Going Green Panel

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    I moderated a panel on disruptive innovaton with, from right to left, Drew Endy of Stanford, Gen9 and IGEM (synthetic biology), Wendy Arienzo, CEO of Array Converter (pioneering a new technique for DC to AC conversion), and Danny Yu, CEO of Daintree Networks (ZigBee light bulbs).

    Video is now up: of my talk and of the panel.

    Drew works to make biology ever easier to engineer:
    “Our work is a radical departure from the past generation (35 years) of biotechnology which has tended to be overdriven by applications, given that we typically turn to biology as a technology partner of last resort to solve pressing problems (cure this disease, give me a drop in fuel now, etc.). This has resulted in a collective and persistent underinvestment in tools supporting biotechnology. Most practice the details of genetic engineering today no different from how it was done in 1980.

    Over the last 10 years we are pioneered the idea of standard biological parts and the use of abstraction for managing biological complexity. Biofab has produced the foundations of the world's first "genome operating system" for E. coli. Basically, we have reduced the error rate of expressing genes in a bacterium by 6-fold (now at ~93.6% reliability). The impact of this advance is that the scale of the system that can be built (before a requirement to test what is happening) increases from 1 gene at a time to ~15 genes at a time. As we push this reliability higher, we eventually enable full forward engineering at the genome scale.

    Ten years from now we should have made biology easy to engineer, sufficient to design (not just reconstruct) entire genomes. Everything now made in a plant can be made in yeast. Disruptions to material supply chains all over the place. Reduced energy and environmental loads, left and right.”

    He gave the interesting energy-saving example of bio-engineered enzymes for detergents so we can now wash in a cold water cycle.

    And for a recent example of computational design of de novo proteins, I mentioned David Baker’s groundbreaking work in designing proteins that target the invariant region of H1N1 and building novel catalytic enzymes (Science May 2011). He used 250,000 computers, but after a few turns of Moore’s Law, that will be commonplace.

    (Panel press coverage at greentechmedia and Cnet)

    jeany777, solerena, and Madrhiggs added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ 42 months ago | reply

      That's a great transcript of a big lot of the talk! Thanks Felicity. I will send it to my client, he couldn't listen to the webcast, he was in a dinner with Al Gore?! World is getting smaller... A pity it isn't there that passage of Endy on the DIY turning to DIT (Do It Together), that was nice too.

      Steve, Felicity said: "But apart from a scattering of clean energy plays, DFJ hasn’t done a great deal to promote itself as a VC leader in the field since 2008 – perhaps as the economic crisis matured into the great recession." (*) You should work on more on promoting better what you are doing, so there is no misunderstanding or apparent disagreement between what's said (promoted) and done. Do you want me to review your website and see if we can pimp it up a bit to improve promotion? |-)

      (*) great link to that interview, haven't seen before: gigaom.com/cleantech/earth2tech-video-cleantech-investing...

    2. vennettaj 42 months ago | reply

      Gi, where that talk you talking about? is there a link?
      (well ask me why i need to see it at first place, but if somebody on the street asks me for directions you know :p)

    3. TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ 42 months ago | reply

      V, the talk I talk about above is the webcast of this GoingGreen panel to where this picture comes from, guess it's not online, it was a broadcast and steve put the link in facebook and I could see it in time.

      And the interview, this link gigaom.com/cleantech/earth2tech-video-cleantech-investing... there's the interview at the bottom of the article, a video. You will like that one, too.

      And will help you with the directions, just in case... ;)

      J, is the talk of GoingGreen anywhere saved online?

    4. vennettaj 42 months ago | reply

      Gi..thanks! i kept on thinking the link is there but i can't see it..will do search ;) and will check the one you posted

    5. vennettaj 42 months ago | reply

      the green oil sounds like plastic to me..pure prejudice..

    6. jurvetson 41 months ago | reply

      But we like plastic. And latex even more!

      P.S. Video is now up: of my talk and of the panel.

    7. vennettaj 41 months ago | reply

      well me too but it's not considered green :p
      aah..greener..than green? or greener than some other color..ok, forget it..is no for me

    8. TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ 41 months ago | reply

      Qué bueno!! Finally online with image and all!!

    9. TheAlieness GiselaGiardino²³ 41 months ago | reply

      The mic thing was great to break the ice, and now seeing it, most sure about it. Awesome.

    10. solerena 41 months ago | reply

      Reminds me of one great teacher Mrs. Green and her substitute was Mrs. Greener. :D
      Green technologies are cool… impressed that you were here early too… together with SpaceX, quantum computing and all other things in your galaxy.
      Yes, the talk with the mic thing was sweet, and Estonians are very handsome - joining the chorus here. I will watch the panel later. Always fun to learn something new here.

    11. solerena 41 months ago | reply

      here - how ideas mate in our days:D:
      also a way to save the world… wish we could have green education, fast food and green politics:)
      vennetaj has already worked on this green cake:D

    12. vennettaj 41 months ago | reply

      oh dear..is my cake..
      just making sure it's clear--i didn't invent matcha cake :)

    13. vennettaj 41 months ago | reply

      just saw a talk and a half.. my ..i understand nothing of that business thing..an inventor told me that inventors are often wrong...and that only two of his many inventions made it to production...hmmm...wrong because doesn't go in production?!...already..i'm not in touch with reality..
      also confused about what a visionary is...a person that can foresee things..or a person who can push his/her ideas.. (Hitler ? :P )
      not very related..but i did post only 1/10 of everything i had to say(i managed)..so :)
      (ah, i'm not attacking the green oil..but fun to make fun)
      i apparently couldn't stop
      ...so i meant...what kind of production the thing below went in to:
      (the update said something is not alright...but still makes the point..)
      i guess i should move these to a dif post..

    14. jgury 37 months ago | reply

      Everyone just can't be green enough and it gets confusing from a portfolio and index construct, track and filter perspective. All these claims: " An award was given to Generation Investment Management for Investor of the Year as the global investor with the largest percentage of its portfolio devoted to cleantech." But then " Globally, the DFJ Network has over 85 clean tech investments, perhaps more than any other venture firm on Earth." So this is an Al Gore type of Green investing vs. a DJF which strikes me as much more straightforward. I am away from the desk so I can't check on what things like Green ETFs and funds are really out there, and don't include US corn ethanol or carbon credit shell games.

    15. jgury 37 months ago | reply

      Thumbs up to the ecolaroid:

      SJ has quite the titter running thru the audience on that one.

    16. jgury 37 months ago | reply

      Meanwhile in the midwest we still like to grow real plants brdg-park.com/index.html

    17. mikescottnz 34 months ago | reply

      Árpád Pusztai and Ignacio Chapela have two things in common. They are distinguished scientists and their careers are in ruins. Both scientists choose to look at the phenomenon of genetic engineering. Both made important discoveries. Both of them are suffering the fate of those who criticise the powerful vested interests that now dominate big business and scientific research. Statements made by scientists themselves prove that 95% of the research in the area of genetic engineering is paid by the industry. Only 5% of the research is independent. The big danger for freedom of science and our democracy is evident. Can the public – we all – still trust our scientists?


    18. jgury 34 months ago | reply

      ". The big danger for freedom of science and our democracy is evident. Can the public – we all – still trust our scientists?" I think this needs a bit of editing: "Can any of us trust scientists?" is much better. Of course not. Some of us never have. Like we have never beaten our children, only different. Plus, of course it is not just the public who may not trust scientists Scientists as a group are noted for paranoid rivalry and distrust of one another to the point of madness so we don't want to exclude them from the general public now do we? Finally "our scientists" is inherently biased. E.g. "OUR Nazi rocket scientists keep secrets better than YOUR Nazi rocket scientists." A nice example of Godwin's law. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law

    19. jgury 12 months ago | reply

      Some of this denial logic has been great to foresee as propaganda. Myth of settled science is good one along with all facts must be consistent and big theory can always be destroyed by a single counterexample. One fossil Chihuahua destroys all evolutionary biology, then put up a quote from everyone's favorite, unsourced bs Einstein. Tryanny of leftist scientists is a good one now too. They are advocating jail for climate denial! Which is interesting to see where denial really does get criminal negligence attached. Like this guy points out about seismology. Or if your MD decides smoking is really good for you, recommends more of it and goes on TV with that message.

    20. mikescottnz 12 months ago | reply

      Contradictory polemic from this quarter is to be expected ,as above.

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