Podcast by The Science Coalition
Science 2034 Podcast: RPI's Deepak Vashishth, PhD
Proteins are the fabric of our lives. The human body and its microbiota potentially produce millions of proteins. With time, these proteins get modified, inactivated, damaged, or under- or over- produced. Therein lies the hazards and hopes.
Deepak Vashishth, PhD is Director of the Center for Biotechnology & Interdisciplinary Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) in recognition of his groundbreaking bone research. His work, and that of the CBIS, has received support from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy.
Science 2034 LIVE: Congressional Briefing
Whether your idea of the future leans more toward flying cars or flying to Mars, you’ll want to hear from Science 2034 Live panelists who believe, as result of research being performed today, that the next 20 years will bring some amazing changes. From nanoparticles patrolling our bodies to warn us of health risks to driverless solar-powered cars and a pill to treat Alzheimer’s, these scientists have big ideas and are pursuing research that just might transform our lives.
Science 2034 Podcast: MIT's Timothy L. Grove
Science 2034 Podcast: MIT's Timothy L. Grove by The Science Coalition
Science 2034 Podcast: MIT's Mary Gehring
Science 2034 Podcast: MIT's Mary Gehring by The Science Coalition
Science 2034 Podcast: MIT's Chris A. Kaiser
Our guest is Chris Kaiser, the chair of MIT's biology department, to talk about the future of fighting infectious diseases, and the importance of basic scientific research in this area. His essay appears in his MIT's new report, "THE FUTURE POSTPONED: Why Declining Investment in Basic Research Threatens a U.S. Innovation Deficit."
Science 2034 Podcast: Harvesting the Fuels of the Future
By the year 2034, we will be able to produce biofuels efficiently, economically and on a scale such that they make up a meaningful portion of liquid transportation fuels and chemical products in the United States. We will do this by using biomass, the parts of plants that are ineffectively used today. The impact that this will have on our environment, national security, economic security and even our food security is significant.
Biofuels are created when plant material is broken down into simple sugars and those sugars are converted by microbes into fuels. While ethanol and some other biofuels are being produced today, the process is not particularly efficient. In the case of ethanol, the current process for converting plant sugars into fuel is only about 80 percent efficient. So an additional 25 percent more ethanol could potentially be produced. Additionally, most microbes prefer glucose, but there are other sugars present in plants that can be converted to fuel. We just need to figure out how to get the microbes to eat these less desirable sugars. It’s a little bit like when you serve your children a plate of food and they gobble up their French fries, but leave the broccoli and tomatoes.