Tool chain for Longevity research

Hi All, I was hoping to start a discussion on the longevity research tool chain. Perhaps we could identify projects for the development of research tools that could be used by the scientific community, build creating the shovels to help people find the gold. Are there projects we can fund to develop such as:

  • new model organism strains to store with ATCC
  • Genetic constructs to be stored with Addgene
  • General purpose longevity functional or phenotypic assays that could be deployed at CROs or cloud labs
  • Compound libraries of possible therapeutics and analogs for high throughput screening
  • Target ID or MoA determination procedures
  • Clinical trial guidelines / endpoints / biomarkers
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Absolutely agree. I’m not an expert in the biotech industry but IMO we can learn a lot from the tech industry. There’s a lot of research on how big tech firms (like Microsoft, Google, Amazon, IBM and others) fund open source software, most prominently Linux for their server infrastructure. I would think that these principles and game theoretical-models behind this dynamic in the tech industry are at least somewhat transferrable to VitaDAO’s environment, so the intersection of biopharma and cryptonetworks.

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Great idea. There are a lot of open source, free databases for researchers. Shall we start collecting a list of these as well ? We could then conduct any evaluation faster. Also would be helpful to see what is really innovative.

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The question is if these are fit for our model to fund longevity research and collectively own the intellectual property surrounding it…

some could also be fit for funding through our planned https://gitcoin.co/ round focused on longevity, and others might be a great fit.

But 100% agree that building better tools for longevity research and startups is key and a bottleneck.

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great idea, I’m wondering if creating tools maybe a path to revenue generation sooner than therapeutics, not sure if gitcoin funds would restrict that?

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Yeah this is is a great idea, as we add researchers we could also poll them to see what tools would be helpful for them across each of their projects, it would be great if we could create tools that benefit every VitaDAO researacher, this could also be another value prop to do research with us, either exclusive access to tools or discounted rates/free access

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I completely agree. There likely are a number of common needs for all of our project research teams, and it seems a waste to have them each invest in tools or assets separately that could be owned by VitaDAO and then shared with our project teams.

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agree! especially if there are low hanging fruit that we could fund and which could produce revenue relatively quickly…

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As a follow-up, we should run a survey with early stage biotech founders to sense which tools could be most valuable to license from us. Could help set this up with you @Ben, if interested :slight_smile:

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Yeah that would be great, I’d love to get @mscheibye 's and @NiklasTR take on this as I haven’t directly done lab work in the longevity domain, so I’m not sure of the gaps here

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Hey @Ben - I am no ageing research veteran but have seen a fair amount of high-throughput screens (CRISPR and small molecule). Strategically, I think we should look for processes that are (I) highly automatable, (II) specific/relevant to the ageing field (III) benefit from (or at least not in conflict with) the DAO structure. With these 3 desiderata, I am thinking about both wetlab and dry-lab methods. For example a set of well-maintained bioinformatics platforms for seq alignment, RNA-seq etc. Users pay with crypto instead of maintaining their own infrastructure or building it up from the ground via AWS.

A couple (pet) projects I was planning to work on in the past that might get some creative juices flowing:

  • integrated Horvath clock analysis: send us the sample and we run the methylation array with integrated analysis. The whole pipeline is transparent. Results and metadata are stored in our data vault. We could charge for the analysis and rent out some of the data as well possibly.
  • decentralized nanopore sequencing (I was primarily thinking about a ChainLink datastream for viruses in waste water - maybe we can find something relevant for ageing as well)
  • screening as a service (huge overhead)
  • decentralized clinical trials (volunteers across the world participate in a clinical trial network for ageing and receive Vita tokens. We have a platform clinical trial protocol, in which new drugs get phased in and phased out dynamically based on a surrogate endpoint (e.g. Horvath clock of leukocytes after every month), overall survival as the secondary endoint. VitaDAO acts as the owner of the clinical trial network - we collect data from participants and ensure logistics (with partners if necessary). Networks need to purchase Vita (or some other token) to pay trial participants and data collection services. This is also a gargantuan project idea.

Probably we should create a document to systematically collect ideas within the working group to come up with a useful (valuable vs. achievable 2x2 matrix) of core services.

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This is the thing most in my wheel house given my day job. Spitballing: there could be an interesting collaboration with a third party research firm like Arctoris, Strateos or WuXi AppTec etc. to deploy screens that libraries could be submitted to and the DAO get’s a rev share.

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I see - their portfolio is pretty comprehensive. A niche might be (1) ageing specific in-vitro models for screening or (2) dedicated libraries. I am a bit skeptical wether a “vita dao” branded library would create so much added value per se.

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Yeah I think you’re right

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I would suggest we prepare an informal call for internal proposals (web document here https://hackmd.io/FLFMG4mPRQaBvTZ86gOnnw) and have a conversation in an upcoming working group meeting re: prioritisation?

Also, I am going to apply to the OnDeck program as a participant. Maybe we can get some insights there as well.

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The link is not accessible. I think we need a separate call to wrap this up before the wg meeting so that we can provide them compact info.

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Agreed - I’m operating on Berlin time right now. Happy to jump on a call on the weekend/ next week.

Best, Niklas

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I updated the link here: [[vita dao]] scientific core - HackMD

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Yeah, the co-initiator, Nathan, of the Ondeck Longevity Fellowship is also part of VitaDAO and might have ideas how we could provide their participants with valuable services

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