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Author Topic: polymath  (Read 2647 times)

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« on: June 02, 2014, 08:38:59 PM »

This is a somewhat raw idea I had on how we could create the incentive to give basic, fundamental research on Peyronie's disease some momentum using the internet.

I don't know whether any of you have ever heard of the polymath project: Polymath Project - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It is a massive collaborative effort to solve, over the internet, an open mathematical problem.
Several thousand people can participate offering suggestions, partial solutions etc. in the comment sections.
Over time more and more progress is made. Some quite difficult open problems have been solved that way.
At the end a research paper with the results is produced like these: [1002.0374] Density Hales-Jewett and Moser numbers
[1009.3956] Deterministic methods to find primes
[1402.0811] New equidistribution estimates of Zhang type, and bounded gaps between primes

In the published paper the main contributers are listed and online all the names of every contributer can be found, however small his contribution.

The project is initiated by some high profile mathematician (Terence Tao, Timothy Gowers) who in the end produces the paper containing the results.


Ok this much for math. My idea would be to do a similar thing for research on Peyronie's disease.
First of all we would need a scientist initiating the project.
Secondly, it can't be "just" about Peyronie's disease.
There has to be some appeal for qualified scientists to participate in the project, having their name published, listed etc.
Thirdly, it has to be a well-defined and narrowly defined theoretical biological research problem.
E.g. finding possible chemical agents which could transform the scarred, fibrotic tissue, fibroblasts, myofibrolasts, the stuff a Peyronie plaque is composed of back into elastic tissue the corpora and tunica albuginea is composed of.
This is the basic open problem I think, since no one knows how the loss of elasticity which causes all of the problems, the shortening, curving etc. could be reversed.
But the problem has to be posed more generally such that any progress on the question could apply to a variety of conditions. E.g. more generally the treatment of scars and generalized fibrosis.
One notices of course by my descriptions that I'm not a biologist!
Is it a stupid idea? Or could this theoretically work?
"Without health life is not life; it is only a state of languor and suffering - an image of death."


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Re: polymath
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2014, 07:47:47 AM »

I've been looking forward to and keeping an eye on this one for quite a while.
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