Episodes
Published 07/22/21
Published 06/30/21
Published 06/08/21
Published 06/01/21
Published 05/18/21
Published 05/11/21
Today we are re-running an episode exploring a question that seems super straightforward, but that on closer examination reveals incredible complexity, and that is "how do we put the patient at the center of the healthcare system?” It almost seems counterintuitive, since aren’t patients always the center of healthcare? But healthcare is a strange industry, in that it is built with the fundamental goal of serving patients, but in many ways, the patient isn’t always the end customer of the...
Published 04/27/21
In 1994, 29 bald eagles were found dead at DeGray Lake in Arkansas. This mass mortality event kicked off a search for the culprit which has last over 25 years. On this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, host Lauren Richardson talks to Susan B. Wilde of the University of Georgia about her group's work finally identifying the eagle killer, and revealing a complex web of ecosystem dysfunction. Solving this mystery required a fresh point of view, a wide range of techniques and...
Published 04/20/21
Understanding how plants have adapted to natural climate change over millions of years provides a playbook of evolutionary strategies to help us prepare for and respond to man-made climate change. On this episode, host Lauren Richardson talks to Thomas Juenger, Associate Professor at the University of Texas in Austin and co-senior author of the recent article “Genomic mechanisms of climate adaptation in polyploid bioenergy switchgrass”, published in Nature. They discuss how studying native...
Published 04/13/21
The search for and conjecture about alien life has evolved, from science fiction to just plain science. On this episode, host Lauren Richardson talks to Arik Kershenbaum, Ph.D, author of the new book “The Zoologist’s Guide to the Galaxy: What Animals on Earth Reveal about Aliens — and Ourselves”, about what we can conjecture about alien life, based on the laws that govern life on Earth, and the universe at large. The conversation covers big questions like: Does biology have universal...
Published 04/06/21
Today we are re-running a previous episode of Journal Club — our show where we curate breakthrough research and bridge paper to practice — in light of a recent article published in the journal Nature (see show notes below). In this episode, host Lauren Richardson talks to Professor Anthony Atala from the Wake Forest School of Medicine about his lab’s work creating an engineered uterus that can support live births. This work represents a major milestone in regenerative medicine and could be...
Published 03/30/21
In this conversation, Stanford Professor Euan Ashley—geneticist, cardiologist, author of the new book, The Genome Odyssey, and first co-chair of the Undiagnosed Diseases Network—talks with Bio Eats World host Hanne Winarsky about one of the first places that genomic sequencing began to dramatically impact patients’ lives, and those of their families around them: in rare disease. Rare disease is by definition, well, rare. But collectively, it’s surprisingly common: 1 in 15. In this episode,...
Published 03/23/21
Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on Earth and for millennia humans have tried to rid themselves of these disease-spreading pests, with shockingly little success. On this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, host Lauren Richardson talks to Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University about two articles from her lab investigating the neural and genetic basis of the mosquito's love for us and our blood. The conversation covers how mosquitoes taste blood, the critical differences between...
Published 03/16/21
In this episode, we talk with Jeff Hawkins—an entrepreneur and scientist, known for inventing some of the earliest handheld computers, the Palm and the Treo, who then turned his career to neuroscience and founded the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience in 2002 and Numenta in 2005—about a new theory about how the cells in our brain work to create intelligence. What exactly is happening in the neocortex as our brains process and interpret information and sensory input—like sight, smell,...
Published 03/12/21
In a healthy person, your body automatically adjusts blood pressure constantly, and this adjustment is governed by what’s called the baroreflex. However, a spinal cord injury can disrupt this reflex, which has both short term consequences, like passing out, but also long term consequences like an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. On this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, host Lauren Richardson is joined by Dr. Aaron Phillips of the University of Calgary to talk about his...
Published 03/09/21
Sea turtles occupy a very special biological niche in our world. And we still know relatively little about these creatures, one of the very few marine reptiles on the face of the planet. But as population growth and activity on coasts has exploded, so have our encounters with sea turtles... including, unfortunately, those that cause injury and disease. So what advances in technology and healthcare are helping us treat these incredible, 150 million year old animals—and what are we learning...
Published 03/05/21
On this episode of the Bio Eats World Journal Club, we explore the very compelling question of whether we can use our understanding of developmental biology to create oocytes (aka eggs or female gametes) from stem cells in the lab. If possible, this could be on par with the development of in vitro fertilization in terms of extending fertility. But creating an oocyte from a stem cell has some unique and high-stakes challenges. Host Lauren Richardson is joined by a16z general partner Vineeta...
Published 03/02/21
In this episode of Bio Eats World, we talk to Dr. Jennifer Doudna—winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for the co-discovery (with Emmanuelle Charpentier) of CRISPR-Cas9—about the art and science of biology. Huge breakthroughs such as Doudna's—which began with the identification of CRISPR in bacteria and was then built into a highly adaptable genome editing platform—are now fueling the evolution of the field. Fundamental knowledge that has largely come from curiosity-driven science has converged...
Published 02/26/21
To date, synthetic biology has been mainly focused on reproducing existing compounds and materials with biomanufacturing. Think of engineering yeast to produce anti-malarial drugs, or bacteria producing spider silk. But as our guest — Professor Tom Ellis of Imperial College London — argues, the future of synthetic biology is in creating materials with fundamentally new and distinct functions. Imagine, a spider silk rope that it is interwoven with cells that can catalyze the dissolution of...
Published 02/23/21
The way we pay for healthcare in the US has long been by fee-for-service: per doctor visit, per test, per surgery, per hospital stay. But that system has led to rapidly escalating volumes of services and cost to the system—without actually improving outcomes. What if we shifted everything towards paying for value—and outcomes—instead? In this episode, Todd Park, co-founder and executive chairman of Devoted Health, and formerly Chief Technology Officer and technology advisor for President...
Published 02/19/21
In this episode, we share an episode of the brand new a16z Live podcast feed called “It’s Time to Heal”—a live conversation on audio/drop in chat app Clubhouse every Monday at 5pm PT, covering the latest trends and future of bio and healthcare with special guests and entrepreneurs, hosted by a16z bio partners Vineeta Agarwala, Jorge Conde, Vijay Pande, and Julie Yoo. Last week, a16z Bio General Partners and a16z cofounder Marc Andreessen talked with guest Nihkil Krishnan, comedian and...
Published 02/17/21