Tag Archives: George Church

The Edge Synthetic Biology MasterClass

George and Craig

George and Craig

I am currently watching and listening to “A Short Course on Synthetic Genetics”. Being as it is all the rage now to be masterclassed by the super elite in science and technology, (see The Singularity University at NASA AMES post) The Edge recently ran a SynBio masterclass in Hollywood. Presented in July this year by Craig Venter (Founder of Synthetic Genomics, Inc. and President of the J. Craig Venter Institute and the J. Craig Venter Science Foundation) and George Church( Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Director, Center for Computational Genetics, and Science Advisor to 23 and Me) it was organized by John Brockman who publishes the website forum www.edge.org dedicated to scientists & technologists and their ideas.

This masterclass consisting of six hours of lectures discussed synthetic biology and “how the world will be changed by the ability to routinely read genetic sequences into computing systems and then store, replicate, alter and insert them back into living cells.” Topics included “What is life, origins of life, in vitro synthetic life, mirror-life, metabolic engineering for hydrocarbons & pharmaceuticals, computational tools, electronic-biological interfaces, nanotech-molecular-manufacturing, biosensors, accelerated lab evolution, engineered personal stem cells, multi-virus-resistant cells, humanized-mice, bringing back extinct species, safety/security policy.

Those present to listen and absorb all they could about the emerging potential of the synbio age were there by invite and included many members of America’s technological/intellectual/cultural/scientific/economical elite, including:

Stewart Brand, Biologist, Long Now Foundation; Whole Earth Discipline
Larry Brilliant, M.D. Epidemiologist, Skoll Urgent Threats Fund
John Brockman, Publisher & Editor, Edge
Max Brockman, Literary Agent, Brockman, Inc.; What’s Next: Dispatches on the Future of Science
Jason Calacanis, Internet Entrepreneur, Mahalo
George Dyson, Science Historian; Darwin Among the Machines
Jesse Dylan, Film-Maker, Form.tv, FreeForm.tv
Arie Emanuel, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment
Sam Harris, Neuroscientist, UCLA; The End of Faith
W. Daniel Hillis, Computer Scientist, Applied Minds; Pattern On The Stone
Thomas Kalil, Deputy Director for Policy for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
Salar Kamangar, Vice President, Product Management, Google
Lawrence Krauss, Physicist, Origins Initiative, ASU; Hiding In The Mirror
John Markoff, Journalist, The New York Times; What The Dormouse Said
Katinka Matson, Cofounder, Edge; Artist, katinkamatson.com
Elon Musk, Physicist, SpaceX, Tesla Motors
Nathan Myhrvold, Physicist, CEO, Intellectual Ventures, LLC, The Road Ahead
Tim O’Reilly, Founder, O’Reilly Media, O’Reilly Radar
Larry Page, CoFounder, Google
Lucy Page Southworth, Biomedical Informatics Researcher, Stanford
Sean Parker, The Founders Fund; CoFounder Napster & Facebook
Ryan Phelan, Founder, DNA Direct
Nick Pritzker, Hyatt Development Corporation
Ed Regis, Writer; What Is Life
Terrence Sejnowski, Computational Neurobiologist, Salk; The Computational Brain
Maria Spiropulu, Physicist, Cern & Caltech
Victoria Stodden, Computational Legal Scholar, Yale Law School
Nassim Taleb, Essayist & Risk Engineer, The Black Swan
Richard Thaler, Behavioral Economist, U. Chicago; Nudge
Craig Venter, Genomics Researcher; CEO, Synthetic Genomics, A Life Decoded
Nathan Wolfe, Biologist, Global Virus Forecasting Initiative
Alexandra Zukerman, Edge

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