Rule Breaker hosted a Biotech-related chat last night and beforehand we asked some Fools, "What is the one thing that you believe most people don't know (or think about) regarding biotech, but should!?" Following are the answers of three Fools: [answers from Zeke Ashton, Bart Janssen, and Greg Carlin deleted, but original post is at: http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?id=1020007001460000&sort=postdate] -----Interesting. I too (along with Zeke, Bart, and Greg) was asked for my opinion on "the one thing...", and gave a prompt and (I thought) well-written, well-reasoned answer, for which I was thanked.However, my answer was never mentioned in either the chat or Jeff's post, which contains everyone else's answer. Yes, my reply was the only one of the four that TMF chose to ignore. I'm curious why. Did Dave Gardner quash it because of my criticisms (on another board) of his bullish-but-content-lite CRA rule-breaker articles? Was it because I specifically faulted the media for most investors' misunderstandings of biotech? (A recent independent study showed 85% of medical news reports inflated the importance of the findings or misrepresented the statistics.) Was it because of my recent bearishness on CRA?Seriously, Jeff. I'm really curious about why my answers were discarded. If they just plain sucked, tell me. Hey -- it's not my company. You can do what you want. But next time you want my input, you can PAY for it, like everybody else. I am a professional biology reseacher and bioinformatics/DNA microarray consultant, and my consulting fees are normally $200/hr. Plus, when companies want to send me to Japan to train their distributors in DNA microarray technology or Merck invites me out to talk, they PAY ME. (both are real invitations I've received in the last week or two; I turned Japan down).I have SERIOUS concerns about TMF staff's objectivity in regard to biotech stocks, and Celera Genomics in particular. TMF is a product of the recent years' phenomenal bull market; their strategies are NOT well proven. If they really want to stay around as a valid source of investing info, they need to insure that they act a little less like a bunch of college kids enjoying their internet company and a bull market and a little more like a responsible financial advise business.For the record: I enjoy participating on these boards, where I'm able to refine and get feedback on my thoughts, learn loads from other people, and generally be entertained. I wouldn't be here if I wasn't getting something out of it (investment education, fun, and yea -- the occasional ego stroke). But I am not about to become a TMF wench like poor ElricSeven, whom I greatly respect but seems so... so... indentured lately.For those who want to see it, here is the entire email exchange between TMF Jeff and I (my emails contain my anser to the above question):Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 17:25:04 -0400From: Jeff Fischer <JeffF@fool.com>To: Greg Carlin <GCarlin@fool.com>, Zeke Ashton <ZAshton@fool.com>, "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>, "'firstname.lastname@example.org'" <email@example.com>Subject: Biotech Chat Lead-in [The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set] [Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set] [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly]Greetings Greg, Zeke, Dave and Bart,As you may know, David and I are hosting a chat about Biotech on Mondaynight, and David had the wonderfully Foolish idea of asking each of you forquick input that we can use as lead-ins to topics during the chat. What wewould do is this: I'll ask you one question right now. If you agree toparticipate, you'll return your answer to me by Monday before noon or so.Then, in the chat (because Yahoo technology won't allow us to call you ontothe stage with us), spaced over the hour, we're going to share your answer(of course along with your name for credit if you agree to let us do that),and we'll use your thoughts as a starting point into a discussion. It'll belike this in the chat: "David Gardner: And here is what Greg Carlin, Fooland Soapbox writer, said in response to our question: "XXXXXXX". Now let'stalk about that."Got it? Simple enough? Cool!Now, the question is this (and we know this is difficult, but we're hopingyou can be very brief and answer in one paragraph):What is one thing that you believe most people don't know about biotech --and should know?Think about that for a while. In essence, we want to help teach people howto think about biotech, and how to think about investing in biotech. If thatquestion is too complex, please, share any thoughts you'd like to share forthis chat, in a single paragraph, and we'll use them in the chat to make itmore interactive, dynamic and interesting, and to give us topics and getyour name out there, too (if you so desire that).Thank you, Fools. We hope that you can send thoughts back to us by Monday,and ideally answer the question. :) Fool on!Jeff, and Jeff for DavidJeff FischerThe Motley Fool, Inc. (www.fool.com), to Educate, Amuse, EnrichPortfolio Manager (http://www.fool.com/strategies.htm)Stock Research Writer (http://www.fool.com/research/)Direct Investing Book(http://www.foolmart.com/market/product.asp?pfid=MF+017)Direct phone: 703.706.0439For dinner reservations, please call two days in advance.---------ate: Fri, 23 Jun 2000 16:32:39 -1300From: Dave Featherstone <FEATHERSTONE@BIOSEQ>To: Jeff Fischer <JeffF@fool.com>Subject: Re: Biotech Chat Lead-inHi Jeff,> What is one thing that you believe most people don't know about biotech --> and should know?>>> Think about that for a while. In essence, we want to help teach people how> to think about biotech, and how to think about investing in biotech. If thatActually, a method/process for 'thinking about biotech' is exactly thesubject of the soapbox article I'm working on, so I have thought a lot aboutthis lately. feel strongly that the answer is very clear. The problem has even beenhighlighted by the media lately, who admit to contributing to the problem.The major pitfall for biotech investors is hype.Progress in biotechnology, like many science-driven pursuits, is incrementaland even agonizingly slow compared to the rapid pace ofengineering-driven industry. This is particularly true for anythingmedical or food related, since these products must undergo drawn outclinical testing and/or regulatory approval. Individual researchers andcompanies rightfully celebrate milestones along the long road to a finalproduct, but often this progress is overinflated or (worse)misinterpreted by the media and latched on to by a hopeful public. Don'tget me wrong; I believe firmly that biotech is a sector whose earnings aregoing to increase exponentially, driven by recent advances in molecular physiology, genomics, and bioinformatics. But the wise investor willavoid the hype, and do careful research. Profits in biotech come thesame way as for any other business: The company has to provide a goodproduct or service and sell it to a lot of people. Investors shouldalways ask themselves "What are this company's products? Who are theyselling to? How much more are they likely to sell?" The ability to curecancer doesn't make a good company. The ability to SELL that cure does.----------Date: Sat, 24 Jun 2000 15:06:32 -1300From: Dave Featherstone <FEATHERSTONE@BIOSEQ>To: Jeff Fischer <JeffF@fool.com>Subject: Re: Biotech Chat Lead-inHi again Jeff,I notice the biotech chat will probably be steered toward Celera. Ithink it's important that sometime near the beginning of leading into adiscussion of Celera, that you guys make clear that Celera is really nota traditional biotech. The accurate term, of course, is'bioinformatics', a relatively new field which, in regard to business,should be considered alongside informations service/database/etc.companies, rather than 'normal' biotechs or pharmaceutical companies,which sell a bioengineered product -- a 'thing'. Celera is abio-information company. A service company, that (they hope) will beused by academic researchers, 'normal biotechs', and pharmaceutical companies. Calling Celera a biotech seems like lumping a hotel-cleaningservice in with the hotel industry. Certainly, their successes areconnected, but they are not the same.There is a lot of confusion about Celera's business plan, I think,displayed by both CRA bulls and bears. Basically, their biggest sourceof revenue is planned to be their bioinformatics services. Likehttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/, but (hopefully for Celera) better.Basically, I stick by my previous answer, but just wanted to throw thatin in regard to Celera.-Dave------------Date: Mon, 26 Jun 2000 10:31:11 -0400From: Jeff Fischer <JeffF@fool.com>To: "'FEATHERSTONE@biology.utah.edu'" <FEATHERSTONE@biology.utah.edu>Subject: RE: Biotech Chat Lead-in [The following text is in the "iso-8859-1" character set] [Your display is set for the "US-ASCII" character set] [Some characters may be displayed incorrectly]Dave,Great thoughts. We'll do that indeed, regarding CRA.Best,JeffJeff Fischer
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