This is a guest post by Kishan Bhoopalam of Genetik Ink, a startup developing interactive DNA art.
We are now at a point in which advances in genetics are personally affecting consumers lives. With companies such as 23andMe and deCODEme, consumers now have the ability to see their own genetic information and make important health decisions.
This direct-to-consumer model of genetics and analysis has the potential to revolutionize society. But while this new era seems promising, there must be a cultural change in how scientists approach the development of these new technologies.
The Need for Design
Genetic analysis will become cheaper, more accessible and prevalent. But we make this data meaningful through design. Design by definition is the study of how people emotionally respond to an experience. The experience an individual goes through when learning about their genetic information can be immensely different depending upon how it is presented.
An extreme example is testing for cystic fibrosis which is a rare disease that can be genetically predetermined. The ethics of directly presenting a customer with this type of information has been of debate, and discovering this information could be life altering. Many would argue it is only sensible to present this information with the guidance of a physician and counselor. Yet direct to consumer companies are providing services to determine the risk for this disease and other genetic related diseases.
Communication with the Patient
As more direct to consumer genetic services become available, the concept of what information and how it is presented will be of debate. The most successful companies will have an uncanny ability to present information in a meaningful and presentable way that allow customers to take actionable steps to improve their lives.
Company brands will have to resonate with people in a way that makes them willing to share their genetic information and trust that the information they receive is accurate. You might notice by now that there is much more involved than just science with direct to consumer personal genomics. How you communicate with customers matters and great design can help make that communication easier.
At Genetik Ink, we take a design driven approach to creating products. Our first product is actually not a personal genomic tool. We consider it art.
We take your DNA, sequence it, and turn it into an artistic representation that’s printed on fine art canvas or aluminum. You can choose from over 20 different color schemes as well as co-create an art piece with a loved one’s DNA.
With your support, we hope to lay a foundation for merging the field of art with science. It’s much in need, and the possibilities of the two together lay a powerful vision for the future.
Your Personal DNA Art
To get your personal DNA art, we’re currently taking pre-orders on Science Exchange, offered at a 10% discount. Pre-orders start at $399, and can be ordered from the options below. First deliveries will be made in early April 2013.
DNA Art, 18×24 Canvas: $399 Order Here
DNA Art, 24×36 Canvas: $499 Order Here
DNA Art, 36×54 Canvas: $599 Order Here
DNA Art, 18×24 Aluminum: $599 Order Here
DNA Art, 24×36 Aluminum: $699 Order Here
DNA Art, 36×54 Aluminum: $799 Order Here