Dan Gibson leads a new breed of bioengineers, called genome writers, who use DNA to design and build new products powering the next industrial revolution.

Why you should listen

In 2004, Dan Gibson was drawn to a project at the J. Craig Venter Institute: to build a synthetic cell from scratch. Within days, he was on a path to creating synthetic life alongside genomics pioneers. But to build a whole genome from scratch, Gibson had to first invent new methods to assemble DNA. One method, dubbed the "Gibson Assembly," became a game changer, and a series of firsts followed: first synthetic bacterial genome, first synthetic cell, first minimal cell. Today, these discoveries inform the design of synthetic DNA used for new medicines.

Gibson's teams at SGI and SGI-DNA recently introduced the world's first biologic teleporter, called the Digital-to-Biological Converter (DBC), which turns digital code into functional biologics in the form of DNA, RNA and proteins without human intervention. Imagine a future where digital code is emailed to DBCs at hospitals around the world to deliver personalized medicine at a patient's bedside.

Dan Gibson’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Dan Gibson

Live from TED2018

Body electric: Notes from Session 9 of TED2018

April 13, 2018

During the week of TED, it’s tempting to feel like a brain in a jar — to think on a highly abstracted, intellectual, hypertechnical level about every single human issue. But the speakers in this session remind us that we’re still just made of meat. And that our carbon-based life forms aren’t problems to be […]

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