The 36th annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, happening in San Francisco, has become the Burning Man of biotechnology.
It’s no longer the under-the-radar West Coast pilgrimage of eclectic pioneers gathering to have brief encounters with interesting people, share insights about drugs, and behold a blossoming movement. Like Burning Man, the Conference in 2018 is mainstream. At least Jamie Dimon, the keynote speaker, won’t be wearing a pink tutu.
With success comes congestion—those who have been to both agree that Burning Man is the lesser fire hazard. In the gridlocked corridors, old-timers small-talk about the way things used to be. Nostalgia reigns, and so does the status game among attendees as to what year they lost their Conference virginity (mine was the same year I went to my first Burning Man).
Reflections on Burning Man
Hiding In Plain Sight is a collection of essays that I have written on investing, healthcare, and life.
A Little Experiment
For the sake of experiment, read the next sentence once, while counting the number of “f”s that you see.
“Five-winged flies are the result of years of scientific study combined with the experience of many years.”
Most likely, you counted an “f” in each of the more vibrant words of the sentence: “five,” “flies” and “scientific.” Most people only see these three “f”s, when in fact there are six. The other “f”s are hidden in the unassuming preposition “of”. Your mind probably skipped over each “of” because it processed these words without absorbing the raw information of the letters that composed them.
Ethylene is a gaseous hydrocarbon with the molecular structure C2H4. It is commonly produced when hydrocarbons are exposed to oxidative stress, such as that found during lightning, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and photochemical reactions on the ocean surface. Plants coopted ethylene biosynthesis during evolution to manage their response to oxidative stress from biotic and abiotic sources. Further exaptations of ethylene include modulation of plant life history events such as development, transformation, senescence, and death.
Due to a number of factors described below, humans may be subject to increasing ethylene exposure. The potential health consequences of ethylene exposure are not part of the public consciousness and warrant further exploration.