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Moderated by Jamie Metzl, author of Hacking Darwin, scientists Ellen Jorgensen and George Church discussed the possibilities of biotechnology and gene editing in medicine and health. Ellen Jorgensen is the Chief Science Officer and co-founder of Aanika. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology and has spent more than 30 years in the biotechnology industry. George Church, a pioneer of genomic science, leads Synthetic Biology at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute. The institute aims to transform medicine by developing innovations based on biological design principles.
George M. Church, PhD ’84, is professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, a founding member of the Wyss Institute, and director of PersonalGenomes.org, the world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data. Church is known for pioneering the fields of personal genomics and synthetic biology. He developed the first methods for the first genome sequence, his team invented CRISPR for human stem cell genome editing and other synthetic biology technologies and applications. Church has co-authored more than 130 patent publications and one book, Regenesis.
Photo credit: Wyss Institute at Harvard University
Dr. Ellen Jorgensen is Chief Science Officer and co-founder of Aanika Biosciences. The biotech startup enables sustainable practices by using microbes to track, trace and authenticate products throughout supply chains. She holds a Ph.D. in Cell & Molecular Biology from New York University, spent over 30 years in the biotechnology industry, and is passionate about science communication. In 2009 she cofounded Genspace, the world’s first open source community biolab and is a leader in the DIYbio movement.
Jamie Metzl is a futurist, geopolitical expert, science fiction novelist, and faculty member of Singularity University’s Exponential Medicine track, and a Senior Fellow of the Atlantic Council. He was recently appointed to the World Health Organization expert advisory committee on human genome editing. Metzl is a founder and Co-Chair of the national security organization Partnership for a Secure America and a board member of the International Center for Transitional Justice, the American University in Mongolia, and Parsons Dance.
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|0:10||Intro by Steffi Czerny|
|4:00||Exponential change in biotechnology – with Covid-19 acting as a catalyst.|
|10:55||Parallels to 9/11. How deeply will society change?|
|13:15||The Covid-19 pandemic and the flu of 1918. Will 2020 turn out to be a transitional year in human history?|
|16:00||Examples of cutting-edge technologies helping to fight the pandemic.|
|17:30||The importance of testing.|
|18:20||Benefits of a broader approach and creating a “bio weather map”.|
|20:00||Distributed biotech and acting locally.|
|23:45||Why aging affects almost every disease.|
|27:00||What might humans look like 200 years from now?|
|30:40||Human evolution could come in all sorts of ways.|
|33:00||The ethics of gene editing.|
|40:00||Fighting pandemics on a global level.|
|43:15||Synthetic biology as a better way to prepare for future viruses.|
|47:15||Is the “natural world” just a human construct?|
|50:00||Applications for gene editing. Germline or somatic – what are the advantages of each approach?|
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