DNA Laser Printer, Prints Life

Kristan T. Harris | The Rundown Live

dnaheinz920x920Austen Heinz, CEO of Cambrian Genomics, has made it possible for anybody to modify or create new life forms with a DNA Laser printer.

His 11-person crew has raised $10 million from more than 120 investors, including Peter Thiel’s venture firm Founders Fund. “It’s a fundamentally new technology that can open up a whole new industry,” said partner Scott Nolan.

Heinz’s synthetic biology company uses lasers to create custom DNA for pharmaceutical companies. Its mission, to “democratize creation” with minimal to no regulation.

Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game,” Heinz said. “And that creates a whole new world.”

“It is the most powerful technology humans have ever created,” Heinz said. “Hydrogen bombs can destroy whole planets, but this is a technology that can create planets. This is the greatest human achievement of all time — the ability to read and write life, because that’s who we are.”

At a recent conference in Vienna, he said, “We want to make totally new organisms that have never existed.”

There is the potential of creating living things that are now the stuff of fantasy and science fiction, dragons, elves, dinosaurs, fairies and easily could lead to a jurassic park scenario. Cambrian Genomics may become the Kinko’s of DNA printing.

Human DNA Printer?

Heinz told the Wall Street Journal, “I can’t believe that after 10 or 20 years people will not design their children digitally.”

The technology could also be used customize your baby, like printing desired eye and hair colors. “People are already trying to make those decisions by deciding who they’re going to breed with.” Said Heinz

Heinz claims that this will prevent children from being born with significant genetic disorders, such as cystic fibrosis, which would cause a lifetime of suffering.

Cambrian Genomics also recently raised more than $480,000 on Kickstarter to create genetically modified glow-in-the-dark plants.



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