Change: Executive Summary

created on June 22, 2013, 10:23 p.m. by Hevok & updated on June 23, 2013, 12:36 a.m. by Hevok

A Framework for Open Distributed Research on Aging

================================================== Denigma, the Digital Decipher Machine ==================================================

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The Problem

Aging kills 150 000 people a day, much more than any other diseases combined. Discovery of a cure for this disease is one of the major challenges of humankind. Unfortunately, with over three hundred theories competing each other other ageing research is rather chaotic and there is no place for integration of diverse knowledge on any level. Aging researchers do not have means for comprehensive analysis of human biology on various levels simultaneously: datasets are not linked, metadata of different datasets do not match, solving of problems require a significant amount of both information technology and biological knowledge.

The Solution

We started Denigma project that aims to fill this gap by providing a unified knowledge base, normalization of datasets, providing services for aging research both from and outside academia. These tools would allow smooth formation of interdisciplinary research teams and data analysis, fragmentation of aging problems, and delivering small problems for the public to solve. Hence, this will speed up aging research and further develop communities fighting with aging.

The Objectives

Our objectives for a year is to (i) develop a knowledge base for data analysis on aging with a focus on lifespan interventions, (ii) identify and normalize the related datasets, and (iii) use the crowd and aging researchers to form open teams which deliver valid scientific results.

The Benefits

Simplify and speed up data analysis. Having the knowledge base and normalized datasets would significantly decrease data preparation stage, the same interfaces would be used to access data from different datasets.

Enrich data analysis. The knowledge base and normalized datasets would allow to work with multiple datasets from various disciplines simultaneously.

Boost idea generation. Involvement of people both from and outside of academia having different backgrounds and working together will produce larger number of ideas.

Speed up evolution of aging theories. With our framework only good integrated and well-supported theories will survive and mature.

Accelerate aging research. The knowledge base and fragmentation of problems would speed up the overall process of aging research and the identification of novel effective therapeutics.

The Team

This project is a fusion of information technology, biology and crowdsourcing and therefore requires the following skills: software development, semantic web and advanced data analytics, biological sciences and networking with longevity communities. Our team has the full skill-set:

  • Daniel Wuttke, PhD candidate: biochemistry, biology, molecular medicine, genomics, programming, and networking. Currently, Daniel researches at the Integrative Genomics of Ageing Group, University of Liverpool (UK) on the "Modulation of the Ageing process by Diet", is external member of the Institute for Biostatistics and Informatics in Medicine and Ageing Research, University of Rostock (Germany), is one of the leaders of the International Longevity Alliance (ILA) and initiator of Denigma.
  • Anton Kulaga: programming, data visualization, and networking. Currently, Anton is the founder of H+Ukraine and one of the leaders of ILA as well as a core developer of Denigma.
  • Vadim Bartko: back-end development, natural language processing, data-mining. Currently, Vadim works as a Senior Java Developer on BigData and High Load systems.
  • Dmitry Borisoglebsky, PhD: systems analysis, team lead, semantic web. Currently, Dmitry leads the development of advanced semantic scripts in a Semantic Web application for software development and assists the Product Manager with systems analysis.

The Finance

To bootstrap this endeavour we would need $300k to ensure that four core developers within our initiative can work full time on it for one year and cover the essential costs for the infrastructure, involvement of external experts and promotion in order to initialize a sustainable framework for Open Distributed Science of Aging Research.

About Denigma

Solving aging requires the construct a Digital Decipher Machine to help creating a crowdsourced web intelligence capable of reverse-engineering the aging process. We initialized the construction of Denigma in order to structure the available data in such a way that aging research can be distributed and the knowledge becomes amenable to global computing and reasoning by machine algorithms.

The achievements of this project so far are the following:

  1. Denigma, a crowd-sourced enabled, editable, changeable, and programmable digital device.
  2. Lifespan data repository
  3. Nomad, a scalable web-crawler
  4. FireFly, an academic article management system
  5. Real-time (semantic) tasks and chats as well as video
  6. Graph visualizations of data, 3D visualizations of molecules, and lifespan charts
  7. Establishment of long-term collaborations with dotzens of longevity communities
  8. Destiny with an collaborative document/ontology editor
  9. Lightweight ontology build with data units
  10. Full fledged OWL ontologies

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