3D Printing

Dinosaur 3D Printing Company Secures 10 Million in Funding

San Franciscan biotech startup, Cambrian Genomics, has continued their pursuit to make DNA an affordable consumer product with their DNA laser 3D printing technology (outlined in the video below). A recent acquisition of $10 million in private funding has not pushed CEO Austen Heinz to back off from his 3D printed dinosaur comments made last year.  Instead, he’s actually doubling down on them. Making human DNA available to anyone may scare the crap out of ethicists, but the 120 investors in Cambrian Genomics don’t seem to share that fear.

The small company currently has only eleven employees, but after their successful investor buy-ins, that could change rather rapidly. Among the investors is venture firm Founders Fund, who believes that the technology that Cambrian Genomics developed could change the world and allow us to generate creatures that have never existed, but can be created specifically to help us.

dna laserprinter cambrian genomics 3d printing

“Anyone in the world that has a few dollars can make a creature, and that changes the game, and that creates a whole new world,” explained Heinz to the SF Gate recently. “It is the most powerful technology humans have ever created. 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.”Granted, this kind of genetic tinkering is very controversial, and there are certainly places where this could go horribly wrong, as Hollywood might suggest, but the benefits may be endless.

Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz
Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz

Being able to mass-produce DNA allows medical scientists and researchers to push into unexplored territories only dreamed of by science fiction writers. While Heinz said that his technology could indeed be used to alter the DNA of our offspring to fit our liking, it could also lead to advances that could eradicate genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis and birth defects.

Realistically, we’re not going to be able to cure genetic disorders without granting humanity the ability to alter its own genome in other, less medically necessary ways. Much like cosmetic surgery, there is money in the customization of the human body, and anyone who thinks that the idea of tailoring your perfect child before conception won’t be enticing to a lot of people are fooling themselves. It’s also important to remember that quite a few medical advances and surgery techniques that have saved countless lives weren’t developed in research labs but rather the operating rooms of cosmetic surgeons.