My guest today is one of the leaders of a wave of researchers doing just these very things. Nina Tandon is an electrical engineer working with a new type of cell, called an induced pluripotent stem cell, for drug trials and other biomedical research. She started out in telecommunications and would be able to explain, if we wanted her to, how the same equations govern cable transmissions across the Atlantic Ocean and nerve transmissions across our bodies. She’s a research scientist at Columbia University, was a 2011 TED Fellow—and had an awesome TED talk in December, on which I’m shamelessly basing my questions—and she’s an avid member of the IEEE’s Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society , or EMBS. She joins us by phone.