By Josephine Adebukola Awosogba

The start up world has given us social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well as mobile grocery delivery with Instacart. Tech start ups offer the public innovation and excitement.

In the field of biomedical engineering, they have the ability to launch medicine into the future. The difficult part is deciding what the future will look like. For Austen Heinz, a silicon valley entrepreneur, the future includes genetic manipulation and even genetic design, but not just for engineering firms and pharmaceutical companies. Heinz’s start-up, Cambrian Genomics, hopes to bring the power of genetic design into the hands of the consumer.

Cambrian specializes in fast, accurate, and cheap DNA printing. Although they have yet to make this technology widely available, they are actively selling DNA sequences to the likes of Roche and GlaxoSmithKlein at 6 cents per DNA letter. Marcy Darnovsky of the Center of Genetics and Society in Berkeley, California has expressed great concern for Cambrian’s endeavors, but more so, the careless rhetoric Heinz employs while discussing issues of great bioethical concern.

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