Tuesday 26 November 2013

Personalized science

The problem of medical care quality is important for a lot of countries all over the world. Despite the increase in the number of technical breakthroughs and in the professionalism among the doctors, there is clearly a lack of the individual approach to patient care. No two patients are the same. Not even the identical twins. Thus it is very natural to personalize a treatment of the patient. Unfortunately, for most of the people it is too expensive to have personal doctor. However, for the wealthiest one there is a possibility to have not only personal doctors, but personal medical scientists that would not only toil on patient’s own problems, but also look for ways to prevent or entirely eradicate certain diseases.

In the article "From Personalized Medicine to Personalized Science: uniting science and medicine for patient-driven, goal-oriented research" Dr. Cantor and Dr. Zhavoronkov described a unique concept of personalized science, which could help the wealthy or skilled patients, but whole scientific community to develop and become better. The idea based on patient-doctors-scientists interactions and on rational usage each sides' talents. Briefly, the patient provides a research grant for universities or doctors-scientists team conducting a research aimed at healing the patient. The patient also supervises the work of the team and this, according to authors, is one of the keys to success. All sides benefit from this interaction: research organizations get funding, scientists and doctors get the material for study, in most cases unique, and the patient get the effective treatment.

However, I can’t help, but point out the advantage of the technique, which authors missed in the paper. Although the application of personalized science may seem to be limited by the miniscule number of wealthy patients that not only truly care about their health, but also want to advance scientific research. As prestige of the scientists is directly correlated with the number of published scientific papers, each such interaction will result in papers, available to the whole scientific community all over the world. Thus, other scientists and medical doctors could use the results in the treatment of their patients and personalized science will not only help one individual, but immensely contribute to the society.

Read article here.

Saturday 16 November 2013

Biomedical Progress Rates as New Parameters for Models of Economic Growth in Developed Countries

I would like to introduce you my new article:" Biomedical Progress Rates as New Parameters for Models of Economic Growth in Developed Countries".

In this paper me and my colleague, Alex Zhavoronkov, discussed new model of economic growth. Based on statistical data from recent decades, we assumed that the economy of the developed countries will be affected by increased eldery to young people ratio, and this even could cause a crisis.

You can find full free text article here.


While the doubling of life expectancy in developed countries during the 20th century can be attributed mostly to decreases in child mortality, the trillions of dollars spent on biomedical research by governments, foundations and corporations over the past sixty years are also yielding longevity dividends in both working and retired population. Biomedical progress will likely increase the healthy productive lifespan and the number of years of government support in the old age. In this paper we introduce several new parameters that can be applied to established models of economic growth: the biomedical progress rate, the rate of clinical adoption and the rate of change in retirement age. The biomedical progress rate is comprised of the rejuvenation rate (extending the productive lifespan) and the non-rejuvenating rate (extending the lifespan beyond the age at which the net contribution to the economy becomes negative). While staying within the neoclassical economics framework and extending the overlapping generations (OLG) growth model and assumptions from the life cycle theory of saving behavior, we provide an example of the relations between these new parameters in the context of demographics, labor, households and the firm.