We can reprogram life. How to do it wisely | Juan Enriquez
For four billion years, what lived and died on Earth depended on two principles: natural selection and random mutation. Then humans came along and changed everything — hybridizing plants, breeding animals, altering the environment and even purposefully evolving ourselves. Juan Enriquez provides five guidelines for a future where this ability to program life rapidly accelerates. “This is the single most exciting adventure human beings have been on,” Enriquez says. “This is the single greatest superpower humans have ever had.”
DNA Startup Cambrian Genomics Wants to Let Customers Create Life
A California biotech startup has raised $10 million as it seeks to fulfill its mission of allowing customers to modify or even create their own custom genetically modified organisms.
Cambrian Genomics, a San Francisco-based custom DNA company founded by 31-year-old Austen Heinz, is seeking to “democratize creation” by providing DNA mapping for customers wishing to tinker with the genetic code of plants and animals, and even create custom creatures on their computers.
“Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game,” Heinz told the San Francisco Chronicle. “And that creates a whole new world.”
Secrets, disease and beauty are all written in the human genome, the complete set of genetic instructions needed to build a human being. Now, as scientist and entrepreneur Riccardo Sabatini shows us, we have the power to read this complex code, predicting things like height, eye color, age and even facial structure — all from a vial of blood. And soon, Sabatini says, our new understanding of the genome will allow us to personalize treatments for diseases like cancer. We have the power to change life as we know it. How will we use it?