

Since we're on a budget, better to wait one or two years and re-evaluate.

As to who will do it - We do all these things in-house; but JCVI doesn't do sequencing for hire. I don't know why, but we don't. We work from grants. But if you proposed this as joint preliminary research to lead to bigger contracts, we might kick in a few thousand dollars, do the sequencing, and pay for the computer time, if we thought the results would lead to bigger NIH contracts in the future. For instance, the frog's response to prevent the glycogen it uses as antifreeze from killing it could be relevant to diabetes.





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