>> The New Era of Health and Medicine as an Information Technology is Broader than Individual Genes - Ray Kurzweil

There has been recent disappointment expressed in the progress in the field of genomics. In my view this results from an overly narrow view of the science of genes and biological information processing in general…

The problem starts with the word “genomics.” The word sounds like it refers to “all things having to do with genes.” But as practiced it deals almost exclusively with single genes and their ability to predict traits or conditions, which has always been a narrow concept.

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>> Cutting Edge Lipid Testing

In TRANSCEND, Ray & Terry urge us to take advantage of the accelerating developments in biotechnology so that we can live better and longer. The patented Atherotech VAP Test is a high tech method for comprehensive evaluation of blood cholesterol and reports 20 separate components, versus the four measures reported by the current standard. Lipid abnormalities are the number one risk factor for heart disease, so the VAP test, which is covered by most insurance plans, is a valuable tool for evaluating your health status.

People with a family history or an existing condition of diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease -- or who are already taking cholesterol-lowering medication -- are candidates for the comprehensive VAP Test. In addition, those who don't score within the desirable ranges of the standard cholesterol test (i.e. those with triglycerides > 150, HDL < 40, LDL >130, total cholesterol > 200) should also opt for the more detailed VAP Test.

>> Sources of Genomics Testing

Genomics testing has been subject to Ray’s Law of Accelerating Returns and the number of genes that can be tested has increased and the price per test has decreased exponentially over the past few years. At one extreme is Knome, Inc., a company which offers precise testing of every one of your genes. Because this service is currently priced at $350,000, almost all of us will need to wait a few years to learn our exact genetic makeup. For most of us, a more affordable entry to the world of genomics is by way of SNP (pronounced “snip”) testing. A SNP or single nucleotide polymorphism is a variation in a single nucleotide (adenine, thymidine, guanine or cytosine) in the DNA chain. Over one million single nucleotide polymorphisms have been identified and an individual may have hundreds of thousands of them, which either increase or decrease your genetic susceptibility to disease. Disease-based panels of SNPs are available from deCODE Genetics . Panels offered can measure your relative risk of heart disease, prostate cancer, macular degeneration and others.

Profact offers a comprehensive suite of molecular profiling technologies readily integrated with other omics data for biomarker and drug target discovery.

>> Arrangements to collect stem cells
for future use

For the past decade many parents have been opting to save stem cells from umbilical cord of their newborn babies. The idea is that these umbilical stem cells would be available to their children in future years if needed. More recently some people have begun to use stem cells found in their own adult bodies to help repair and rejuvenate their own tissues. It now appears that everyone at any age has stem cells that can be used, not just stem cells from embryos and newborns. However, like all the other tissues and cells in your body, your stem cells are also subject to the aging process and younger stem cells work better than older ones. The key is to collect and freeze some of your cells as early in your life (after age 21) as possible. New technologies will enable doctors to use these stored adult stem cells to repair tissues or organs that are either injured or damaged due to disease or simply the aging process in the future. Several companies offer this service.


Assure Immune has been freezing cord blood stem cells and has added adult stem cell collection and cryopreservation to their offerings. They simply isolate some of the stem cells you have circulating in your bloodstream and freeze them. Their charge for this service has just decreased by $1,000 to just $2,495 as well as $219 – 349/yr for cryostorage. Many more stem cells are found in the bone marrow than are circulating in the bloodstream, so Neostem gives their clients an injection of a medication that moves stem cells from the bone marrow into the bloodstream first. They then undergo a “plasmapheresis” procedure in which stem cells are filtered from the blood over a 4 hour period. This dramatically increases the number of stem cells that can be collected and stored. Neostem charges $8400 for their service plus $699/year for storage.