June 16, 2015

Human Longevity working towards mining millions of genomes and health records to crack radical life extension

HLI (Human Longevity Inc) is building the world’s largest human genome sequencing center in the world. Along with computing advances, DNA sequencing has seen an explosion of next generation technologies that are enabling faster and better sequencing of human genomes.

HLI has initially purchased two Illumina HiSeq X Ten Sequencing Systems (with the option for an additional three systems). These next generation sequencing machines are clusters of 10 instruments that provide HLI with an annual throughput of tens of thousands of human genomes. HLI plans to sequence up to 40,000 human genomes per year, with plans to rapidly scale to 100,000 human genomes.

Along with the genomic data gleaned from the sequencing complete human genomes, HLI will also be generating microbiome data for many of these individuals through its Biome Health division, under the leadership of Karen Nelson, Ph.D.

Nelson, who is also President of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), and her team led the first human microbiome study on the human gut which was published in the journal Science in 2006. Nelson and her team have gone on to publish numerous scientific papers on the microbiome.

HLI is currently at about ten thousand or so health records with integrated genome sequences
HLI is heading to about 40,000 or so genome integrated health records by the end of the year
HLI is heading to about 160,000 or so genome integrated health records by the end of 2016
HLI should have over 1 million genome integrated health record by 2020

They are getting medical insights now and expect to really start making great progress in the 2017-2019 range based on the scale of analysis at that point.

There are 100 times more cells from bacteria, fungi, and viruses, in and on your body than there are human cells.

The Metabolome

Along with the microbiome data, HLI will capture and analyze metabolomic data from various cohorts. The metabolome includes the complete set of metabolites in a human genome. HLI has also signed an agreement with Metabolon Inc., a diagnostic products and services company located in Research Triangle Park, NC offering the biochemical profiling platform that will be used to capture this information from the HLI samples. Metabolomics is important because quantifying and understanding the full picture of circulating chemicals in the body can help researchers get a clearer picture of that individual’s health status and map changes in the small molecules to end points of disease and gene mutations.

The last century produced advances in science that would be unimaginable to earlier generations, and no achievement had more impact than the extension of human life. Innovations in medicine and sanitation saw a radical increase in lifespan leading to unprecedented global economic growth and individual opportunity. But researchers are not resting on their laurels and the search for new scientific pathways is accelerating. Advances in genomics, proteomics, informatics, computing and cell therapy technologies bring with them the likelihood of extending lifespan further -- very possibly, much further. Dr. Craig Venter and Dr. Peter Diamandis, pioneers in this emerging field, join us to explain the opportunities and challenges ahead in the search for longer and healthier lives.

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