Scott Walker at Walker Corporate Law. Scott loves startups and shows it, with fixed-fee pricing. Have a question? Email him directly at email@example.com and tell him Jason sent you.
about this episode
Today Jason explores the world of synthetic biology with Matthew Markus, Co-founder and CEO of Pembient, a startup creating synthetic rhinoceros horns to disrupt the $750m illegal rhino trade and stop the poaching and farming of this increasingly endangered animal. Matthew explains why the horns are so valued in East Asia (medicinal and luxury uses), how this overwhelming demand threatens the current rhino population, and his solution to end this problem. We see how Matthew’s startup actually creates and 3D prints the horn and how close biologically the synthetic are to actual horns (very close, and working to get closer every day). Jason and Matthew also discuss the synbio industry, the technology involved, some of the great things happening with food and synthetic biology (imagine steak created in a lab with no beef in it), and the future of synthetic biology and how these scientific advances could apply to humans, society, and bioterrorism.
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0:00 – 3:33 Intro/Welcome Matthew Markus
3:34 – 4:30 What is Pembient
4:31 – 8:11 All about rhinoceros horns and rhinos
8:12 – 11:48 Synthetic rhino horn
11:49 – 13:22 How the horns are used
15:04 – 21:20 Synthetic biology
21:21 – 26:09 Tech behind synthetic biology
26:10 – 28:36 International synthetic biology
30:33 – 34:57 SymBioBeta, synthetic bio in foods
34:58 – 38:40 The future of synthetic biology
38:41 – 44:14 Humans and synthetic biology
44:15 – 49:29 What it takes to get into synthetic biology, looking ahead
49:30 – 51:27 Austen Heinz, mental illness in startups