Medical Technology Start Ups

Democratizing Creation

3dprinting dna

3dprinting dnaThanks to Cambrian Genomics for that incredible, credible tag line – democratizing creation.  It fast tracked me into the future as it caught me unawares and fascinated at the same time.  Cambrian can 3D bioprint DNA.  We can create creatures because we can code and de-code.

We live in code hacking times.  Yesterday it might have been Deconstructing Code, but that is passe.  As we teach coding in K-12 with funding from Zuckerberg et al, and every daddy of a princess wants her to ditch the tiara for a coding career, we also have DNA being decoded, democratized,  synthesized and sold as consumer product. (soon) Want to make a dinosaur? Okay.

We already have 3 parent babies with DNA inserted from a 3rd party into an IVF embryo. Now, we have Cambrian bioprinting synthetic DNA  and suggesting, as one example, 2 gay men can now make a baby with both their DNA.

So, what are we disrupting besides the usual  dance of the genitals to conception? Well, the billion dollar + fertility industry for one. I don’t care about that. They use desperation as a cash cow anyway since they know 50% of treatments end in failure with repeats as desperation increases with age.  These MD’s are con artists, let them go the way of the dodo bird,  bookstores and travel agents.  And of course we are disrupting the foundation of anyone who thinks the Bible or Koran or Talmud is a source of scientific information.

But where’s the critical disruptive element?  Where is it most defiantly (and frightfully?) displayed? In the products of conception – the children of the triad parental paradigm and DNA and a complex identity and ancestry,  with a new language to learn, the language where we understand the words mother and father as obsolete.  Their identity is compromised before they are born; identity theft is built in.

Existential angst is not a hypothetical here when a kid can’t answer the basic question, “Who am I?”.  You sure you want  to design-a-kid  with bioprinted synthetic DNA?  The answer will be ‘yes’, of this I am sure because mankind has always gone to the unknown and sought and mapped  new terrain.  Now the terrain is baby land.

Everything is  code: we can read the DNA code, and replicate it.  We can code now for plastic fantastic lovers, or cuddly, designed to spec, genetic children.

Zip line me to the future – I can deal with it  because I have no choice. But do you really want to make a generation who has genetic confusion built in? Identity theft as birthright? Linguistic analysis needed: what is a mother, a father?

Define family. Not in squishy, sentimental terms that only make the adults comfortable. “A mother is the one who stays up all night when you are sick.” Oh, please – that’s not a mother, that’s a nurse. Mother is the one who raises you and mother is the one who births you.  Sometimes they are one and the same and sometimes not. In that case we have the legal and the biological. Kids can understand, but only if you do and explain it right. Skip the sentimental approach.  It does the kid no good.

Democratize the language and prep the culture. Democracy is never easy, and I suspect democratizing conception and creation will be the most difficult democratic experiment we have tried out yet.  Bon chance, kiddos – brother of another mother and another and another and a father and another and another. Yes, you are different. Eventually, we will embrace you for that and call it diversity. But first, you will undoubtably suffer.

Parents to be of bioprinted DNA kids: be sensitive, smart and role play until YOU GET IT: you are monsters breeding sweethearts.

A new breed of children of 3 or more parents and synthetic DNA? This is real disruptive innovation, this democratizing of creation.  The invisible cloud buddy, if he was, and if he could, he would, chuckle.

As he was dying and the DMT expressing itself, Steve Jobs said, “Oh wow, oh wow, oh wow.”    Yea, like he said.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 9:30 am

    Amazing! The man in the video concludes by saying, “Things around us [in the world] will be synthetic, and better.” Earlier he says about synthesizing microbes: “The problem is, it’s expensive.” No, it’s not! The problem is it’s dangerous!

    When/if the technology of synthetic DNA gets to the point where a reasonably bright graduate student can produce designer microbes, civilization is probably over. Astonishing that the fellow could talk for twenty minutes and never mention the problem. Does no one remember Aum Shinrikyo?

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