Sleep is the most natural process that you can do other than breathing. Like breathing, we don’t need technology to help us sleep. The reason many people don’t sleep is because of what’s between their ears – their mental stability, anguish, or stress. Do you fall asleep easily or does the slightest noise wake you up? Dr. Michael Breus, gives me a full brain dump as I try to learn everything I can about sleep in one session. He takes on taboo ideas like polyphasic sleep and the role of nutrition and the microbiome in having a good night’s rest, how melatonin, CBD, and some pharmaceutical interventions such as Zolpidem affect the sleep process, how much sleep we should have, and more.
About two billion people that are going to move into cities by 2050 and with that growth, the demand for efficient transportation is going to increase dramatically. In an era where we’re already seeing inefficiencies in urban mobility having a massive impact on the economy, public health and environmental health, it’s hard to imagine a future of transportation that doesn’t border utter chaos. Cognizant of these projected problems, Assaf Biderman, is working on solutions that harness the power of artificial intelligence, robotics and other technologies that are already within our reach. Assaf is founder and CEO of Superpedestrian, founder of the Senseable City Lab at MIT and an awesome guy to learn from. I’ll admit, I have been dubious about the rentable scooter business, but Assaf has me convinced there’s an important place for these things in our cities. If you have any interest in urban mobility, this conversation is important.
Brent Bushnell is one of the most positive people I know. He’s created Two Bit Circus to reimagine how the newest developments in computing technology can shape the future of entertainment, work, education and human interaction. Brent grew up in the house that built Atari and has been a lifelong hands-on maker that brings a prototyping mindset to everything he does. Listen in to this candid and eclectic conversation and learn about the mass of possibilities that we can bring into fruition with just a little stretch of our imagination.
Probably whatever you were doing with your life as a kid isn’t as cool as building a Dyson swarm. 12 year old Levi Hurt has already decided to devote his life to doing so.
Levi is a delightful kid. It will warm your heart to hear his curiosity and excitement about these ideas. Even with my antagonistic questioning, his sense of wonder is infectious.
My friend, Dr. Melissa Selinger is a Doctor of Neuropsychopharmacology who has done actual research on using psychedelics and virtual reality for treating things like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. A huge frontier where there are all kinds of potential, and very little actual scientific research has been done here so far. It’s an exciting frontier to be able to help a lot of people who we don’t have any real idea how to help otherwise.
I’m super thrilled about that and the potential for it. It’s great to get to talk to somebody who knows what state of the art there is. Melissa knows a lot about all kinds of things that I don’t know anything about. As you guys know, part of what I love to be able to do is sit down with somebody who has a lot of knowledge and experience in something that I don’t know about, pick their brain, try and break it down, see if I can understand it and take you guys along for the ride so that we can all learn.
Carcinogens, teratogens, exosomes, stem cells, cytokines, CRISPR, gene editing, all these are things that we talk about in this conversation. A lot of it is me trying to get her to explain in layman’s terms what this stuff is and how it works. There is incredible potential here. If you were ever interested in what’s possible in stem cell therapy, you’re going to want to learn about exosomes and her experience with that. A couple of biotech startups had some ups and downs in that and learned a lot. I’m thrilled to be sharing our conversation with you. Enjoy this episode.
There’s this kind of pattern you can see sometimes, when you dig behind very successful projects, a lot of times there is some woman who is dead set on making it happen. And for a lot of them, she’s working behind the scenes and you don’t find out until you get real close, what’s really going on.
But occasionally you meet these women who are badass leaders that are so dogged that they’re going to make something happen by force of will. And I’m always honored to get to meet them. Today we get to spend some time with Saundra Pelletier, the CEO of Evofem Biosciences.
This is a super fascinating company that is dedicated to creating medical and healthcare products for women. You don’t find a lot of companies focused on that, which is sad because women are the ones who drive a lot of the healthcare decisions for their entire families. So I don’t understand why the market hasn’t picked up on that one.
I think you’re going to love Saundra. She’s created a product at her company called Phexxi. It is the first and only FDA approved, non-hormonal contraceptive gel for women. They can use it anytime on demand whenever they want. This is the kind of product that is really important to change the balance of power and determining who ends up procreating and when. We want that control to be in the hands of everyone, but in the past, a lot of the responsibility has landed on women and, they’ve been given, in some sense, relatively crude tools to do it. Most women in America at least are using a hormonal contraceptive, which has a lot of additional health side effects.
As Saundra will tell you, she developed late stage breast cancer. She survived through a double mastectomy but the doctors told her the only real reason that she probably had cancer, in the first this place was being on a hormonal birth control for 20 years. Lots of stories like that, that you probably know and have heard with your own friends and family.
So I think this is a very important project. This type of advancement in a technology that changes what humans can do, when they can do it, who has the decision-making power is important. We have a lot of options here where I’m at, but when you look globally at what’s happening with contraception in other countries especially in the developing world, there’s a lot of social stigmas that affect what women can get away with when they’re trying to find contraceptive choices.
Giving them some options is paramount, not just because I would like to see population managed in a more thoughtful fashion. And hopefully create a few less humans that we don’t have a plan for, but also to give them the ability to choose when the time is right, who the right partner is, what they want to do, and not have to subject themselves to the entire weight of society’s idea about what they should do with their lives. That’s important, I believe for humanity as a whole. And so I’m really excited about Phexxi getting some support. Evofem Biosciences is publicly listed. So I certainly don’t want to give anybody investment advice, but these are some folks who could really use some help. And if they can get enough support for this company, they’ll be able to take Phexxi around the world and that’s gonna make a big difference for a lot of people.
I hope that you guys love this very soulful conversation I got to have with Saundra, and I’m thrilled to be sharing her with you.