Potential meteor shower markets in everything

by on July 7, 2015 at 12:11 am in Economics, Science | Permalink

Skywatchers hoping to see a shooting star may soon be able to order them on demand.

A group of Japanese scientists say they have a shooting-star secret formula — an undisclosed chemical mixture packed into tiny, inch-wide balls that the team hopes to eject from a satellite to create on-demand meteor showers, AFP reports.

A Japanese start-up company called ALE is partnering with researchers at multiple universities to create the artificial meteor showers, which will cost around $8,100 per meteor for buyers. The researchers said the manufactured meteors would be bright enough to be visible even in areas with light pollution, like Tokyo, assuming clear weather.

The story is here, from Sarah Lewin, and for the pointer I thank Michael Komaransky.

1 Z July 7, 2015 at 12:37 am

Meteors as a Service

2 dearieme July 7, 2015 at 5:49 am

Trickle down economics?

3 honkie please July 7, 2015 at 12:45 am

Making it rain just got downgraded to mini-baller status.

4 derek July 7, 2015 at 1:31 am

Another post about Greek finance ministers? A big flash then they disappear.

5 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 1:32 am

Tyler’s posts on how strange Japan is are quaint – exactly how the NY Times has reported on the country for over 20 years.

What Tyler doesn’t report (because he wouldn’t know) is that a Japanese scientist writing in an obscure journal in 2009 is the basis of the latest longevity pills that are on the market and undergoing human trials with results this past February and in the fall. The Japanese scientist might get a Nobel Prize for discovering how NAD decreases in cells as people age and how it can be increased. (currently, with NR)

Watch for more human studies due out by an American company backed by 5 Nobel prize winning biologists and chemists in the fall.

And then we will read Tyler arguing: “But extending healthspan and lowering the risk of all major diseases among those over 50 is just low hanging fruit.”

6 carlolspln July 7, 2015 at 1:39 am

What’s NR?

7 rluser July 7, 2015 at 3:24 am

I believe that Tyler Cowen has posted on this matter, but the search of his blog is left as an exercise for Todd.

8 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 1:56 am

Sorry, NR is Nicotinamide Riboside. It is found in our favorite foods in traces…. bananas, milk and beer. It is a precursor molecule that has now been shown to increase NAD in mice and in humans. It activates SRT genes and increases the mitochondria in all of our cells — the energy pack of our cells.

This is the huge problem with those like Tyler and many others in social science. We have had “low hanging fruit” because they, including Tyler, just don’t follow science at all.

Tyler is an economist and restaurant travel guide. That’s cool, but science really is serious science going on in the early 21st century.

9 FC July 7, 2015 at 3:03 am

Beernana milkshake, because there is no cocktail stagnation.

10 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 2:42 am

Oh, here are the 5 Nobel Prize winners on the advisory board of the aforementioned company, which got the inspiration from the Japanese scientist’s work on NAD, just to show this health pill stuff is pretty serious:

Eric Kandel – neuroscience
Aaron Ciecheanover – cancer biology
Jack Szostak – telomeres
Martin Karplus – complex chemical systems
Tom Sudhof – neuroscience

11 Mark Thorson July 7, 2015 at 4:32 am

Is this a penny stock scam or are you going straight to MLM?

12 rluser July 7, 2015 at 5:14 am

LOL! +1

13 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 8:15 am

Actually, what is being worked on is NMN, more potent than NR but at the moment too expensive for some reason.

I can see how one might confuse MLM and NMN if not well versed in the alphabet, though.

14 JWatts July 7, 2015 at 10:50 am


15 Axa July 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm


There were tests and the substance is at least safe. After that, it takes too much time proving the vitamin works. So the producer decided to start selling it as a nutraceutic. That way avoids FDA regulations. However, the only way to know if it works is through consumer surveys. What if it doesn’t work? Is there a refund?

I don’t know if the pills delay aging, but this will provide lots of material to discuss the ethics of science in a few years. Elysium website looks like a trap to make you sign an “informed consent in humans subject research”.

But, I’m impressed. Usually big pharma pays people to be subject of research. Theses guys make you pay for being a subject of research. Admirable.

16 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 2:02 pm

Selling NR as a supplement is just like selling vitamin C — the company shouldn’t matter.(Elysium adds Pterostilbine found in blueberries) The study results from ChromaDex in February are now undergoing peer review. Those guys have a Nobel Laureate advising them as well, bringing the grand total to six who seem to think high levels of NR to boost NAD may be important:

“Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger Kornberg, who chairs ChromaDex’s Scientific Advisory Board, commented, “Demonstrating that NR is an effective precursor to increase NAD+ in humans has significant positive implications and may be a cornerstone to developing solutions to delay or reverse the effects of aging, obesity and disease.”

There wouldn’t be a need for a refund just as those buying vitamin E wouldn’t get a refund if studies turned out not so much is needed.
Neither ChromaDex nor Elysium makes any claims of age reversal.Elysium just states how NR and Pterostilibine in promoting mitochondria health, backed by numerous studies..

Some articles in February stated that the scientists who started Elysium said they didn’t want to wait for a big pharma pill five to ten years from now. We’ll know more in the fall.

17 The Anti-Gnostic July 7, 2015 at 10:22 am

Eventually, they’ll have billboards up there.

18 Todd Kreider July 7, 2015 at 4:25 pm

rluser said Tyler had posted on this matter before but didn’t link anything.

I looked, and couldn’t find anything, which doesn’t surprise me. Here is what he wrote in 2012 about robotics canceling demographics:(Dean Baker)

“Note that we can get out of at least one half of this mess if the robots are especially good at taking care of old people. That seems unlikely to me, at least in earlier stages of robot development, but of course it is not impossible.”

This is typical. Every so often an economist *might* mention robotics taking care of old people but so far I haven’t read one that discusses these coming health pills even though widely reported. By the way, Baker doesn’t get this at all.

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