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News from September 2016

IBM Unveils AI-Powered Decision-Making

Friday, 30 September 2016 by System Administrator

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IBM Unveils Industry’s First Platform to Integrate All Data Types for AI-Powered Decision-Making

- Tapping into cognitive capabilities, Project DataWorks automates the intelligent deployment of data products on the IBM Cloud using Machine Learning and Apache Spark
- Provides one environment for collaboration among data professionals and business users of all types on the IBM Cloud
- Ingests data faster than any current solution in market, from 50 to hundreds of Gbps, and all endpoints: enterprise databases, Internet of Things, streaming, weather, and social media

ARMONK, N.Y. - 27 Sep 2016: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today unveiled “Project DataWorks,” a Watson initiative that is the industry’s first cloud-based data and analytics platform to integrate all types of data and enable AI-powered decision-making. Project DataWorks is designed to make it simple for business leaders and data professionals to collect, organize, govern and secure data, so they can gain the insights needed to become a cognitive business.

Businesses today understand the competitive advantage of gaining insights from data. However, obtaining those insights can be increasingly complex, and most of this work is done by highly skilled data professionals who work in silos with disconnected tools and data services that may be difficult to manage, integrate, and govern. Also, because data is never static, businesses must continually iterate their data models and products—often manually—to benefit from the most relevant, up-to-date insights.

Project DataWorks can help businesses break down these barriers by connecting all data and insights for their users. All data-driven professionals can work together on an integrated, self-service platform, sharing common datasets and models in a trusted manner that helps ensure governance, while rapidly iterating data projects and products. Now, instead of spending time finding and preparing data for analysis, users can focus their efforts on the core mission – uncovering business-changing insights.

Available on Bluemix, IBM’s Cloud platform, Project DataWorks can help to redefine how data professionals collaborate by tapping into a number of key innovations, such as Apache Spark, IBM Watson Analytics, and the IBM Data Science Experience. It is designed to help organizations:

  • Automate the deployment of data assets and products using cognitive-based machine learning and Apache Spark;
  • Ingest data faster than any other data platform, from 50 to hundreds of Gbps, and all endpoints: enterprise databases, Internet of Things, weather, and social media;
  • Leverage an open ecosystem of more than 20 partners and technologies, such as Confluent, Continuum Analytics, Galvanize, Alation, NumFOCUS, RStudio, Skymind, and more.

Additionally, Project DataWorks is underpinned by core cognitive capabilities, such as cognitive-based machine learning. This helps speed up the process from data discovery to model deployment, and helps users uncover new insights that were previously hidden to them.

“We are at an inflection point with data and analytics,” said Bob Picciano, senior vice president, IBM Analytics. “We know that clients spend up to 80 percent of their time on data preparation, no matter the task, even when they are preparing to take advantage of today’s advanced AI and machine learning approaches. Project DataWorks helps transform this challenge by tapping into cognitive capabilities to integrate all data sources on one common platform, enabling individuals to get the data ready for insight and action, faster than ever before.”

The new platform was designed with the same proven approach used by The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to help users gain insights that impact everyday decision-making for both businesses and consumers. This includes a flexible data architecture, rapid ingestion of multiple data sources, and internet-scale data and analytics.

Dimagi, KollaCode LLC, nViso, Quetzal, RSG Media, Runkeeper, and Tabtor Math are already tapping into the benefits of Project DataWorks.

"Runkeeper, now part of the ASICS family, is committed to providing a highly personalized experience for each of our 50 million global users to help them achieve their fitness goals," said Jason Jacobs, founder, Runkeeper. "Project DataWorks offers a comprehensive cloud-based data and analytics platform that provides the perfect environment for us to experiment with and roll out new offerings for our users."

RSG Media, a global leader in delivering analytical software and services to the world's leading media and entertainment companies, is using Project DataWorks to perform analytics across a mountain of first- and third-party data sets. These include monitoring cross-platform content and advertising viewership, and identifying individual viewing behaviors while cross-analyzing demographic, lifestyle and social insights. With the entire industry facing huge uncertainty in decoding audience behaviors, RSG Media has helped its clients gain greater insights on audience preferences and develop optimized programming schedules. In one scenario, this resulted in a lift of $50 million to a single network’s bottom line.

“We realized that we needed more than just a cloud infrastructure provider. We needed a partner to help us manage data on an unprecedented scale, and empower our clients to turn that data into insight,” said Mukesh Sehgal, founder and chief executive officer, RSG Media. “IBM is the only cloud vendor who offers an integrated set of capabilities for building advanced analytics applications that would allow us to quickly and cost-effectively bring new offerings to market."

IBM will also enable business partners to certify their offerings within Project DataWorks, providing customers with greater choice to use the latest open source technologies and third-party offerings.

Building a Blueprint for a Data-Driven Culture

IBM today is also announcing the DataFirst Method to help clients derive the full benefits of these innovations. The IBM DataFirst Method is a methodology that enables organizations to assess the skills and roadmap needed to transform into a cognitive business that is driven by insight and gains the most value from data.

With the amount of data that is produced doubling every two years, enterprises are struggling with how to continually increase the value they get from it. They need a clear roadmap that shows them how to progress in their use of data. Using the IBM DataFirst Method, IBM’s more than 2,000 global practitioners can utilize proven practices and methods to help clients transform their processes for data discovery, handling and analytics.

For more information, please visit:

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These six plant extracts could delay aging

Friday, 30 September 2016 by System Administrator

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These six plant extracts could delay aging

September 16, 2016


Several nutrient- and energy-sensing signaling pathways and protein kinases converge into a network that defines the rate of yeast chronological aging (credit: Vicky Lutchman et al./Oncotarget)

Six previously identified plant extracts can delay aging by affecting different signaling pathways that set the pace of growing old, researchers from Concordia University and Idunn Technologies have found, in a study recently published (open-access) in Oncotarget.

Using yeast — a favored cellular aging model — Vladimir Titorenko, a biology professor and the study’s senior author, and his colleagues conducted a screen of a library of 35 different plant extracts (PEs) to determine those that can extend yeast chronological lifespan. To do that, they monitored how the information flowing through signaling pathways was affected. They identified six aging-delaying plant extracts: Cimicifuga racemosa, Valeriana officinalis L., Passiflora incarnata L., Ginkgo biloba, Apium graveolens L., and “particularly effective”: Salix alba, commonly known as white willow bark.

Anti-aging pathways

At a cellular level, aging progresses similarly in yeast and humans. In both, the pace of aging is defined by a distinct set of chemical reactions arranged into several “signaling pathways” that regulate the rate of aging in a wide range of organisms.

“It’s known that some of these signaling pathways delay aging if activated in response to certain nutrients or hormones,” Titorenko says. “These pathways are called ‘anti-aging’ or ‘pro-longevity’ pathways. Other signaling pathways speed up aging if activated in response to certain other nutrients or hormones. These pathways are called ’pro-aging’ or ‘pro-death’ pathways.” Each of the six aging-delaying plant extracts targets a different anti-aging or pro-aging signaling pathway.

The study revealed several features of the six plant extracts as potential tools in decelerating chronic symptoms and diseases of old age:

  • They imitate the aging-delaying effects of the caloric restriction diet in yeast
  • They slow yeast aging by eliciting a mild stress response
  • They extend yeast longevity more efficiently than any lifespan-prolonging chemical compound yet described
  • They delay aging through signaling pathways implicated in age-related diseases
  • One of them delays aging via a previously unknown pathway
  • They extend longevity and delay the onset of age-related diseases in organisms other than yeast

Health Canada classifies the six plant extracts as safe for human consumption, and recommends five of them as health-improving supplements with clinically proven benefits.

The study was supported by grants from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies.

UPDATE Sept. 19, 2016: the six aging-delaying plant extracts’ names added.

Abstract of Six plant extracts delay yeast chronological aging through different signaling pathways

Our recent study has revealed six plant extracts that slow yeast chronological aging more efficiently than any chemical compound yet described. The rate of aging in yeast is controlled by an evolutionarily conserved network of integrated signaling pathways and protein kinases. Here, we assessed how single-gene-deletion mutations eliminating each of these pathways and kinases affect the aging-delaying efficiencies of the six plant extracts. Our findings imply that these extracts slow aging in the following ways: 1) plant extract 4 decreases the efficiency with which the pro-aging TORC1 pathway inhibits the anti-aging SNF1 pathway; 2) plant extract 5 mitigates two different branches of the pro-aging PKA pathway; 3) plant extract 6 coordinates processes that are not assimilated into the network of presently known signaling pathways/protein kinases; 4) plant extract 8 diminishes the inhibitory action of PKA on SNF1; 5) plant extract 12 intensifies the anti-aging protein kinase Rim15; and 6) plant extract 21 inhibits a form of the pro-aging protein kinase Sch9 that is activated by the pro-aging PKH1/2 pathway.


Topics: Biomed/Longevity


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CI Election Results 2016

Monday, 12 September 2016 by System Administrator




CI Election Results 2016

Debbie Fleming (Incumbent) elected 105 votes

Marta Sandberg (Incumbent) elected 104 votes

Kevin Doyle (New) elected 103 votes

Alan Mole (Incumbent) elected 63 votes

Incumbent John Strickland was not elected 55 votes

Challenger Phillipe Vitu was not elected 56 votes


Congratulations to those who have been selected to lead CI and represent our membership. It is an important responsibility and I commend those who have taken the time to volunteer their time and efforts to make CI and cryonics a success.

For those of you who were not selected, I commend you as well for having the bravery to step up to the plate and offer your time. Just because you were not selected does not mean you or anyone else who is not a director cannot still be of great help to the cause. There is always a lot of work to be done at CI. We are always looking for volunteers to work on projects and pitch new ideas. Understand that if you have great ideas you may be selected to put in the time and effort to head up those projects. Cryonics is not just about new ideas but about who will put in the work or money to realize those ideas. It is a labor of love though and many members are very proud of the direction we are heading. That direction came not just from directors but, in many cases, volunteer members who take pride in CI and the cryonics cause.

Congratulations again to all of our Directors, sincere thanks to our nominees and thanks especially to you, our members. Your input matters, and it is your vote that decides the direction CI takes today and into the future.

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