genome engineering

Inside the World of Genome Engineering at Amyris with Kirsten Benjamin, VP of R&D

If a company knows genome engineering, that would be Emeryville based Amyris, the Bay Area's crown jewel for synthetic biology. Founded back in 2003, the company first worked on creating biofuels from yeast. Today they have retooled their platform to produce a diversified line of consumer products that have not only rewarded their bottom line but point the world to a model of sustainable consumer goods.

Today we talk with VP of R & D, Kristen Benjamin about the change over to the skin and beauty care products and the core ingredient of that product line, squalene, a substance that used to be farmed from shark liver. Kirsten was on the front lines of the pivot and takes us into the world of genome engineering at Amyris. New tools have made scaling up much easier today, thanks to a partnership with Inscripta for use of the new Onyx platform announced just this week.

Genomics Going from a Passive to an Active Science: John Stuelpnagel on the “Write” Revolution

Not many people have had quite the same view on the genomics revolution as John Stuelpnagel. He co-founded Illumina, Ariosa, and Fabric Genomics (formerly Omicia). And he’s the Chairman of Fabric, 10X Genomics, and Inscripta. And not all had the foresight John did that biology would turn out to be so complex.

John is our guest today to preview and describe what he calls the new “writing” phase of genomics, which he says is already underway.

“Genomics has been mostly—and I hope I don’t offend the audience—a passive science. We’re limited by our cohort sets that we can put together. I think the next level of biological discovery is going to be where you can actively perturb the system—it’s called a cell—and then ask what kind of phenotype did we generate."

It’s a fascinating look ahead from one who not only founded some genomics tools companies, but founded several of THE genomics tools companies.