There’s Nothing More Personal Than Your Genome – Dawn Barry at TEDxSanDiego 2016

“Let’s not just wait for things to break, especially when those things can be the lives of the people we love,” concluded Dawn Barry at the end of her presentation during the TEDxSanDiego’s 2016 event on Oct. 22 at Copley Symphony Hall.

Barry, vice president, Applied Genomics at Illumina, was referring to the power of sequencing the human genome, which in simple terms she described as a code, or instructions for life – the entire collection of one’s DNA.

“Your genome holds the promise to help predict your health,” said Barry. “Your genome is an instruction manual for you, but it’s not your destiny.”

Certain factors such as lifestyle, environment and nutrition can play a role for or against your genome, but is there a way to do better than just react to such health issues as chemo therapy resistant cancer?

Recent technology developed in San Diego allows for entire genomes – once taking 13 years and $3 billion to complete for a single genome – to be sequenced in one day at a cost of about $1,000.

“There is no question that we have improved patient care and even saved lives based on genomics,” Barry said. “We know the technology works, but we don’t know enough yet for it to be applied preventatively, proactively.”

So what’s holding science back from getting ahead of disease?

Simply put, Barry stated the existing sample size is neither large enough, nor diverse enough to be able to be applied preventatively. By engaging the community, Barry said she believes this could help to put the parts and pieces together.

Dawn Barry on LinkedIn

Simple LIne Break

Innovation Beyond Borders – Regina Bernal at TEDxSanDiego 2016

There has been a lot of recent attention on borders and building walls.

But the border area separating San Diego and Baja California, also known as the CaliBaja Mega-Region, deserves attention for a very different reason.

According to Regina Bernal, the number of people now crossing the border on a weekly basis between San Diego and Tijuana is more than double the population of the city of Miami. The combined GDP of the Mega-Region amounts to more than $200 billion, which would place the area in the top 50 economies in the world.

Looking beyond border lines on a map, the connection extends far beyond geography and economics. Bernal sites longtime San Diego company Taylor Guitars’ decision – 20 year ago – to design a new product production facility in Tecate as a game changer. This move required cross-border collaboration and employees on both sides work together as one company – they even play softball on Fridays.

As Bernal explains, “Entrepreneurs such as Taylor Guitars start their lives as pioneers.” And in similar fashion, the University of San Diego decided to launch the first bi-national student pitch competition, Venture Vetting (V2), in 2013.

In three years, Bernal, who is the Entrepreneurship Manager at the University of San Diego, said that the number of companies from Baja California who participated in the V2 competition increased 10 fold.

“It is our vision that one day we will not have a separate bi-national track,” said Bernal. “Instead we will have entrepreneurs from San Diego and Baja California working together to build and scale successful companies … we continue to demonstrate that by coming together we become globally relevant.”

Simple LIne Break

The Age of Magic – Natasha Tsakos at TEDxSanDiego 2015

If all of history stood on a one-year scale, humans have existed for the amount of time it takes you to blink. This realization emphasizes not only how much humans have accomplished during our relatively short history, but also how incredible the current time we live in is. Natasha Tsakos, a conceptual director, interactive designer, and idea generator calls our period in history the “Age of Magic.”

Natasha points out some of the seemingly impossible breakthroughs that 2015 has seen. She then fuses music, lighting, and vivid descriptions to bring the audience’s minds to see her vision of technological discoveries over the next 25 years.

Natasha activates and inspires our imagination through her theatrical performance style. She explains that her lifelong fascination with theatrical performance shaped her brain to break down the normal, systematic way of looking at the world, and to truly believe that anything is possible.

Her talk, which integrates technology with live performance, embodies her concept that we possess the technology to create anything we can dream of—we just need the creativity and innovation to imagine it.

Natasha notes that for the past century, humans have acted as the machines and robots of the Industrial and Information ages. To keep up with the technological shift our world is making, humanity must shift to a creative state.

She also explains how different forms of art inspire the innovation necessary to create new inventions. It takes people who think differently to create a different world, asserting creativity is not a gift, but an attitude that we practice. In conclusion, Natasha offers her six steps to make a habit of creativity, so that we may invent, grow, and make a future that no one can predict.

Natasha Tsakos Website

Natasha Tsakos on Twitter

Natasha Tsakos on Facebook

Natasha Tsakos on YouTube

Simple LIne Break