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redefining the norm WINTER 2012


The Fusion Conference is brought to you by the University of Waterloo Science and Business Program, and the Science and Business Students Association (SBSA). University of Waterloo – 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1



01 About the Fusion Conference 02 The Science and Business of Aging 03 Suit Makes Young Feel Old 04 Entrepreneur Gone Bad: Jesse Willms 06 Anti-Aging Medicines in the Market 07 In The News‌ 08 The Fun Page 09 Our Sponsors 10 Opportunities for Involvement and Contact Us

About the Fusion Conference What: A two-day event complete with great speakers, case studies, an opportunity to network, and a friendly-open environment, as well as many other surprises. Who attends: Students from all over Ontario including University of Waterloo, Western, York and Queens. Number of Attendees ~200 How long has the conference been around? This will be its 8th year. Fields of Interest- Science, Business, Technology and much more!

Message from Co-Chairs Dear Readers, Fusion is a conference held annually at the University of Waterloo. It aims to bring together current experts in the fields of science, business and technology, with the bright minds of the future. Fusion provides an excellent opportunity for delegates to network with industry professionals, sponsors and potential employers in a friendly, yet professional environment. In addition participants will be able to witness the intertwining of Science and Business in the real world. A case-study challenge from a guest firm will be presented so that participants can continue to develop the problem-solving and teamwork skills, which are required to succeed as a young professional today. On behalf of the entire Fusion Conference executive team, we invite you to come out to enjoy this wonderful opportunity. We are devoted to bringing you an unforgettable learning experience! Sincerely, Gabrielle and Evan Fusion Co-Chairs

The Science and Business of Aging Taking a look in the mirror! Wrinkles? White hair? Before you dart to the nearest supercenter to find the products that claim to reverse or slow down aging…consider this. Aging is a large market for businesses because people are very sensitive to the changes to their appearances. As the Canadian population grows older, the need for products that retain our youthfulness has evolved to a new level with the help of technology and science. From anti-aging creams that are stockpiled at every cosmetic center to various brands of hair dyes to plastic surgery, an industry that rakes in millions, examples of our consumerism are abundant. We value our appearance and companies are clever enough to realize this and target every person’s desire to remain youthful. Aging is a biological process, the ticking of our biological clock and a lot of science that goes into researching the mechanism of our biological clock, why we age and at what rate. Some researchers cite from the theory of free radicals and some cite from the theory of cellular degeneration. With so many competing theories thrown at consumers and products are designed to align with these theories makes it excruciatingly difficult to tell the difference between the true and the false. The “antioxidant” drinks that you buy at the cafeteria claim to combat the free radicals in your body to prevent radical-induced aging, but do they actually work? As anti-aging products become more common on the market it becomes more difficult to define what is scientifically true and what is simply marketing tactics. We find ourselves at a crossroads of science and business, where one linear style of perception may lead us down the wrong path. And this is where the 2012 Fusion Conference’s focus of redefining the norm comes into play. With a multidisciplinary set of skills you will be able to discern to a better degree what is the best choice. What can be an effective medicine – thus meeting consumer needs – while at the same time optimizing a company’s profits? Meeting the needs of all. This issue will bring you the various perspectives of aging from the science and business slant. We’ll introduce you to a number of wacky things that are going on in the industry of aging!

MIT Constructs Old-Age-Simulator Suit to Make Young People Feel Elderly By: Anson Lee Wouldn’t it be awesome to live a day in the life of an elderly person? Just to have a taste of what it’s like to be in the shoes of someone you are slowly becoming? The MIT Age Lab recently constructed an old-age simulator suit to help you get a feel of what it’s like to be an elderly person. Relying on multiple bungee cords that restrict movement and muscular flexibility, even simple tasks can seem difficult.

The helmet is bungeed to the torso to cause the wearer to bend forward. This mirrors the changes in the spine alignment due to aging. In addition, the wrists are bungeed to the hips, mirroring the real-life difficulties of reaching and grabbing things due to muscle stiffness. To top it off, legs are bungeed to the waist, making walking more strenuous. There are many real-life applications of this simulator. For example, architects, product innovators and businesses can take advantage of this simulator to better understand the human body when succumbed to the effects of extensive aging. This will better tailor the products for the elderly and open up a much wider market for product innovation.

Entrepreneur Gone Bad: Jesse Wilms By: Jackie Zhou With the aging population, looking young and wrinkle-free has become the new social trend. Consequently anti-aging products have become the new craze for both men and female to drop big bucks for anti-aging products. One man has managed to tap into this powerful craze hoping to make money from the populations that hope to reverse the signs of aging. Chances are, if you are an internet user, you will have come across ads that tell the story of a mother who outsmarts Botox Doctors with a $4 trick that also happens to be the secret to the success of many youthful celebrities. Meet Jesse Willms, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of TMG, a Canadian internet marketing corporation that specializes in the development and marketing of e-Commerce Sites across various trending markets according to his personal blog. An intuitive man, it is no mistake that he has tapped into the anti-aging craze as populations both male and female pay top dollar for anti-aging or anti-wrinkle treatments.

If Willms had chosen another field to excel in, his biography would be an inspirational story rather than a cautionary tale. At the age of 16, he began buying and selling pieces of software on eBay and Amazon where he would offer to sell the software before it was actually in his possession. When someone placed an order, Jesse would pick it up for a lower price on different sites and ship it. He called his company eDirectSoftware.

At eDirectSoftware, he dedicated time and energy to finding software suppliers and as a consequence many of his products were of questionable origin and quality. `Between 2005 and 2007, eDirectSoftware was sued by Microsoft amongst other companies for selling counterfeit software and product ineligible for resale.

Entrepreneur Gone Bad: Jesse Willms Despite the sting of settling lawsuits, Willms was quick to reinvent and get back into business. His following company was called JustTHINK Media which sold a fake Chinese weight-loss tea called Wu Long which developed the branding, packaging, advertising strategy, outsourced distribution and customer service. With JustTHINK Media and the Wu-Long Tea, Willms opted to by GoogleAdWords as a form of marketing which was fairly successful until the real producers of Wu Long tea threatened to sue him.

These products were also advertised as free or cheap trials like the Anti-aging Serum but if consumers failed to cancel within a two-week period and return the product, they would be billed for the full amount between $40 and $90. In addition, they could also be charged more than $100 for non-refundable membership products to receive the product every month. Sometimes the consumers were sent products they never ordered and billed for it. Cleverly, the terms and conditions were designed to remain obscure, displayed in pale small fonts.

Over the next few years Willms introduced a teeth whitener called DazzleWhite, a acai weight-loss supplement called AcaiBurn and a colon cleanse called PureCleanse through his new company. By then he had abandoned GoogleAdwords as a form of marketing but rather using affiliate marketing. In other words, outsourcing advertising through reliable networks such as CNN, Fox News and ABC news.

Soon customers began tracing products to Willms, posting his pictures on consumeroriented forums. In late 2009, Oprah Winfrey’s company and Dr Mehmet Oz sued JDW Media and another 40 corporations for using their faces to push products. Realizing that he had become rather infamous, Wilms hired a search engine optimization company to create personal sites with articles about his “philanthropy”.

Now Willms is under investigation by the Federal Trade Commision for false advertising and using false endorsement having scammed millions of unsuspecting consumers on the internet. The moral of the story? Before you click on any of those miracle-working creams and serums ads like this one:

take a moment to do some research and always read the terms and conditions of deals and offers online to avoid being the victim of a scam. Even better, look to see if there is any real research behind beauty and anti-aging product claims before taking out your credit card and paying for these risky and possibly fraudulent products.

Anti-aging Medicines in the Market By: Tara Leung Within the past few years, the concept of extending human life has expanded past science and into the world of business. Anti-aging products have swelled into a multibillion-dollar biotech industry. In the past aging was a known process, it occurred to everyone and was thought of as the norm. However in the 21st century, the concept of aging has begun being redefined as both a treatable illness and a business opportunity, however it does not come without risk and debate. In 2008, GlaxoSmithKline, one of the largest research and development Investors spent $720 million for buy Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, whom had at the time produced a small molecule anti-aging drug (resveratrol), which held similar components to red wine. Unfortunately a couple of years later in December 2010, Sirtris announced that it has stopped its clinical trials for resveratrol. This occurred because the science behind the drug was unstable and the substance itself was not patentable and safe for consumers. Though a minor set back for the large company of GSK, this setback may have been avoided with the correct skills in both science and business. Generally the two areas are difficult to interlock, however by redefining the norm, students of multidisciplinary skills can achieve more effective and efficient results. Anti-aging products are just a single platform amongst the hundreds of areas where students who choose to redefine the norm, can find their calling.

In The News‌

Multivitamins and Telomeres A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that multivitamins can keep you younger, longer‌ if you are female. The study found that those who took a multivitamin daily had 5.1 percent longer telomeres than nonusers. Telomeres are the key to aging. Short telomeres dramatically boost your risk of serious diseases. One study of 60 to 75 year olds showed those with short telomeres had a 300% higher death rate from heart disease and an 800% higher death rate from infectious diseases.

Going Nutty? Studies of Seventh-Day Adventists (a religious denomination that emphasizes healthy living and a vegetarian diet) show that those who eat nuts gain, on average, an extra two and a half years. Nuts are rich sources of unsaturated fats, so they offer benefits similar to those associated with olive oil. They’re also concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals and other phytochemicals, including antioxidants.

One Special Gene An article in the Science journal found a single gene in the fruit fly that controls lifespan.When mutated, the fruit flies lived 35% longer than normal fruit flies. Although many researchers had believed that in most species aging results from the haphazard buildup of damaging mutations in individual cells, but this finding provides new evidence that aging is regulated by genes.

The Fun Page Researchers from the Archives of Neurology have found that people who did more reading, writing, and game playing over the course of their lifetime have less of this brain protein, which may mean lower chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Now do you fancy finishing that Sudoku Puzzle?

Fast Facts about the Fusion Conference Pre-conference Date: February 13th, 2011 @7:30pm, Al 105 Start Date: March 9th 2011 End Date: March 10th 2011 Cost: 20$ per delegate (early registration), 25$ (late registration) Location: University of Waterloo, Ontario Food: FREE! Dress Code: Business Casual Attire

Watterson, Bill. Scientific Progress Goes Boink?. Andrews McMeel Publishing, 1991.

Our Sponsors

OPPORTUNITIES FOR INVOLVEMENT For potential speakers, please connect with our speakers coordinator Gabby Hebert ( to inquire about speaking opportunities. Opportunities are available for companies to speak to students, and/or run interactive workshops. For potential sponsors, we encourage you to connect with one of our sponsorship coordinators, Erik Chu, (, Amandeep Kaur, (, or Elisa Watson, (, for more information. The following opportunities are available for your consideration:



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Fusion Conference- Winter Edition  
Fusion Conference- Winter Edition  

The Science and Business of Aging