DISRUPTIVE #10: Sports Genomics
Hello, I’m Terrence McNally and you’re listening to DISRUPTIVE the podcast from Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.
Can sneaker endorsements, cereals, protein powders or electrolyte cocktails get any of us closer to the peak level performance of our favorite athletes? Despite billions in sales, the answer is probably no. But how about an elite athlete’s biology?
With 100 trillion cells in the human body, bacteria outnumber our own human cells 2 to 1, and bacteria in our gut affect all our key organ functions. They play a role in our health, development and wellness, including endurance, recovery and mental aptitude.
What if we could tap the gut bacteria of elite athletes to produce customized probiotics – and what if those probiotics could give recipients access to some of the biological advantages that make those athletes elite?
A former NBA hopeful in the lab of George Church at the Wyss Institute asked that question a couple of years ago and the lab is now moving toward a startup to bring such products to market.
In related news, consider this: With 2015 sales of $115B, sports-based nutraceuticals made up the largest share of the global nutraceutical market, but probiotic-focused sports products made up less than 1% of those sales.
I’ll talk with Wyss Research Fellow JONATHAN SCHEIMAN and – a previous guest on Disruptive – Wyss core-faculty member GEORGE CHURCH.
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Free Forum – Two classic political interviews from 2004 THOMAS FRANK, WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH KANSAS? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America GEORGE LAKOFF, DON’T THINK OF AN ELEPHANT: Know Your Values and Frame the DebateWritten on March 4th, 2017
Originally Aired in 2004 They noticed trends, asked questions, offered warnings and gave advice.
“Why does the pro-life factory worker who listens to Rush Limbaugh repeatedly vote for the party that is less likely to protect his safety, less likely to protect his job, and less likely to benefit him economically?”
– Thomas Frank
“In politics framing is about making sure the debate takes place in language that fits your worldview. Framing trumps facts and self-interest.”
– George Lakoff Twelve years later their worst fears came true.
Originally aired April 2005
Environmental damage, climate change, rapid population growth and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of these societies, but other societies found solutions and persisted. The subtitle claims “societies choose to fail or succeed.”
Free Forum – RESPONDING TO TRUMP Eddie Kurtz, Courage Campaign – Colby Devitt, Standing Rock First NEW SHOW since 2014. Opens w 15 minute commentary.Written on January 14th, 2017
After hosting and producing this show for 17 years, I stepped away from recording new live interviews nearly two years ago, but I couldn’t resist commenting about Trump’s election and our path forward confronting his administration. The Courage Campaign is spearheading resistance in California with a mix of online and ground organizing and action. Colby Devitt shares her experience at Standing Rock and her work in the campaign to divest from banks funding the pipeline.
I’m excited to offer the first episode of DISRUPTIVE, my new monthly podcast series produced with Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. The mission of the Wyss Institute is to: Transform healthcare, industry, and the environment by emulating the way nature builds, with a focus on technology development and its translation into products and therapies that will have an impact on the world in which we live. Their work is disruptive not only in terms of science but also in how they stretch the usual boundaries of academia.
In this inaugural episode, Wyss core faculty members Pamela Silver and George Church explain how, with today’s technology breakthroughs, modifications to an organism’s genome can be conducted more cheaply, efficiently, and effectively than ever before. Researchers are programming microbes to treat wastewater, generate electricity, manufacture jet fuel, create hemoglobin, and fabricate new drugs. What sounds like science fiction to most of us might be a reality in our lifetimes: the ability to build diagnostic tools that live within our bodies, find ways to eradicate malaria from mosquito lines, or possibly even make genetic improvements in humans that are passed down to future generations. Silver and Church discuss both the high-impact benefits of their work as well as their commitment to the prevention of unintended consequences in this new age of genetic engineering.