germs and bacteria

152. Bacteria for Breaking Down Plastic, Improved Health and Better Beer, Fighting Farts in the Process | Anne Madden

Anne Madden microbiologist

Anne Madden (@AnneAMadden) is a microbiologist, inventor, science communicator and CSO and founder of Lachancea, an innovative foodtech company focused on the science of microorganisms.

Anne’s a public speaker (three-time TED/TEDx speaker), frequently consults as an innovation and engagement strategist for various industries and has been mentioned by various media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, PBS News Hour, Newsweek, and Scientific American. She’s also a brain trust member of the Helena Group Foundation.

Her research focuses on understanding microbial communities–in the diverse habitats of food, insects, and built environments–and deciphering the human applications of these microbes and has led to the discovery of a new fungal species, novel antibiotics, patented brewing technology, commercially produced beer, new DNA based methods for detecting arthropod communities, licensed technology for the manufacturing of improved breeds, and a greater understanding of the microbial life around us.

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In today’s episode we discuss:

  • How microbes will solve humanity’s biggest challenges in the 21st-century
  • What bacteria could do to drastically impact climate change
  • The issue Anne has with probiotic and biotech marketing
  • Why the anti-bacterial movement has been so harmful to human health
  • Why not all germs are good germs
  • How microbes make the flavors and smells we love
  • What we can (and can’t) do about drug-resistant bacteria, like MERSA
  • How bioterrorism may evolve and why Anne’s not that worried
  • What Anne thinks about agriculture and possible unintended consequences
  • The reason we need to bring science to light
  • How industry can partner better with academia to improve our world
  • Why nature holds the key to a hundred billion-dollar businesses
  • Why data privacy’s more dangerous than ever
  • Do we need regulations to protect health data

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