18 episodes

This is the premiere show featuring trailblazers who are building technologies today to solve tomorrow's toughest challenges.

Tough Tech Today with Meyen and Miller Jonathan Miller and Forrest Meyen

    • Technology
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

This is the premiere show featuring trailblazers who are building technologies today to solve tomorrow's toughest challenges.

    M12 bets big on the digital frontier with Matt Goldstein

    M12 bets big on the digital frontier with Matt Goldstein

    Digitization of the physical world brings new synergies and expanding attack surfaces – so it is key to invest in those who defend us.
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    Overview: Probing the cybersecurity of 3D printing, scaling the digital transformation of manufacturing, and developing quantum-safe encryption for the next evolution of the Internet, Matt Goldstein, Managing Director at M12, Microsoft’s Venture Fund, shares with us the criticality of investing in companies exploring the frontiers of cybersecurity and infrastructure.
    “No one thinks their front door lock is obnoxious,” shares Goldstein, yet there remains a consumer hurdle in adopting baseline cybersecurity practices such as updating software, avoiding password reuse, and leveraging multi-factor authentication. Fear-mongering is one approach, but also “it’s up to us both as cybersecurity practitioners – call them lockbuilders – as well as the homebuilders, the application builders, to make their solutions and products inherently more secure and inherently less attractive to attackers,” tells Goldstein. 
    Also discussed is Goldstein’s path from being a “bad software developer” to venture capital, including the workings of M12, its relationship with Microsoft, and ever-present opportunities for value creation among security startups. “Cybersecurity will never be solved. It is a fundamentally asymmetric problem. The economic incentives of attackers to get incredibly creative match the economic incentives of defenders to find newer and better creative solutions to their attacks.”
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    Show Notes: Episode page, transcript, and podcast listening links: https://toughtechtoday.com/cybersecurity-investing/Matt Goldstein on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mattgoldsteinpc/M12 (firm): https://m12.vcSubscribe with your favorite podcast service: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1169378/8742841-m12-bets-big-on-the-digital-frontier-with-matt-goldsteinWatch this show on Youtube: https://youtu.be/lkEhiZ_QbtU

    • 58 min
    Synthesizing High-Tech Food is TOUGH, featuring Kate Krueger of Helikon

    Synthesizing High-Tech Food is TOUGH, featuring Kate Krueger of Helikon

    In one sentence: “Synthesizing” and “food” are uncommon word pairings, but the engineered dishes they serve may be an appetizing feast for the senses.

    Overview:
    Climate change, a growing global population, and maturation of new biotechnologies are driving the motivation for – and means of – producing more food. Engineering is improving traditional agricultural means for food production, yet, in our conversation with Kate Krueger of Helikon, emerging synthesization techniques are bringing food from the lab to the market, with exciting and healthy results.

    Topic Timecodes:
    00:59 What is "high-tech food"
    01:57 "Cheese doodle" tech
    04:06 Recombinant protein technology
    06:17 Relationship between recombinant protein technology and climate change
    08:07 Growth factors & proteins
    11:58 Veracity of claims of cosmetic benefits due to wheat-grown proteins
    12:38 Analogy to stem cells
    13:04 Economic challenge of growing growth factors
    14:42 Summary of mechanism for generating proteins genetically
    16:50 Is eating meat bad for the environment?
    19:01 Wildtype and genetically-engineered salmon
    19:41 Taste of lab-grown meat & "fat tech"
    21:02 Politics around meat-eating & environmental sustainability concerns
    23:00 Potential for lab-grown meat
    25:28 More funding for startups than universities & Kate's cross-silo experience in cell ag space
    28:39 Helikon Consulting
    32:01 Potential harms for "high-tech food" & regulation by FDA/USDA
    34:43 Long-term effects on human microbiome due to consumption of lab-grown meat as opposed to more "biodiverse", from-the-wild foods
    36:50 Red tomatoes & ethylene gas
    38:45 Kid Kate & why biology/chemistry as concentration
    40:01 Why consulting for Kate now?
    41:10 Balancing industry and academic perspectives
    45:40 Rapid-fire questions for Kate
    47:45 Kate asks us rapid-fire questions
    51:44 Kate's advice to audience

    Show Notes:
    Episode page, transcript, and podcast listening links: https://www.toughtechtoday.com/synthesizing-food/Kate Kruger on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ktkruegerHelikon (company): https://www.helikon.xyzWatch this show on Youtube: https://youtu.be/W55ZojPWblc𝞣 

    • 52 min
    Exposing cancer with bioengineering, featuring Cyriac Roeding of Earli

    Exposing cancer with bioengineering, featuring Cyriac Roeding of Earli

    In one sentence:We can make cancer cells tell us exactly where they are.
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    Overview:Consumer internet entrepreneurs lack many of the skills for the life sciences revolution – or do they? Cyriac Roeding, CEO and co-founder of Earli, shows us what his team of bioengineers are accomplishing by applying fast-learning software development discipline to hard life science problems. Earli’s mouse and canine models are producing exciting results inducing cancer cells to expose their locations, enabling precision medicine to pinpoint malignant from benign many months earlier than state-of-the-art techniques. “I love the idea of having multiple shots on goal… rather than spending a billion dollars on small molecule development,” says Cyriac.
    As expeditiously as it has progressed, the Earli story is not without its difficult periods, including the death of a gifted co-founder. “First, I cried... I [had become] very close to him. As brilliant a scientist as he was, he was an even more wonderful human being. I loved this man,” shares Cyriac. “Our team rallied behind the whole situation,” and we learn how Cyriac, his co-founder, and the Earli team reinforced their commitment to save lives as quickly as they can.
     —————
    Show Notes:Episode page, transcript, and podcast listening links: https://toughtechtoday.com/exposing-cancer/Cyriac Roeding on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cyriacroeding/Earli (company): https://www.earli.comWatch this show on Youtube: https://youtu.be/XYzvEx9F0g4

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Jmill goes glamping while Forrest lands on Mars and launches a new company.

    Jmill goes glamping while Forrest lands on Mars and launches a new company.

    Just a quick Tough Tech Today update as we take a bye week and prepare for our guest in two weeks.

    • 7 min
    Google Maps for gold? AI-Assisted Mine Prospecting is Tough!

    Google Maps for gold? AI-Assisted Mine Prospecting is Tough!

    In one sentence: When the frontiers of geology overlap with the frontlines of contested regions, international collaborations help protect minerals core to our civilization.

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    Overview:
    There’s a world of minerals in every electronic device. Anything that cannot be grown must be mined, Emily King tells us. A global mining expert and founder of Prospector Portal, Emily shares stories and advancements in the finding, protecting, and stewarding of minerals.

    From digitizing and structuring disparate datasets sourced around the globe, to mobilizing with armed teams to identify and secure minerals critical to humanity’s future, our conversation takes a journey from the rocks beneath us to the rocks above us, where advanced space technologies further our understanding of lunar regolith, Martian soil, and frozen asteroids – as well as the legal and commercial implications of their mining.

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    Show Notes:
    → Episode page, transcript, and podcast listening links: https://toughtechtoday.com/mine-prospecting/
    → Emily King on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emily-scott-king/
    → Prospector Portal (company): https://www.prospectorportal.com/
    → On the Rocks (podcast): https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/on-the-rocks/id1536817770
    → Watch this show on Youtube: https://youtu.be/mcE96CrNgpo

    • 53 min
    Unlocking new mRNA Treatments with Jake Becraft, CEO of Strand Therapeutics

    Unlocking new mRNA Treatments with Jake Becraft, CEO of Strand Therapeutics

    In one sentence: Unlocking new mRNA treatments will save lives, but it's not as simple as that.
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    Overview
    —————
    Jake Becraft of Strand Therapeutics is an expert in designing and programming mRNA, critical strands of genetic material that provide instructions for making proteins. As one suite of tools in the emerging synthetic biology toolkit, mRNA is a twenty-first century harbinger of life. 
    Yet, with all powerful tools, there are risks of accidental or intentional misuse. It is this shared responsibility among the scientific, private, and public realms that Becraft advocates for thoughtful, anticipatory stewardship of these influential technologies. Stunningly, it's no longer science fiction to consider pre-making vast numbers of vaccines for every conceivable pandemic vector and their mutations. This, the 'Manhattan project for vaccines', is a matter of national defense, Becraft argues.
    We are joined by contributing expert Malvika V. Miller for an episode featuring a wide-ranging discussion on synbio, STEM advocacy, national security policy, and more.
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    Topic Timecodes
    —————
    [01:04] What Strand Therapeutics does
    [03:24] Using messenger RNA technology for cancer and other rare diseases
    [07:20] What is unique about Strand’s tech and its therapeutic delivery mechanism
    [11:31] Targeting mechanism for constantly-changing heterogenous targets
    [16:18] Biohacking and open-source science
    [20:32] Biohacking security and regulation
    [24:46] Increasing importance of biotech security
    [29:33] Starting Strand Therapeutics
    [32:14] mRNA vs. DNA
    [35:38] Current challenges of synthetic biology field
    [37:56] Prioritizing at Strand across many use cases of mRNA, a platform therapeutic
    [40:41] Making medical developments more efficient and quicker
    [42:28] Cancer as a key focus at Strand & strategy outlook
    [43:20] Different perceptions of justifiable speed in developing consumer products vs. biotech
    [46:23] Perception that COVID-19 vaccine was “rushed” & trusting regulatory agencies
    [50:22] “Manhattan Project for vaccines”
    [57:13] Who supports and pays for such a defense project

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    Show Notes
    —————
    Episode page, transcript, and podcast listening links: https://toughtechtoday.com/programming-mrna/Jake Becraft on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jacob-becraft-biotech/Malvika V. Miller on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/malvikavmillerStrand Therapeutics (company): https://www.strandtx.com/A National Strategy for Synthetic Biology (publication): https://www.jstor.org/stable/26937411Subscribe with your favorite podcast service: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1169378/7631545-programming-mrna-with-jake-becraftWatch this show on Youtube: https://youtu.be/6NAyFuCkC-U

    • 59 min

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