Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

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thoreau
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Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by thoreau » 19 Oct 2015, 11:00

The bad news continues to come in:
After visiting the hematology lab at Stanford University, Gassée went to a Walgreens store to try out the Theranos method. The results he received were significantly different than what he saw at Stanford.

Gassée continued his experiment by returning to both locations the next day to test his blood. The Stanford results had changed, but not significantly so. The Theranos results, on the other hand, were strikingly different from both the Stanford results and the previous day’s Theranos results.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 19 Oct 2015, 22:46

I do wonder if they ever secured freedom to operate for any useful methods/device designs. Their patents are vague to the point of being completely valueless, and there are a huge number of patents of microfluidic/lab-on-chip/chemical detection systems.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by Warren » 19 Oct 2015, 23:46

I'm wondering why we're still talking about it and is there some reason I should care. Another biotech startup oversold the goods, got caught and is now circling the drain. Doesn't that happen every week?
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by thoreau » 20 Oct 2015, 00:38

Not to the tune of a $9 billion valuation with former Cabinet Secretaries on the Board and this massive level of hype.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by Warren » 20 Oct 2015, 01:50

Color me unimpressed.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by thoreau » 20 Oct 2015, 02:00

So now we're at the point of the Gryllularity: Why are we talking about this? We aren't directly involved and there's a market that can sort it out.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 02:07

This normally when one uses "That's nice, Warren."
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 02:50

dbcooper wrote:This normally when one uses "That's nice, Warren."
Where's the fun in being that diplomatic?
Warren, if you're not interested in the topic, no one is holding a gun to your head (unfortunately). Feel free to excuse yourself from the thread, and bugger off.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 19:20

Bill Maris: Here's why Google Ventures didn't invest in Theranos
Maris tells Business Insider that his firm decided to pass on investing in biotech startup Theranos back in 2013, even though it invests in many health and life sciences companies like 23andMe and Flatiron Health, because it had questions about the company’s technology.

“We looked at it a couple times but there was so much hand-waving — like, Look over here! — that we couldn’t figure it out,” Maris tells Business Insider. “So, we just had someone from our Life Science team go into Walgreens and take the test. And it wasn’t that difficult for anyone to determine that things may not be what they seem here.”

That employee found that when he went to get a test done, Theranos wanted more than just a drop of blood in one of its “nanotainers.” He denied a full venous blood draw, and ended up getting called back a week later because they wanted him to give more blood.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 19:38

Marc Andreesen provides a great example of why IT people should never comment on actual science. What a fucking idiot.

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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 19:40

Google and Bill Maris, you are hereby awarded one clip of "smart, smart, smart" from the episode of South Park explaining the origin of Mormonism. Actual investors get one clip of "dumb, dumb, dumb" apiece.

It's too bad, that kind of technology would be really useful. Eventually we'll have it.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 19:44

dbcooper wrote:Marc Andreesen provides a great example of why IT people should never comment on actual science. What a fucking idiot.

You have to admit, pre publication peer review isn't a panacea. I'm not saying get rid of it, however, I'm saying what can we do to improve it and also not to oversell it.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 19:46

Yeah, but he's citing that paper to hand-wave away any concerns about a company that hasn't published any data. Of note is that the paper was written by one of Thernos's most prominent critics.

He's basically saying "making claims out of thin air is fine because taking a peer reviewed paper at face value isn't perfect". i.e. He's a giant fucking retard.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 19:48

I'm not surprised it exists, but I admit that I am surprised it's commercially available. Are they not widely used? Why do clinics still draw relatively large blood volumes?
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 19:53

Better quality blood (dilutes any tissue plug effects etc), less chance of surface effects, less chance of coagulation effects, eliminates need for recalling the customer for drawing more blood (less inconvenience and less cost).

Most of the devices specify venipuncture blood, as finger draws have quality problems. Normal testing is done with small volumes per test already.

As far as the "nanotainer" bullshit goes (it's a fucking tube!), see long standing small volume containers for blood such as BD's "Microtainer" range.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 19:54

Some background: I helped a friend design a microfluidic device for platelet characterisation, and the first thing he told me was that only a vein was suitable for drawing blood for platelets. He had to take a phlebotomy course just for the blood for testing prototypes.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 20:11

Very cool.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 20 Oct 2015, 21:21

Phlebotomy is a great word. I would be a phlebotomist were the pay better.

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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 21:25

+1
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by Mo » 20 Oct 2015, 21:36

Also, if you think of a blood draw as a survey of what your blood looks like a larger sample is going to be better than a smaller one. The likelihood of a single drop of blood being representative of your whole bloodstream is pretty small.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 21:40

Fin Fang Foom wrote:Phlebotomy is a great word. I would be a phlebotomist were the pay better.
It is a fun word to say. You could be a phlebotomist to the stars. That probably pays well.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 21:43

Mo wrote:Also, if you think of a blood draw as a survey of what your blood looks like a larger sample is going to be better than a smaller one. The likelihood of a single drop of blood being representative of your whole bloodstream is pretty small.
Obviously, but that's not what the tech is being sold as, on more than one level.
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by dbcooper » 20 Oct 2015, 21:52

the innominate one wrote:
Mo wrote:Also, if you think of a blood draw as a survey of what your blood looks like a larger sample is going to be better than a smaller one. The likelihood of a single drop of blood being representative of your whole bloodstream is pretty small.
Obviously, but that's not what the tech is being sold as, on more than one level.
?
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Re: Sexy Steve Jobs Costume: The Theranos Thread

Post by the innominate one » 20 Oct 2015, 22:01

Is the tech claiming that blood is uniform in all respects throughout the circulatory system? That would be obviously false. Oxygen levels, nitrogenous wastes, pH, etc. aren't uniform throughout.
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