May 16, 2021
Join us this week for an extremely interesting conversation with Kent Kemmish, the founder and chief exorcist (yes, exorcist) officer of Molecular Reality, and the creator of the new, and world’s first “molecular” games console, the demonpore 64. This is our first podcast with a member of the molecular programming community who works in industry, and in the startup sector.
At its heart, Kent’s demonpore 64 is a device which utilises solid state nanopores in order to sense its environment at the molecular level. Kent and his team have reduced the cost to manufacture this traditionally lab based and expensive equipment by orders of magnitude.
Kent’s hope is that by making this technology cheap, accessible and gamified, gamers can engage in science and data collection on behalf of scientists. This ought to enable scientists to perform very very large experiments, which would otherwise be impossible. We discuss what a molecular games console actually is, what sort of functionality the demonpore 64 has and how it can bring together academics, game developers, gamers, and citizen scientists in order to solve the world’s biggest challenges.
Kent talks through future games which will be available for the demonpore 64, including Poop of the Gods, 2021: A SARS Odyssey, Genomic Ranger, and Molecules of Mars. These games allow people to explore the molecular mysteries of poop, viral detection, chromosome structure, and martian soil!
We then move on to talk about Kent’s life, from student, to academic, to entrepreneur. Kent talks fondly of his early days working on Drosophila genetics, and later at Halcyon Molecular a startup which was focussed around sequencing DNA with electron microscopy. He talks about how these experiences shaped his worldview around having a much greater impact by working on and caring about scientific tools rather than the science itself, and bringing these tools to the scientists with research questions.
To learn more about the demonpore 64, check out Kent’s WeFunder campaign https://wefunder.com/molecularreality, and also check out their website https://www.molecularreality.com/.
The nanopore cartridge shown at ~51:00 can be seen here: https://podcast.molpi.gs/media/kemmish-k-03808e4f7ec87ae1/nanopore-cartridge.jpg
Find more information at the episode page here: