(Photo: David Shankbone)
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Someday, it may be possible to own a handbag made from Kim Kardashian's own skin--all without harming Kardashian herself.
It's feasible to grow human skin in laboratory settings. In fact, the cosmetics brand L'Oreal already produces 54 square feet of human skin every year. So it's within the realm of possibility to produce on a large scale skin from a specific person's genetic sample. If you'd like a very personal memento of your favorite celebrity, you could have one. Designer Tina Gorjanc considered this possibility for a master's degree project. Ecouterre quotes her:
“Major fashion and cosmetic companies have already signed research collaboration agreement with bioengineering institutes,” Gorjanc said. “Those collaborations are enabling the development of existing skin technologies that were firstly designed for specific medical problems and applying them to commercial products targeting the enhancement of normal human functions.”
Her work is entirely speculative, of course. Yet it also raises the issue that bioengineering technologies are advancing faster than legislation can govern. […]
By envisioning a range of commercial products cultivated from an individual’s skin cells, Gorjanc wanted to show how deficiencies concerning the protection of genetic information can “shape a whole new luxury market.”
Pure Human, as she’s dubbed the work, is a critique of corporations and the terrible ease one person can gain ownership of another’s DNA.