Inside Singularity University: ten weeks in tech’s most coveted community

This is Singularity University. Based at NASA and with founding members including the founders of Google, its annual Graduate Studies Program is “A 10-week interdisciplinary program for top students and entrepreneurial leaders worldwide, aimed at solving some of our most pressing challenges.” From over 3150 applicants, 80 students were selected for this summer’s program, representing 36 different countries across the world. Over 60% have graduate degrees, 40% are women (an impressively high statistic for entrepreneurial programs in Silicon Valley), and many are successful entrepreneurs, investors, authors and inventors.

One doctor explains why the Internet hasn’t really changed medicine

Every single person in the world has a health story. As a doctor, my job is to help people edit the story that your health is telling and to treat your story as unique to make you healthier. It’s our signature challenge to become more efficient and accurate editors as digital healthcare begins to scale worldwide, which can create 8 billion health stories.

A human microbiome project?

You probably don’t like to think about it, but the human body hosts an unbelievable number of bacteria and other single-celled organisms, from the gut to the lungs to the skin, and plenty of places in between. In fact, some estimates hold that our microbial population outnumbers our body’s own cells by a factor of ten to one.

Roundup: Biogenerics bill in limbo, clashing data on health IT benefits, the RNAi boom, and more

House-Senate confrontation set over biogenerics — Late last month, a key group of senators reached agreement on legislative provisions that would authorize copycat versions of biotech drugs, which are typically complex proteins manufactured by genetically engineered cells (see details here and here). These provisions would finally put biotech drugs — which don’t face cut-rate competition once their key patents expire — on a par with traditional pharmaceuticals, and have been a long time in coming. They’re not perfect, but they’re about as good a compromise as we’re likely to see any time soon..