Dreamer Biologist's Blog

Sachin Rawat on Biology, Technology, Medicine, Life and Future


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Physiology Nobel 2014 Awards Research on GPS in Brain

This post has been geo-located to New Delhi in India. My tablet’s inbuilt GPS did that for me. What does that for me (and most of us) every time I move? We become aware of our existence when we can distinct ourselves from and place ourselves in space. How we do this had been a philosophical puzzle since ages. This year’s Nobel prize for Physiology has been awarded to three scientists whose work has explained how we navigate in space. In simple terms, how the inner GPS in the brain functions. Continue reading

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How many Human Genomes will be Sequenced this Year?

It took nearly 13 years, billions of dollars and many research labs across the globe to complete the Human Genome Project. 11 years later, how many genomes would be synthesized in 2014 alone? If Francis de Souza, president of Illumina – the company whose sequencers generate 90% of all DNA data produced, is to be believed – Continue reading

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Taking Biotech to the Home

We have biotech all around in our homes. The fruits in our fridge were grown on trees that were resistant to pests and maybe had improved yield than the conventional. Many components of the soaps, shampoos and detergents in your house were processed using enzymes that were obtained from modified bacteria. Almost every time you pop-in a tablet, you have biotechnology to thank for. While these and many applications abound all around us, the underlying technology isn’t as perceptible. Biotech needs to be more visible.

A popular open source biotechnology blogger is on a personal endeavour to bring biotechnology to homes. Continue reading

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Rise of the Lean Biotech Start-up

Biotech start-ups are a bulky affair. They require monstrous amounts of money and resources to start with, take years to do the research and development for the product and the profits, if any, fall down rapidly once patents expire and  generic versions of the product fill the market. For platform start-ups, the technology often gets outdated before it becomes profitable. Thus, biotech start-ups make good products but, not good businesses.

Fortunately, the scenario is changing with the costs of starting up a biotech company plunging to the order of the costs of starting a software company. Continue reading

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How Emerald Cloud Lab is democratizing Biotech

Emerald Cloud Labs is a biotech start-up that would enable you to start your biotech start-up at a fraction of cost of what it takes today. It lets you conduct over 40 common biotech experiments while you’re sitting in front of your computer.

Emerald Therapeutics started out as looking into cures for viral diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. It has developed its in-house platform for conducting experiments into a science as a service business model. Use of robots and storing all experimental data in a systemic manner has the great benefit of increased reproducibility of the experiments. Continue reading

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Making Synthetic Viruses

Andrew Hessel is a Distinguished Researcher with Autodesk Inc and a visionary in synthetic biology. So, what is a company involved in computer aided design doing in synthetic biology? A lot, potentially. Hessel is with the Bio/Nano Programmable Matter group, which is developing advanced software tools to let you design living systems at the nanoscale level. Continue reading



Final Week @ IDEA – Venture!

After learning to design and build a start-up, the final week was about venturing out. Our mentors felt that we were able to build breakthrough start-up ideas and left everything on us. The hiring process, building prototypes, designing products and pitching it to investors. We chose our teams last Saturday and had the whole week to work on our start-up ideas. We had to submit our venture submission packets that consisted of our prototype, lean canvas model, splash page and pitch deck by Friday. Continue reading


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Week Two @ IDEA – Build!

After the first week focusing on design, the second week at Innovate Delhi Entrepreneurship Academy was about building a business out of the product. To sum up the week in two equations, I’d like to use the following from Bernadette Jiwa’s blog -

Product – Meaning = Commodity
Product + Meaning = Brand

Most entrepreneurs love the product/service they build. It is their creation. But, no one wants your product. A few people might want the thing that your product does to be done, but no one wants the product. What people – co-founders, investors, users, friends of users etc – want is a story. A story to make people see your product the way you see it or any way you want them to. Continue reading


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