Google backs a bid to use CRISPR to prevent heart disease

crispr allo

Ever wonder why some fortunate people eat chips, don’t exercise, and still don’t get clogged arteries? It could be because they’ve got lucky genes.

Alphabet (Google’s parent company) is bankrolling a company that plans to use gene editing to spread fortunate DNA variations, potentially conferring lifelong protection against heart disease.

Big idea: Most gene-therapy companies have gone after rare diseases like hemophilia. But the startup, called Verve, is focusing on solving the most common cause of death.

Mutant clues: Some people have low levels of bad cholesterol, without even trying. There’s even a list of genetic mutations known to protect people from heart disease. Verve’s plan is to use CRISPR to install these types of beneficial mutations in other people.

Fix is in you: People to struggle to stick to diet and exercise regimes to reduce their risk of heart disease. Verve thinks that if they can install lucky genes in your body, you may not have to.  

Enhancement: Verve says it’s sticking to gene editing in adults. But let’s face it: it could be very tempting to introduce genetic enhancements like these into human embryos, too.

We can no longer invest in on-demand, ride-sharing apps: 500 Startups

It’s important for early-stage investors to focus on blockchain and artificial intelligence to discover the “next wave” of companies to invest in, says Edith Yeung of 500 Startups. She also says it is important for technology giants to respect their users’ data.
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How Masayoshi Son Became One of the Most Powerful Investors in Tech – Bloomberg

Love him or hate him, Softbank’s Masayoshi Son is shaking up Silicon Valley and global investing. He once lost more money than anyone has ever lost in history, but has since recovered to make some of the world’s most successful tech investments. (Video by Robin Fall) (Source: Bloomberg)
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What Wealthy People Know

Did you know…?

  • The Wilshire 5000 is made up of 3,492 publicly traded companies
  • Total listed domestic companies fell from 7,322 at its peak in 1996 to 3,671 in 2016, a 50% decrease
  • There were 90% fewer IPOs in 2016 vs. 1996 peak
  • 140 public companies represent more than 50% of the total U.S. market capitalization
  • There are more than 5,900,000 private companies in the U.S.
  • Number of U.S. “unicorns” (private companies worth more than $1bn) has grown from 39 in 2013 to 134 today