- Biotech just saw a generational breakthrough…
- Digital collectibles are the next hot market…
- The bearish case for Intel keeps getting stronger…
Unless you live in certain parts of California, or you have to go to a doctor or hospital, things have pretty much returned to normal in the U.S.
Yet despite the mounting scientific research that continues to present data and evidence to support a complete return to normal, parts of the government and medical establishment seem to want to keep the panic party alive.
Case in point, peer-reviewed research published a few days ago out of U.S.C. and UCLA presented very useful results. The purpose of the research was to determine the protective effect of a previous COVID-19 infection versus that provided by vaccination. The results were interesting, to say the least.
The research involved 4,313 individuals who had not received the vaccine or COVID-19, 254 who had already contracted COVID-19 and recovered, and 739 who had not had COVID-19 but had received the vaccine.
Four of the 739 who received the vaccine caught COVID-19
254 of the non-vaccinated 4,313 people caught COVID-19
Not a single person who had already had COVID-19 got sick again
The conclusion of the research was the previous SARS-CoV-2 infection was clearly associated with a decreased risk for infection. In fact, that was the cohort that fared the best. This was proven by the group of 254 people previously infected that did not present a single infection.
And yet, the CDC refused to even comment on the scientific research.
Furthermore, the CDC still insists that those who have already recovered from COVID-19 still be vaccinated. Many states, corporations, and school districts feel the same way. Some are even going so far as to mandate or require that all do so. This is absolute lunacy and makes no sense whatsoever.
It is even more perplexing considering the growing body of scientific research that has already demonstrated that those who have contracted COVID-19 have immunity that is at least as strong as anything conferred by a vaccine – and natural exposure provides longer-lasting immunity.
Sadly, this peer-reviewed scientific research is best case simply being ignored… And worst case being censored and banned from social media channels and mainstream media.
The powers that be simply do not understand that this kind of obfuscation of information creates distrust and division with public health experts. Objectivity, logic, and transparency are absolutely critical to the advancement of science; something that we have found ourselves remarkably short on over the last 18 months.
This will create a “golden age” for biotechnology…
AlphaFold has just been unleashed upon the biotechnology industry. I’m not kidding when I say that this changes everything.
We first talked about AlphaFold back in December. Created by Google’s artificial intelligence (AI) subsidiary DeepMind, AlphaFold is software that can accurately predict the folding of a protein, based solely on its amino acid sequence, with 92.4% accuracy.
As a reminder, proteins are long chains of amino acids. They are responsible for every function a living organism’s body performs. It’s not an exaggeration to say that proteins are the building blocks for life.
And a protein’s structure tells us how it will impact living organisms, including humans. The structure also determines what other compounds (such as pharmaceuticals) the protein can bind to. With this information, we can design the perfect biopharma therapies for any possible ailment.
However, proteins fold in very complex ways. This often makes a protein’s structure hard to analyze. Drug design has remained largely a manual, trial-and-error process for this reason.
AlphaFold will change that.
But the big knock on AlphaFold was that DeepMind did not release the source code. It’s been a black box ever since that announcement in December.
That means nobody else in the industry could fully understand and employ the technology. It was one thing to see the results as presented by DeepMind, but another to not be able to look behind the curtain. This led to some skepticism.
So a protein design group from the University of Washington decided to press the issue. This group set out to recreate the design of AlphaFold using the information that was available to it. And it was successful, to an extent.
This protein design group just published the results from its own AI software a few weeks ago. The performance wasn’t nearly as good as AlphaFold, but it was better than nothing.
And here’s the important part – they published the software’s underlying code. That made it available to anyone who wanted to use it.
In response, DeepMind just published the source code to AlphaFold2 – the second generation of its AI software. And that means the entire biotech industry can begin using it immediately.
I’ve been following this story closely, and I can tell you that the industry is on fire right now thanks to this. Insiders see this as a generational breakthrough.
There’s no doubt that AlphaFold2 will radically accelerate the drug discovery and development process. And it will help design therapies for diseases that have been untreatable up to this point.
As regular readers know, I’ve been extremely excited about the convergence of AI and biotechnology. And this development just kicked my excitement into hyper-drive.
We stand on the cusp of a new golden age for the biotech industry… And indeed, for humanity. I’m more confident than ever that we will cure all human disease of genetic origin within the next decade or two.
Naturally, incredible investment gains will accompany this progress. And if any readers would like to learn how to invest in this convergence right now, then simply go right here for the details.
More proof that NFTs are on the rise…
Paris-based digital collectibles platform Sorare just raised an incredible $532 million in an early stage funding round. This would be an unbelievable raise for any early stage company, but in this case, it was for a company focused on emerging technology such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). That made the raise that much more incredible.
As a reminder, NFTs are digital collectibles. They allow us to cryptographically secure and authenticate unique assets or data on a blockchain. And Sorare focuses on creating NFTs around European football (soccer) players. It has struck some key deals with the top European club teams.
And get this – the company had just raised over $48 million in its Series A round back in February. That’s a strong Series A raise, and it valued the company at about $252 million. There’s no question the raise gave Sorare plenty of cash runway. It didn’t need to raise money again so quickly.
The fact that Sorare went back to the well and raked in another $532 million tells us that private capital is knocking down the door to get exposure to NFTs. And with this latest round, Sorare is now valued at $3.8 billion. That means its value has increased over 14X since February. That’s incredible.
What’s more, Sorare is now loaded with so much capital that there will be no constraints whatsoever on the growth of its platform. I’m very interested to see where the company goes from here.
Bigger picture, this is just more proof that NFTs are becoming accepted as the next generation of the collectibles industry. We’re watching the formation of the digital collectibles market, and it’s happening faster than anyone would have guessed.
And we are working hard behind the scenes here at Brownstone Research to develop ways for normal investors to gain exposure to this trend. Readers can expect to hear more about this in the coming weeks.
Intel’s latest misstep will have strong investment implications…
Semiconductor giant Intel is making a run at acquiring GlobalFoundries. This is a large semiconductor manufacturer – a foundry company – with an interesting history.
GlobalFoundries was spun out of Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) back in 2008. AMD made this move to shift toward a “fabless” business model, where it would pay contract manufacturers to make its semiconductors rather than fabricating its own.
This has the benefit of improving gross margins and profitability due to the lack of operational expenses and capital expenditures associated with semiconductor manufacturing.
Then, GlobalFoundries combined with IBM’s manufacturing division. And it followed that up by merging with another contract manufacturer called Chartered Semiconductor.
As a result, GlobalFoundries became a hodge-podge of divisions with disparate lines of semiconductor manufacturing technologies. And it never found the right operating model to become a major success.
Today, GlobalFoundries is only responsible for about 7% of the global foundry business. In comparison, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (TSMC) holds a 54% global market share in the industry. And Samsung’s market share is about 17%.
So GlobalFoundries is rather insignificant in the big scheme of things. Yet, Intel is gearing up to buy the company for about $30 billion. This would be Intel’s largest acquisition in history.
And it gets worse…
AMD is one of GlobalFoundries’ largest customers. And AMD also happens to be one of Intel’s primary competitors in the semiconductor industry, specifically with Intel’s most valuable division that manufactures CPUs for servers. That being the case, do we think AMD will stick around if Intel becomes the boss?
AMD already contracts with TSMC for a large part of its manufacturing needs. If this acquisition goes through, I’m sure AMD will move the rest of its business to TSMC or another non-competitive foundry. That would make GlobalFoundries even less relevant and valuable than it is today.
So I see this as a silly move by Intel. In fact, it strikes me as desperate.
Intel’s new CEO just recently announced yet another delay with Intel’s core server product. That’s a big embarrassment for a new executive who promised to turn things around.
It looks to me like the acquisition of GlobalFoundries may be an attempt to distract the market from Intel’s ongoing struggles. That, of course, is not a solution at all.
From an investment perspective, this move is very bullish for both TSMC and AMD. And it makes the bearish case for Intel that much stronger.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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