The last visits of the week – just before we set off for Lake Tahoe were at two completely different companies: BioCurious and “Plug and Play”.
BioCurious is a company that allows it’s members to genetically modify plants, learn how it’s done and carry out different types of biological experiments.
First a little background: Stem cells are cells in our body which can essentially specialise into any type of cells. When just after Conception occurs and an embryo is formed – these cells (stem cells) replicate rapidly and eventually they specialise into different types of cells (neurons, muscle cells, bone cells etc). It is believed that we, in future, will be able to use Stem cells to form new organs (e.g if our kidneys fail we are able to use Stem Cells to recreate a new Kidney from our own Stem Cells).
What I found incredibly fascinating was the fact that one of the experiments one of the members have carried out is going back in the chain – creating Stem Cells from a specialised cell. This means that they used a part of the leaf to create Stem Cells (by immersing the leaf in a specific medium which catalysed the process). These Stem Cells can now be used to create an entirely new plant or any “part” of that specific plant! This is incredible (and I’m very excited as I write about it!).
The second place we visited was “Plug and Play”. This is essentially a startup hotspot where startups co-locate to create awesome new companies! In this case we were visiting a friend – Luis’ startup: CloudWalk which specialises in new solutions for banking transactions (it’s a lot more than just that but more info about that when they’re ready!). It was incredibly inspiring to see the environment where Dropbox, Paypal and other major companies were founded and how much potential and creativity there is here in Silicon Valley
…aaand with this the long weekend is formally on and wer’re off to Lake Tahoe for watersports and other fun stuff!