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Startup Bros Trying to Bio-hack Vaginas Is the Problem with Silicon Valley

November 23, 2014 in Blogs

By Arwa Mahdawi, The Guardian

When a man introduces a made-up project to make lady-parts smell like peaches, it’s hard to be surprised that the industry is largely straight, white men

Don’t look now, ladies, but your vagina is getting disrupted. As if this week didn’t have enough Uber-style Silicon Valley dirtbags for you (every week has one too many), a couple of startup bros went and outlined their visionfor Sweet Peach, a probiotic supplement that lets women “bio-hack” their vaginas and supposedly make them smell like ripe peaches.

If you are a woman, you might wonder which problem this is really solving. If you are a woman and have heretofore eschewed the douchebag industrial complex, you might, in fact, be perfectly happy with your healthy vagina’s natural smell and have never felt the slightest urge to have the scent of fuzzy fruits waft up from your lady garden. And you almost certainly would wonder why two guys have such firm ideas of how your vagina should smell.

Well, to give Austen Heinz and Gilad Gome their due, it wasn’t even their company – and the goal of Sweet Peach Probiotics’ actual founder Audrey Hutchinson wasn’t to eliminate vagina-scented vaginas at all. The probiotic wasdeveloped as part of an accelerator program run by Cambrian Genomics, a biotech startup that just raised $10m to fund its DNA-printing systems (Heinz, its CEO, owns a 10% stake in Sweet Peach). She used Cambrian’s technology to print a virus to kills off the microbes that cause things like yeast infections – and, though Gome told reporters that the fruity smell is an added bonus that lets women know it’s working, the name is reportedly only a reference to the fruit’s long history as reference to vagina.

(Gome also offered that, to take an idea from Linda Lovelace in Deepthroat, a women could “hack into her microbiome and make her vagina …read more


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