Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

What We Learned at Techonomy Bio

From left, David Kirkpatrick, Floyd Romesberg, Stewart Brand, Jim Flatt, and Steve Levine

Techonomy's offices on Manhattan's West 22d Street have been buzzing ever since our half-day Techonomy Bio conference on June 17. We got an overwhelmingly positive reception for a meeting that brought leading researchers and experts in the life sciences together with IT and Internet thinkers and business generalists. Drew Endy, a Stanford professor who is one of the world's leaders in synthetic biology, on stage called the event "awesome" and said he had never seen such a collection of people in one place. "People in other sectors of technology simply don’t know very much about biology and biology’s economic impact," he said.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Citizen Scientists Accelerate Bio Progress

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As advances in the biological sciences expand, so does their influence on every facet of life. And the people powering that expansion are not just traditionally trained scientists-they’re also regular folks like you and me. The "Participatory Biology" at Techonomy Bio convened traditional scientists Ryan Bethencourt of Berkeley BioLabs and UC Santa Cruz professor David Haussler with Eri Gentry, a self-taught scientist who left the world of finance to co-found the Bay Area biotech hackerspace BioCurious.   More

E-Commerce Finance

Does Bitcoin Foreshadow a Decentralized World?

bitcoin-blockchain-decentralized

Will we one day be able to trade stocks without a brokerage or pay for goods with a currency that has no central issuer? With Bitcoin, people can now do the latter. In the future, they may also be able to do the former, and much more, in a world where applications are open-source, commonly controlled, and operated without middlemen. This is the disruptive power of the blockchain, a revolutionary piece of software that can defy convention.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Building a Better Mousetrap

In this video from our June 17 Techonomy Bio conference, Jorge Soto of mirOculus gives a short presentation on building better tools for detecting cancer.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Engineering Biology to Address Global Challenges

In this video from our June 17 Techonomy Bio conference, Nancy J. Kelley, former founding executive director of the New York Genome Center, gives a presentation of the economic, social, and regulatory implications of biology.   More

Arts & Culture Mobile

Magisto’s A.I. Helps Anyone Produce Polished Video

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Magisto wants to do for video what Instagram did for photos—provide intuitive tools to edit and enhance them and make them easy to share. Founded in Israel in 2009 by two experts in computer vision and artificial intelligence, Magisto enables a user to simply select photos and videos on their smartphone, choose a visual theme, and automatically create a sophisticated edited product in minutes. There's a lot of computer science on the back end making that possible. Magisto launched in January 2012 at the Consumer Electronics Show, won an app competition there, and now has 20 million registered users worldwide, up from 3 million last year. With 30 employees, the company has offices in Tel Aviv, New York, and San Francisco. Techonomy sat down with Magisto CEO Oren Boiman for a wide-ranging talk about video, social media, and how people want to express themselves.   More

E-Commerce Learning

Got Audiobook? Audible CEO Katz on the Rewards of Listening to Literature

Since introducing one of the first digital audio players in 1997, Audible (now owned by Amazon) has become the biggest name in audiobooks. “It really is seen as a service now,” says Audible founder and CEO Donald Katz of the surging audiobook phenomenon. We spoke to Katz at the recent Venture for America Summer Celebration in NYC. He ticked off some of the benefits enjoyed by the growing legions of audiobook consumers: “They get to work smarter than the guy in the next cube; they have storytelling in their lives on a consistent basis.” Most importantly, he said, they’ve found a valuable way to spend the millions of hour per week Americans spend in traffic.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

The Razor’s Edge

In this video, Todd Huffman of 3Scan explores how knife-edge scanning helps drive biodiscovery.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

The Funding Dilemma

Bio-innovators and entrepreneurs are often frustrated that investors don’t see the scope of biological opportunity. The industry's funding models remain in flux. With appetite for risk unpredictable and a landscape that’s often unexplored, what’s a startup to do? How are big companies responding? In this video, Paul Gurney of McKinsey & Company moderates a discussion with Beth Seidenberg of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Lindy Fishburne of Breakout Labs and the Thiel Foundation, and Steve Jurvetson of Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Synthetic Genomics, Inc.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

A Life in Bio

In this video from our June 17 Techonomy Bio conference, David Kirkpatrick interviews Beth Seidenberg of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers about her involvement in developing biotech companies.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Participatory Biology

Just as the Internet leveled the playing field for entrepreneurship, politics, and social engagement, recent advances are leveling it for biological progress. Processing power, the cloud, and Internet connectivity open doors for inquisitive individuals and nascent biotech startups. How are ordinary people involving themselves in biology, and what will be their impact? In this video, David Kirkpatrick moderates a discussion with Eri Gentry of BioCurious and the Institute for the Future, Ryan Bethencourt of Berkeley BioLabs and the XPRIZE Foundation, and David Haussler of UC Santa Cruz and HHMI.   More

Bio 14 Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Better, Faster, Cheaper

To beat cancer we need more targeted drugs, made faster, made cheaper. And that means we need to fix the way cancer drugs are made. Andrew Hessel of Autodesk gives a presentation on how we can fix drug development.   More

Healthcare

This Diagnostic Device Could Save You a Trip to the Doctor

Cue Health

Want to take an influenza test without visiting the doctor’s office? San Diego-based startup Cue aims to provide consumers with an innovative solution to track fertility, testosterone, and vitamin levels and detect inflammation and influenza. The $199 Cue device is small and portable, weighs just under a pound, and is only three inches tall. The Cue can perform standard lab tests from a sample of saliva, nasal fluid, or blood. Using the mobile app, users can have access to a wealth of important information about their health wherever they are.   More

Business E-Commerce

How Warby Parker Doubles Down on Disruption and Social Change

The technology-driven eyewear company Warby Parker has bigger fish to fry than disrupting an industry and hooking up consumers with hip, inexpensive glasses, although it’s done a pretty good job of that so far. “We started Warby Parker with two goals in mind,” said company co-founder David Gilboa at a recent Venture for America event. The first goal was to transform “a $65 billion industry that had been ripping consumers off for decades … by creating our own vertically integrated brand.” In so doing the company is able to offer glasses for $95 that, according to Gilboa, would normally sell for $500-$600. Warby Parker’s second goal, said Gilboa, is to prove that a for-profit business can have “a massive positive impact in the world.”   More

Cities Energy & Green Tech

Snacking on Smog: A Building That Eats Our Pollution

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The latest foray into air-purifying architecture is a 9,000-square meter "urban forest" in Milan, set to be unveiled at the city's Expo Milano 2015. The massive smog-eating building, called the Palazzo Italia, will mimic the function and appearance of trees while also supporting the expo's theme of "Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life." The secret of Palazzo Italia is photocatalytic concrete, a special substance that, when in contact with ultraviolet light, captures nitrogen dioxide pollutants and converts them into harmless salts that can be washed away with the next rainfall.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Techonomy Events

Why We Launched the Techonomy Bio Conference

For us here at Techonomy, next Tuesday's Techonomy Bio conference is a catalytic and mind-expanding moment. It's a half-day foray into the systems of life. We come from the world of IT and the Internet, but have concluded that becoming too embedded in it will increasingly be a deep limitation. For any of us to innovate and understand the future progress of mankind, we have to recognize that for all their compelling charms, digital tools are just one part of the toolset. Now that biology yields every day to greater understanding, it is going to pull human society into fundamentally new directions.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Can Synthetic Biology Survive in a World Haunted by “Frankenfood”?

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There is nothing that turns the collective stomach quite like the word “Frankenfood.” It’s an instant warning to avoid such food. Frankenfood, of course, refers to plants that have been genetically modified in some way. GMOs, as these genetically modified organisms are known, have been more or less accepted in some countries such as the U.S., but have been banned in many others due to public outcry, particularly in Europe. It is tough to restore the public image of something once it has acquired such a viscerally-effective label. In the next few decades, it is very unlikely that GMO-based food will become accepted in countries where it is currently banned.   More

Bio & Life Sciences

Digital Medicine: Diagnostic Stickers and Pills That Talk Back to You

MC10 CEO Dave Icke discusses his company's Biostamp technology at last year's Techonomy IOE Lab.

Often, the biggest battle in monitoring our health is remembering. Remembering to take our prescriptions every day (and ideally at the same time) to manage preexisting conditions. Remembering to track developing symptoms to diagnose new diseases. It's a lot to remember, but there are plenty of apps out there to help us. Still, no matter how many apps we download, how can we be sure they actually get us to do what we're supposed to? New sensor technology in the form of wearables—and even ingestibles—could increasingly play that role in our lives.   More

Business Global Tech

Huawei, ZTE on Global Hiring Sprees

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The embattled telecoms pair of Huawei and ZTE are embarking on major hiring sprees outside their home market, seeking to not only import foreign expertise but also foreign faces as they try to look more global and less Chinese. That’s my major takeaway on reading separate reports that ZTE is launching a drive to recruit workers from two struggling western cellphone giants, while Huawei is also hiring thousands of new employees in Europe to cater to its largest market outside of China.   More

Global Tech

Big Potential for Vietnam’s IT Services

Vietnam IT photo

Vietnam plays a small role in global IT services today, but it has big potential to contribute more in coming years. Many Vietnamese IT companies and policymakers want to develop the human capital necessary for future success. However, they face challenges that will require clever solutions. Like many emerging markets, Vietnam today exports substantially more goods than services. Although revenues from IT services have grown substantially in recent years, the country produces vastly more hardware than software. And while IT services companies outnumber hardware manufacturers, you’ll still find more tech industry workers in factories than in offices.   More