- Exponential growth in genome sequencing…
- Tesla will roll out 100% self-driving cars by the end of the year…
- CRISPR could solve the opioid crisis…
Don’t forget to set aside some time for our Timed Stocks: Final Countdown event tomorrow evening at 8 p.m. ET.
At this special event, I’m going to pull back the curtain on a small subset of stocks that go public with a timer attached to their share prices.
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Now, some readers may realize that I am talking about biotechnology stocks here. And you are right.
But what we are going to talk about tomorrow night is a special class of biotech stocks that typically fly under the radar. That’s largely because these stocks are too small for the institutions to invest in them. Wall Street pays very little attention to them for that reason.
They go public early in their life cycles, while they are still micro-cap and small-cap companies. This is a rare anomaly in the world of technology, as venture capital and private equity firms go to great lengths to keep the most promising tech firms private as long as possible in order to keep the lion’s share of profits to themselves.
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I stumbled on “Timed Stocks” while doing intense research into secondary markets, private placements, and initial public offerings (IPOs) back in 2014.
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I went on to spend five years developing a system for identifying and trading these “Timed Stocks.” My goal was to create a platform that would enable normal investors to reap venture capital-like gains in the public markets.
After all, big money and big deals happen all the time in the world of tech investing. But so often these deals are reserved for the venture capitalists and the insiders.
For the last decade, these insiders have kept the best tech companies private for as long as possible, reserving the most explosive growth for themselves. Then, when they have squeezed out most of the gains, they take the company public and dump their shares on unsuspecting investors. It’s a racket. Except it’s 100% legal.
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So if you’ve enjoyed The Bleeding Edge, and perhaps my other research products, please join me tomorrow evening. I will unveil my “Timed Stocks” research and talk about my system for trading these companies.
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Please go right here to reserve your spot tomorrow night. I hope to see you there.
Now let’s turn to today’s insights…
This convergence of technologies is accelerating drug development…
We’ll start today with a breakthrough involving several different technologies.
NVIDIA – the most valuable semiconductor company in the world – just teamed up with a research team at Harvard.
Their goal was to use artificial intelligence (AI) software running on NVIDIA’s graphics processing units (GPU) to sequence the whole genome of rare cells. These are cells that are sparse throughout the body, making them difficult to sequence with traditional methods.
This is a great example of the convergence of technologies. We have AI software, NVIDIA’s GPU hardware, and genome sequencing technology each being deployed in tandem to tackle a complex task.
And get this – the team was able to sequence the whole genome of these rare cells in just under 30 minutes using artificial intelligence running on NVIDIA’s hardware. Previously, it took 15 hours and a large computing system running 32 central processing units to accomplish the same task.
So the team was able to do complex genome sequencing in a fraction of the time with a smaller, less expensive computing system at a fraction of the cost. That’s the power of these technologies coming together.
Just 10 years ago, it used to take days to sequence a whole genome. And 10 years before that, whole genome sequencing took years to complete.
We have gone from years, months, and days to 30 minutes – all in just two decades. That’s an exponential decline in the time it takes to sequence a whole genome. And it’s ultimately an exponential decline in cost.
This is especially important because it opens the door to sequencing genomes with a relatively small sample size. By working with rare cells, the team demonstrated that this approach could sequence the whole genome with about 10 times fewer cells than traditional methods require.
This gives scientists a tool they can use when they don’t have a large sample size of cells to work with. And that will greatly accelerate the development of rare cell therapies.
What’s more, NVIDIA made this AI software available on its website. Anyone who wants to work with it can simply download it for free. This is something that the entire scientific community can start using immediately.
We may ask… Why would NVIDIA just give away such powerful software?
Well, this is a standard practice in the AI industry. Much of the research available on AI has been made open source and available to all.
And of course, the AI was designed to run on Nvidia’s GPUs. Anyone who wants to run it will need to buy NVIDIA’s hardware to get the optimum performance.
Smart technology companies understand how building critical tools and making those tools available to the community will ultimately drive future sales in their software and hardware products.
So this is a fantastic example of how the blending of technologies can accelerate technological development and solve complex problems.
And there’s one thing for us to keep in mind.
These kinds of breakthroughs are happening now on a monthly basis. I remember a few years back when we just had a handful every year. I can see and feel the rate of technological advancement accelerating.
Next year, we’ll probably see major breakthroughs every week. It’s almost hard to imagine what kind of opportunities these will bring…
But if I know one thing…. Here at The Bleeding Edge, we’ll be ready.
Checking back in on Tesla’s fully self-driving software…
We talked about the launch of Tesla’s fully self-driving (FSD) software beta back in October. That was when the company rolled out a brand-new artificial intelligence software architecture.
This was a complete scrap and rebuild. Tesla took all the knowledge it had gained from billions of miles worth of Autopilot data and used it to build a new AI from scratch. Then it released this new AI to about 1,000 of its best customers who agreed to test it out and provide feedback on it.
And as we have come to expect, Tesla’s approach is unique in the industry.
Most other players in the space build their self-driving software to work from very detailed maps of a geofenced area. The AI learns every intersection, every stop light, every curve, and all other logistical features of a given area. Then it drives the car using this knowledge. Of course, that model only works in the prescribed area.
In contrast, Tesla’s FSD software makes decisions on the fly. Because it has been trained on billions of miles of self-driving data, the AI can infer the right response to any given situation on the road in real time.
This allows Tesla drivers to utilize FSD mode pretty much anywhere. They are not constrained by a small geofenced area.
And early results indicate that the new AI is working well in the beta testing. That’s allowing Tesla to expand the program.
CEO Elon Musk just announced that Tesla is going to double enrollment for the FSD beta with the upcoming release of version 8.2 of the software. This will allow another 1,000 people to test the new AI on the road, feeding all their driving data back to Tesla in the process.
Tesla will learn from this data, optimize the AI, and then roll out version 8.3 weeks later. And get this – Musk said Tesla plans to increase enrollment by 10x once that version goes live. That means roughly 20,000 people will be using Tesla’s fully self-driving software by summer. Incredible.
And of course, all that driving data will be fed back to Tesla to make the AI even better. That’s going to accelerate the development of Tesla’s FSD technology exponentially.
As a result, Musk expects that Tesla can enable Level 5 self-driving technology for all drivers before the end of the year. Level 5 refers to fully autonomous driving – never touching the wheel from the time you enter the car to the time you exit.
For perspective, that’s just nine months away. Meanwhile, the rest of the industry has been telling us that we are years away from Level 5.
Just by monitoring the pace of development at Tesla, we can infer how rapidly the company is making progress toward its goal. This is the technological equivalent of reading the tea leaves.
Tesla’s progress got me so excited, I had to test out a recent version of its self-driving software for myself earlier this year. Have a look:
As you can see, I learned to trust the technology. What’s more, I also uncovered what Musk has secretly been working on behind the scenes… and it’s shocking.
In fact, I put together an entire presentation around what I discovered. Readers who are interested can find that presentation right here.
Yet another application for CRISPR…
We’ll wrap up today with yet another breakthrough from the world of CRISPR genetic editing technology. It seems like we are getting new developments around CRISPR every other week now.
For the sake of newer readers, CRISPR is like software programming for DNA. It allows us to “edit” genetic mutations that cause many diseases. Ultimately, CRISPR will help us cure all human disease of genetic origin.
And it turns out, the technology has many other functional applications as well.
As for the latest breakthrough, researchers have found a way to use CRISPR to treat chronic pain. It turns out that CRISPR may in fact be the solution to the opioid crisis.
For readers who may not be familiar with the ongoing crisis, it is estimated that almost 10 million people abuse prescription pain relievers each year. This leads to overdoses, hospitalizations, and even death.
In fact, the latest data shows that nearly 47,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2018 alone. It’s tragic. And this is largely happening because prescription-strength pain relievers are so addictive.
Here’s how CRISPR may provide the solution…
This research team identified a key gene that causes the body to feel pain. Then the team developed a CRISPR therapy designed to temporarily suppress that gene. In the lab, this is called “muting” the gene.
To test the therapy, the team injected it into a group of mice. Then they gave the mice chemotherapy treatment, which we know causes chronic pain. The idea was that if the CRISPR therapy works, the mice would show no signs of pain.
And sure enough, that’s what happened. Some of the mice went an incredible 44 weeks without exhibiting signs of pain.
What’s interesting here is that the therapy did not alter the DNA of the mice at all. It just temporarily muted one gene, which prevented the mice from feeling pain. Remarkable.
Of course, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires lengthy preclinical testing before any therapy can be administered to humans. So we can’t be sure that this approach will work for us as well.
That said, our bodies work in much the same way as mice. And we also have a key gene associated with pain. So this is quite promising.
Imagine being able to take one shot right before undergoing surgery or a painful medical treatment like chemotherapy, and then being pain-free for several months as our bodies recover.
That would eliminate the need for pain medication like opioids, which are incredibly addictive and impair our ability to function normally. It’s the perfect solution.
I will certainly track this therapy closely going forward. I’m excited to see if a new company is spun out to advance it through the clinical trial process.
Editor, The Bleeding Edge
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