Category: synthetic biology

There Will Be Dragons. Imagine. (Full Review)

So, here it is. And the question that might occur to you before you read or as you finish “How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: A Satirical Look at Cutting Edge Science” is, Can we do it? Because when you get around a group of synthetic biologists, talk often turns to de-extinction projects […]

There Will Be Dragons. Imagine.

Excerpt from an unpublished review of “How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: A Satirical Look at Cutting Edge Science.”  There is enough in HOW TO BUILD A DRAGON OR DIE TRYING to obsess the true, mainlining dragon-builder for a godly amount of time. The Knoefplers do a good job considering, for example, all […]

The $100 Million Science Media Fund

For this year’s SynBioBeta conference, Data Collective founder and investor Matt Ocko hosted a panel on Abundance and Scarcity. Matt backs entrepreneurs attacking trillion-dollar problems to “amplify capitalism’s benefits and reduce its costs to society.” In Matt’s own words, his team is creating a future of “abundance, comity, and amity.” Matt invited artist and storyteller […]

Brewing Stories to Drive the Bioeconomy

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 […]

Devo

“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 […]

Yeast Engineering and Apple Clinics

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 […]

Organism Design. Minecraft Chemistry.

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 […]

The Sprawl Trilogy

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 […]

The Story Grid. Pedro Paramo.

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 […]