synthetic biology

Synthetic Biology Informs Space Exploration with John Cumbers, NASA

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John Cumbers, PhD, Synthetic Biologist, NASA Bio and Contact Info

Chapters: (Advance the marker)

0:36 What are you working on at NASA's Synthetic Biology Program?

7:01 What questions come up for synthetic biology in space exploration?

12:06 Practical steps to colonizing Mars and the moon

17:27 Highlights of synbio conference at NASA

22:31 How would you convince the average American person that we should colonize space?

24:39 How did you come to this?

31:29 "Synbio Launchpad" for startups

Talk to any futurist and you’ll probably hear that we have to get our species off this planet. (See our recent blog, It's Settled: We Have a Candidate for First Mayor of Mars.)

So, if we’re going to Mars or the moon, what are the practical steps I ask today’s guest, John Cumbers, a synthetic biologist at NASA Ames. John talks about the practical details, from the kind of food Mars pioneers will be eating--and “growing”, to making use of elements in lunar soil to produce cement. And he does it with a surprising ease and candor. After completing a PhD on the science of aging, Cumbers became curious about space and the continuation of the species. He tells how he would convince the average person that we should be colonizing space.

NASA and Singularity U Partner to Create SynBio Launchpad

In a first of its kind, a new incubator modeled on the well known Y Combinator has been started for emerging synthetic biology companies. SynBio Launchpad is a joint effort by Singularity University, provider of higher education in exponentially advancing industries, and their landlord, NASA. The program came about from a discussion between Andrew Hessel, co-chair of SU’s Biotechnology and Bioinformatics track, and John Cumbers, Deputy Managing Director of Synthetic Biology at NASA.

George Church Talks Personalized Medicine and Synthetic Biology

This podcast originally aired on May 25th, 2011

Sponsored by: BioConference Live

Guest: Church George, PhD, Professor of Genetics, Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences & Technology, Harvard and MIT. Bio and Contact Info

Part I-Personalized MedicineChurch George Listen (20:24)

Part II-Synthetic BiologyChurch George Listen (19:04)

Part III-Personal AnecdotesChurch George Listen (06:54)

Our guest for the hour is Dr. George Church from Harvard. Dr. Church’s accomplishments are legendary among scientists in his field and beyond. His Ph.D. from Harvard in biochemistry and molecular biology with Wally Gilbert included the first direct genomic sequencing method in 1984. In 1994, the technology transfer of automated sequencing and software to Genome Therapeutics Corp. resulted in the first commercial genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He was then involved in initiating the Human Genome Project as a Research Scientist at Biogen Inc. In 2006 he initiated the Personal Genome Project with the aim of advancing the field of Personalized Medicine. He invented the broadly-applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. He has served in advisory roles for 12 journals and 5 granting agencies and also been involved in 22 private companies including LS9-which focuses on bio-petroleum, and Knome who provides full human genome sequencing. Current research focuses on integrating biosystems-modeling with personal genomics and synthetic biology.