Spider silk is renown for being one of the strongest materials on the planet. Light as a feather but stronger than steel (by weight). Scientists have been to make artificial silk for a long time, but have failed to produce them at scale and in industrially amenable conditions.
Spintex has invented an entirely new, scalable method of making silk, using a naturally derived protein. Their critical insight is that, when it comes to spiders, how they spin fibers is as critical, or even more so, as the proteins they use. By mimicking spider spinning, and using a natural protein, Spintex is already surpassing premium silk in performance, with no compromise on look and feel. They’re starting with the textiles industry and will eventually move towards high-value medical applications.
Plants have evolved to live in a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi present in the soil. As one would expect, soil bacteria play an outsized role in plant growth, but making it a product that the agricultural industry can use en masse has been difficult.
Reazent makes truly biological fertilizers by leveraging this symbiotic relationship between plants and bacteria. By being able to turn on a metabolic switch in bacteria, Reazent can make a fertilizer that is organic and more sustainable than the leading agrochemicals, while also being as (or more) effective. Reazent’s biological fertilizer can be applied to any crop, and is currently being tested in multiple field trials all over the world, and has already acquired a scale up partnership.
Microgenesis has worked with some of the hardest infertility cases there are – women who have undergone and failed multiple rounds of IVF. With a cohort of 287 would-be mothers, over 75% of their patients became pregnant using their proprietary test and nutraceutical regimen. Microgenesis uses microRNA signatures, on swabs from the fertility biome, to diagnose 64 phenotypes. They treat patients with 53 combinations of probiotics, nutraceuticals and diet-change. With personalized nutraceuticals and probiotics it resets fertility in 90 days.
Today, to produce any sort of custom recombinant protein, it takes weeks. This dramatically slows down scientists’ ability to test, iterate, and improve. Liberum’s affordable, benchtop protein printer will cut that time down to a few hours.
Kraken Sense is bringing real-time testing, with results in under five minutes, to large-scale food and water systems. Deployable throughout the system — farms, processors, kitchens — their technology blunts the toll that food recalls take by eliminating the time delays in food safety testing. Their in-line autonomous device uses carbon nanotube-based, single-use cartridges to perform strain-specific pathogen detection and quantitation on-site.
With our current technologies, the world’s global production and supply of energy will not be able to meet future demands. This is doubly true as more and more corporate promises are flooding in, aiming to achieve “net zero” by 2050. We need new technologies not only to produce and store energy, but also to move us away from carbon-intensive sources like petroleum.
To meet the diverse needs of a global energy market, Khepra uses fuel production as power storage for excess renewable electricity. Khepra is building reactors that deploy high intensity ultrasound frequencies to take flaked waste — everything from unrecyclable plastics to biomass to cardboard — and even mixed waste — and break the chemical bonds in the waste. This releases valuable chemicals and fuels, which are readily sold to refineries. Zero waste remains — everything in the reactor becomes fuel. Khepra will be working with Alabama Energy Group to upcycle their pulp and paper waste streams into fuels.
Ivy Natal is developing a process to create healthy human egg cells from skin cells as a treatment for most cases of infertility. Ivy Natal is developing a novel process to create healthy human egg cells from skin cells, giving women the confidence in their ability to choose whether and when to have a child. Many fertility patients cannot have children except through the use of donor eggs. This can be due to surgery, chemotherapy, maternal age, or genetic conditions. Ivy Natal aims to enable these parents to have genetic children for the first time.
The beauty industry will tell you: your skin is finnicky. That’s why there are over 1000 products for different face types and beauty enthusiasts can tell you what a pain it is to find the right one for your particular face. Each of our skin biomes have preferences from pH and moisture, to even the balance of bacterial consortia.
Cybele (pronounced SIB-uh-LEE) thinks of cosmetics products not as a mask, but rather as FOOD for your skin biome. They don’t try to drown your skin in new microbes that don’t belong–instead, they feed your skin bacteria to control what they do and produce. One of the products that your skin biome can produce on its own is ceramides, touted in the industry to retain skin moisture. By feeding them PRE-biotics your skin can produce the high-value probiotics you want, in the balance made for your skin.
Concrete is one of the oldest forms of building materials, made of limestone aggregates and the cement that binds it. But making the limestone aggregates involves a chemical reaction takes millions of years to do naturally. Carbix has created a reactor that can do this millions of times faster, all while taking emitted carbon and embedding it into the concrete.
This is local, sustainable, carbon-neutral concrete. Their reactor can embed 20X more time CO2 than most of the competitors out there. For every metric ton of concrete produced, more than half of it comprises of sequestered carbon. A single reactor with a 1 cubic meter array can clean up an entire neighborhood of energy production, and produce enough concrete for the foundation of 500 single family homes. With Carbix, all concrete can be carbon-neutral.
Biofermentation is often done in batches, because the cells (bacteria, yeast, etc.) that produce the product of interest will eventually mutate and cause the entire batch to become unproductive. This is why batches have to restart, undergoing an idle period, which costs time and money in labor and lost productivity.
Asimica’s solution to this problem is to create microbial stem cells, a technology that constantly generates “young” and productive factory cells, which solves two problems: 1) it prolongs the lifespan of a batch, which means more productivity and less downtime, and 2) more productivity from the constant production of younger factory cells. This can increase the productivity of biofermentation 2-3X per batch.
The difficult thing about treating tumors is that drugs have trouble penetrating their microenvironment. Chemotherapy itself is already a tricky balance of killing the cancer before it kills the patient, so increasing the dosage is already a risky gamble. Fortunately, the solution lies in the very same microbubbles that come out of your faucet.
Advanced Microbubbles has a patented method to size-isolate microbubbles, which can then be conjugated to any cancer drug. Combined with the humble ultrasound, these drug-bubble conjugates can then be spatially focused on the tumor using a medical device that exists in every clinic. This results in much less toxicity and much more drug penetrating the tumor.