ExtraorDNA’s primary goal is to improve human lives by augmenting our genomes. For the first time in history, humans have the ability to write complex genetic programs that can be introduced into our cells. These genetic programs are much like the programs that we run in a computer, except in this case the program is written in DNA, and executed in an operating system defined by the human genome.
Human genetic augmentation is still an emerging field with a number of significant challenges ahead. These challenges range from DNA sequence design, synthesis, and delivery to safety and efficacy monitoring. However, the fields of synthetic biology, systems biology, bioinformatics, drug delivery, gene therapy, and DNA vaccines have made significant progress in all of these areas, brining human genetic augmentation closer to reality.
Currently, ExtraorDNA is focused on DNA sequence design. In the same way that an architect needs to completely specify a building before it can be constructed, biological engineers need to specify each A, T, G, and C in a new genetic element before it can be synthesized.
Historically, synthetic DNA sequences have simply been copies of working genetic elements observed in nature. While these sequences sometimes work, we often don’t know why they work and can’t predict how they will fail.
In contrast, ExtraorDNA’s design process starts from the ground up. Using tools from computational linguistics and machine learning, we are developing a first principles model of how parts of the human genome work. This first principles model then allows us to design genetic programs tailored to a particular need.
If you are interested in learning more or collaborating with us, contact us!