For those among you who are new to Ascend Biology, If you want to stay up-to-date with the latest in Biotechnology, as well as how to start implementing it safely TODAY for optimal health, you’ve come to the right place!
All right, on to the News!
Let’s begin with the Biotech Companies and related news which have just come to our attention. First of is Validic (Validic.com), a company which has many integrations (including Fitbit, Apple Health, RunKeeper, and Withings to name a few) available for aggregated data collection. This company has also released a companion app called VitalSnap which enables you to take a picture of a screen, such as the one on your glucose or blood pressure monitor, and record the data in your file with all of the other aggregated data. If you are wondering what fate said data has, well, it goes to your health practitioner, assuming they are set up with Validic. Therefore, Validic is a great way to get your doctor engaged with your healthy lifestyle efforts. There is no denying this is the way of the future (see an official Whitehouse release HERE; see Validic Press Releases HERE). Data privacy is a huge concern for many, but the takeaway here should be economies of scale, meaning, cheaper and more advanced personal health monitoring solutions!
Biotech company two was brought to my attention in an article in Fortune – Digital Health: Can Sean Parker Hack Cancer? For those of you who don’t know, Sean Parker co-founded Napster, and is the founding President of Facebook. He has money, intelligence, and determination to speed up research on cancer through a collaborative approach uniting the work of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Penn Medicine, Stanford, UCLA, and UCSF, a “critical-mass” approach according to Fortune writer Clifton Leaf, which should also lead to many discoveries important to aging and overall health. For more information, check out his research foundation, The Parker Foundation, HERE.
The third Biotech company is not new, but is one which deserves attention as it has, in our opinion, mislead everyone; that company is Theranos. Thankfully the probes of investigative journalism uncovered their false claims in regards to their finger prick technology before any more investors were duped out of their cash. The fact they used other lab equipment is not a problem so much as the fact they were misrepresenting their methods. Any company procedure related to health, especially something as important as blood tests, should be as straight forward and honest as possible. The consumer (both patients and doctors) is relying on these test results, in combination with other biomarkers and genetic information, to make, arguably, THE MOST important decisions in their life! This type of behavior is both dangerous and disgraceful. We need to interject a very cool info graphic from the people at FIVETHIRTYEIGHT created by Rebecca Goldin, Director of Stats.org, which serves as a reminder for the necessity of a systems biology approach to health, as Arivale is doing it:
When using biomarker tests for your health, please remember to work with a professional such as a doctor, in conjunction with a qualified diagnostic company, as the human body is very complex and still not well understood. Ascend Biology does not advocate for this kind of diagnostic technology for the purpose of confusion, or to inflict unnecessary stress on one’s self, but rather to create a more informed patient and advance the abilities of medicine.
Our founder, Jordan Du Bois, had visited one Theranos location multiple times, and his lab results were very close to previous labs, indicating to him that they were reliable. Every visit required the same amount of blood to be drawn as in other labs, and when Jordan inquired about this matter, the reps told him only certain tests use the finger prick technology. Because of their misrepresentation of available technology and unethical business practices, we no longer have them listed under our Services, and we sincerely apologize for recommending them.
With that said, we now turn to some great new tools for the health conscious!
The Longevity Cookbook (see the indiegogo campaign HERE or CLICK HERE to visit the website) sounds like a very promising piece of literature; It claims to be an effort of a team of Bioinformaticians, according to their indiegogo campaign, which will have combed through hundreds of published journal articles relating to health and lifespan research by the end of the book’s creation. Maria Konovalenko is a part of the team, and seems to be the spokesperson for the book. She sounds like a smart cookie for sure, majoring in molecular biological physics and on track to earn her PhD in a joint program between the University of Southern California and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, so we have high expectations for this to be a step in the right direction for applicable wellness research!
For Android users, we have a great way to remove some complication from tracking certain healthy behaviors: It’s an app called Rewire. This app is based on a very simple question: Did you meet your goal or not? All you do is set up a frequency for reminders which notify you to either choose a success or fail status for each time period. For a practical application, consider the following: You have created a diet and want to track your daily adherence, but unfortunately you find it very stressful to constantly input your meals and end up not sticking to your daily eating habits. Rewire is perfect, as you can set end of the day reminders which simply ask: “Did you eat mainly healthy foods today?” If you chose a whopper, fries, and a coke, you can say no, and over time see how many days you actually stuck with your healthy eating plan. This can be very beneficial for those of you who feel that your dieting efforts are not working; as one can hear in the conventional sayings of any addiction class, in order to fix a problem, the realization of said problem must first exist. A great companion to Rewire would be any app with “check-in” capabilities such as Foursquare or Facebook. This could be a great way to corroborate what you entered into Rewire for your diet adherence.