A Public Talk on Quantitative Biology and Cancer Research

Business of Biotech: The Bathtub Mechanism (Cancer Research) by John McGowan Ph.D.

When: 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
Where: BioCurious, 845 Stewart Drive, Suite C, Sunnyvale, CA, United States (Silicon Valley)
Price: $20.00 (US Dollars)


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. If deaths from heart disease continue to decline, cancer is likely to become the leading cause of death in the future. It is likely between one in four and one in three readers will die from cancer if current trends continue.

Cancer is thought to be caused by the accumulation of dozens of mutations of cancer genes or “oncogenes” and tumor suppressor genes discovered in the last forty years. This confusing plethora of cancer genes and the genetic instability that enables cancer cells to adapt to known anti-cancer drugs presents apparently intractable problems for current approaches for the cure or effective treatment of most cancers.

In this presentation, Dr. McGowan discusses possible methods to use systems of “smart drugs” that perform logical or mathematical calculations inside cells and selectively kill cancer cells using qualitative features of cancer cells independent of individual oncogenes and oncoproteins. He will discuss the technical feasibility assessment of the Bathtub Mechanism, a relatively simple system of three to twelve drugs that may be able to selectively kill cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes, a common characteristic of many cancer cells. He will discuss the technical feasibility assessment of this concept using computer simulations of cell chemistry and laboratory models such as yeast. He will discuss the prospects for an open-source and/or Internet-assisted collaboration of specialists in various areas both to assess the technical feasibility of the concept — and other similar concepts — and even to actually implement the concept.

Following are some articles of Dr. McGowan’s on the subject:


Official Link (to reserve a spot):


© 2012 John F. McGowan

About the Author

John F. McGowan, Ph.D. solves problems using mathematics and mathematical software, including developing video compression and speech recognition technologies. He has extensive experience developing software in C, C++, Visual Basic, Mathematica, MATLAB, and many other programming languages. He is probably best known for his AVI Overview, an Internet FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) on the Microsoft AVI (Audio Video Interleave) file format. He has worked as a contractor at NASA Ames Research Center involved in the research and development of image and video processing algorithms and technology. He has published articles on the origin and evolution of life, the exploration of Mars (anticipating the discovery of methane on Mars), and cheap access to space. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in physics from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He can be reached at [email protected].

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