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What is Synthetic Biology?

Food Technology

What is Synthetic Biology?

Meet Ahmed Qureshi, Founder of Valorant Health...

...and expert in synthetic biology and its various applications in food and ag. Synthetic biology, a combination of genetic engineering and computer science, is changing the way we think about food and agriculture. And Ahmed is here to guide us through its groundbreaking potential.

Welcome back to Dirt to Dinner: Digging In, where we dig into what’s going on in the food and ag world. In this episode, we spoke with Ahmed ‘Eddie’ Qureshi about synthetic biology.

Ahmed is currently a founder of Valorant Health, which provides virtual care resources to over 67 million Americans living in rural and underserved areas. Ahmed started in Synthetic Biology wanting to apply its promise of scaling and iterating for maximum impact in healthcare. He was also a co-founder at DNAWorks, a spinout of the University of Washington’s Molecular Engineering and Sciences department. You can read more about Ahmed here.

Synthetic biology could be the future not only of healthcare, but of our food. This fascinating topic, which is a combination of genetic engineering and computer science, is changing the way we think about food and agriculture.  Simply put, synthetic biology is taking what we know in nature and making it better.

Scientists utilizing synthetic biology can change the DNA in viruses, bacteria, yeasts, plants, or even animals to improve human health, the environment, agriculture, and industrial processes. For instance, it is being used to reduce fertilizer usage on crops, enhance milk protein fermentation for use in non-dairy products, to create a plant-based coating to extend the shelf life of produce, and even to turn mushrooms into leather.

In our conversation with Ahmed, we talk about the definition of synthetic biology, as well as the impact artificial intelligence will have on re-designing living organisms into new products. We hope you enjoy this podcast and learn a few new things along the way.

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