When I speak with non-technical, non-biotech audiences, I'm always looking for a place where we can start the conversation. These days, it's with brewing. Most people, remember, know little-to-nothing about the way biology is impacting their lives. Most people, I believe, want to know. So these days, I start the conversation with beer and wine. Both … Continue reading [Three by Five] 11. Brewing Biotechnology Stories
"You're into Devo?" he asked. "Aren't you?" His tone mocking. As if there was something wrong with it. Because for him, Yeah. Devo was too mainstream. Fake alternative. He was above that, and what he thought they stood for. "Of course I am," I answered, thinking, Whatanasshole. "How could you not be?" Because at the time … Continue reading [Three by Five] 8. Devo
This week I've been thinking a lot about this MIT Technology Review article on writing the yeast genome. The article profiles NYU's Jef Boeke, one of the founders and leaders of Genome Project write (GP-write). Writing a genome, which is still expensive, will drive advances across many fields (I've written about this project in the … Continue reading [Three by Five] 7. Yeast Engineering and Apple Clinics
Organism or microbe design is an emerging industry. It's analogous to the semi-conductor industry. Companies design and manufacture the semi-conductors found in computers, phones, cars, and televisions. Today, end-users rarely make semi-conductors themselves. They hire the expertise and apply what is manufactured to create a product. Organism design companies are reprograming yeast and bacteria to produce … Continue reading [Three by Five] 5. Organism Design. Minecraft Chemistry
Netflix just started airing Altered Carbon. It's a rad take Richard K. Morgan's 2002 cyberpunk novel. One of my favorite genres, cyberpunk typically explores how the street repurposes tech, life in cyberspace and off-planet. Last fall, I reread William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy - Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive. (Neuromancer, BTW, is credited with … Continue reading [Three by Five] 4. The Sprawl Triology
I'm a story nerd. I enjoy re-reading books, re-watching movies. I like figuring out how the authors or film makers put the story together. What hints did they place at the beginning of the story, and resolve at the end? I've read plenty of books on writing screenplays, plotting, and character development. Last year, I … Continue reading [Three by Five] 3. The Story Grid. Pedro Paramo.