Piña colada—hold the plastic

November 12, 2020
Some inspiration for your Thursday: a look at a biotech solution coming soon to a bar near you, plus two podcasts featuring powerful women biotech leaders. (813 words, 4 minutes)
BIO

Some inspiration for your Thursday: a look at a biotech solution coming soon to a bar near you, plus two podcasts featuring powerful women biotech leaders. (813 words, 4 minutes)

 

Piña colada—hold the plastic

 
 

Yesterday, we talked about the need for biotech solutions to the United States’ growing plastic problem—so today, we’ll take a closer look at one that might be coming soon to your local bar. 

BIO member Danimer Scientific is at the forefront of bioplastic innovation. They’re the first to market a biopolymer material that looks and feels like ordinary plastic but is completely biodegradable.

Danimer’s polymer Nodax PHA is “biosynthesized by a bacterium fed by inexpensive oils derived from the seeds of plants such as canola, soy, and palm,” according to the company.

How it works: “Plants absorb carbon dioxide, and we take the carbon out of those plants in the form of vegetable oil,” Danimer CEO Steve Croskrey told Fast Company. “We feed that to bacteria, who convert that carbon into PHA and store it as an energy reserve. And we extract that polymer from inside the cell wall and make the plastic item out of it."

Now, they’re working with some of the world’s largest food and beverage manufacturers including Bacardi, PepsiCo, and Nestlé to scale PHA beverage bottles, bags, and film packaging.

Danimer “recently finished scaling up its industrial facilities to begin large-scale production,” says Fast Company, and expects to begin rolling out the Bacardi bottles in 2023.   

Want to know more? Listen to our episode of the I AM BIO Podcast featuring Danimer’s Chief Marketing Officer Scott Tuten, available at www.bio.org/podcast or anywhere you get your podcasts, including AppleGoogle, and Spotify

 
 
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 

How can we diversify biotech’s leadership ranks?

 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

No matter how you voted on Election Day, we can all agree that the election of the first woman—and woman of color—to the vice presidency is a long-overdue milestone worth celebrating. So, how can we get more women and minorities in leadership roles? A few of our favorite women in biotech discussed this question on two recent podcasts.

Podcast #1: HerStory, a podcast by and for women leaders in health care.

The episode: Host Dr. Julie Gerberding, EVP and Chief Patient Officer at Merck, spoke with BIO President and CEO Dr. Michelle McMurry-Heath and GlycoMimetics CEO Rachel King about their experiences as women CEOs in biotech. [Click to Listen]

Dr. Michelle’s leadership advice: “The more transparent you are about how being a woman helps you or impacts the way you lead and how you do your job, the more it will help the women coming behind you to see themselves in the leadership around them,” said Dr. Michelle.

 
HerStory Podcast featuring Dr. Michelle and Rachel King
 

Podcast #2: Women in Government, the podcast for the national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators.

The episode: New Jersey Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter spoke with Dr. Michelle about the BIOEquality Agenda, which is working to ensure scientific justice by building bridges to minority communities. [Click to Listen

Why the biotech industry should focus on diversity and inclusion: “The biotech industry cannot just save lives,” said Dr. Michelle, “it can also advance equal opportunity by creating more entry points for diverse leaders to help guide our industry. We also have an obligation to make sure that our transformative scientific breakthroughs are accessible to all communities.” 

And why we’re doing it right now: This year has “allowed us to take a pause, see what’s critically important, and see how we can each do a little bit more to improve our country and our world. And BIO has taken advantage of that pause to say these are the things our industry can contribute to making sure that progress goes forward, that scientific progress occurs, and that health, nutrition, and the environment continue to improve perhaps at a faster rate than they had previous to the pandemic,” she concluded. 

Learn more about the BIOEquality Agenda.

 

More Health Care News: 

CNN: Moderna expects to know by the end of the month whether its COVID-19 vaccine works
“Moderna has finished accumulating data for a first analysis of its COVID-19 vaccine and expects to have an announcement on the vaccine's efficacy by the end of the month, the company said in a statement Wednesday.”

 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 

Meet John: Exploring Enzymes and Medical Device Cleanliness

Meet John Howell of Novozymes
 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

John Howell is a scientist at Novozymes who is studying how to use enzymes to clean complex medical devices, such as endoscopes, between patients.  

The end goals: better disinfection, better patient outcomes.

He credits his teachers for inspiring him to pursue a career in biotechnology—a reminder of why STEM education is so critically important.

Click here to watch him tell his story—and share your own.

 
 
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook
 
 
BIO Beltway Report
BIO Beltway Report
 
Paragraph (sm) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus vel facilisis sample link.
 

President Trump’s Thursday: Lunch with VP Pence, then meetings with the Secretaries of State and Treasury. 

President-Elect Biden’s Thursday: He announced his chief of staff, longtime adviser and former “Ebola czar” Ron Klain. He’s also set to announce a COVID-19 transition team, which will “lay the groundwork for a White House COVID-19 response team to be created after Biden is inaugurated,” per POLITICO. (Yes, the transition team is different than the previously announced task force.)

What’s Happening on Capitol Hill: Newly elected House members start orientation in Washington today, reports Roll Call.

 
 
Paragraph (normal) - Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Quis ipsum suspendisse ultrices gravida. Risus commodo viverra maecenas accumsan lacus sample link.
 
Twitter
 
LinkedIn
 
Facebook