This genetic site contains information about my participation as a volunteer in research being performed at BioTime (NYSE MKT BTX) in a new field called "Regenomics". The technology allows scientists to return my cells back to the beginning of life, resetting the telomere clock of cell aging, while simultaneously providing information about my genetic blueprint of life.
REGENOMICS Profile – Patrick Cox
Regenomics represents to merger of two fields of medicine; REgenerative medicine and GENOMICS. The industry leader in this field is BioTime, Inc. (NYSE MKT: BTX).
John Mauldin and I volunteered to participate in a research project to see how this may work. In my case I gave some of my skin cells to the BioTime team and they grew the cells in the laboratory (see below).
My (and everyone else’s) skin cells are mortal, meaning like all the cells in my body, they have only a limited number of times they can replicate to repair damage. Over time, this leads to age-related changes that ultimately causes age-related disease and death.
Nevertheless, typically cells grown in the lab in this manner can replicate quite a bit. These cells are allowed to replicate in the laboratory dish until millions of them are available, some of which can be frozen away for future use.
My cells captured by BioTime scientists proliferating in the lab
Next, the cells are used for both the REgenerative and GENOMICS pathways. For the REgenerative path, the cells are reprogrammed back to the beginning of life, that is, genetically pushed back to an embryonic state. This gives the cells the ability to become all the cell types in the body (pluripotency) and also, remarkably, resets the clock of cell aging known as the telomere, back to a youthful state. This resetting of cell lifespan was reported by BioTime scientists. The result is, that I now have young pluripotent that could theoretically be used to make young cells of all kinds identical to me. These cells could be used to repair age-related changes in my body that the body is not normally capable of repairing.
The Regenomics strategy. Cells from the individual are: 1) Reprogrammed to pluripotency to make young cells capable of making any cell type of the body needed to regenerate function in a diseased tissue. 2) DNA from the cells is sequenced to identify genetic risk profiles
A graphic example of the cell types possible to make are beating heart muscle cells. Here are my baby heart cells beating in the dish made with this technology.
As I mentioned, the cells are also used on the GENOMICS path. Having the cells in the lab, it is now an easy and affordable thing (in my case free since I was a volunteer) to sequence my DNA to see what my genetic blueprint is. As proof of my philosophy of making my life an “open book”, I plan to put the entire genetic blueprint of Patrick Cox online. Here is the first chapter.
While the DNA sequence is like another language using the letters GATC, there are online resources that allow anyone to peruse their DNA looking into the meaning of their genome and implications for their health, geneology, marriage compatibility, or whatever. One of the most commonly-used databases (though still oriented for to the scientific community) is BioTime’s GeneCards database. Here are a few of the interesting things I learned about my DNA.
Bottom line, I believe BioTime’s REGENOMICS technology will be the most powerful new medical technology platform for the coming decade. More about BioTime can be found here.