Startup Cambrian Genomics says that it can use DNA synthesis technology to modify bacteria in a probiotic so women's vaginas smell like peaches or so dog's feces have the aroma of bananas, MedCity News reports.
The company has drawn criticism for focusing on changing the smell of the vaginal microbiome with its Sweet Peach probiotic. Bustle's Emma Cueto calls it "absurd, insulting, and a little creepy," and Metro UK's Siam Goorwick adds that it is "depressing."
CEO Austin Heinz said that it is about "personal empowerment," during a presentation yesterday. "All your smells are not human. They're produced by the creatures that live on you," he added.
The company also says that their probiotics could help ward off yeast infections or reduce odors wafting from factory farms.
Cambrian is using DNA laser printing to manufacture these altered microbes, a process MedCity News says bypasses the need for cloning. Additionally, Heinz says that by focusing on the probiotic market, the company is able to avoid certain regulatory processes.
"With standard cloning, you spend 95 percent of our time on manual labor, and 5 percent on design analysis," Heinz tells MedCity News. "With our process, it's more like 95 percent on analysis and design, and five percent on labor."
Cambrian has raised some $10 million from more than 100 investors, according to MedCity News.
Heinz says that GlaxoSmithKline is one of the company's customers and that it is negotiating deals with Roche and Thermo Fisher Scientific as well.