What’s Your Problem? Turning Cells into Tiny Factories

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Reshma Shetty is co-founder and chief operations officer of Ginkgo Bioworks. Her problem: How do you turn cutting-edge science into a sustainable business?

Ginkgo is a synthetic biology company. The idea is to make industrial products — fragrances, or food, or whatever — by genetically engineering DNA, sticking it into a yeast or bacteria, and getting the yeast or bacteria to produce the thing you want.

Creating a profitable synthetic biology business is a really hard problem. But if it does work, it could be massive — like an industrial revolution with cells instead of machines.

The Host

Jacob Goldstein

Jacob Goldstein spent more than a decade as co-host of the Planet Money podcast. He's also the author of the book Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing, which the New…