Automated Molecular Synthesis vs. Biosynthesis of Drugs
The image above displays Martin Burke’s molecule-making machine. It is capable of automated chemical synthesis, sometimes described as a “3D Printer for Chemicals.” The machine is meant to facilitate the automated synthesis of entirely new chemicals that could not have been made in the past, before the new techniques for small chemical synthesis.
Martin Burke, who heads up Burke Laboratories is a specialist in small molecules synthesis. With his team he created a molecule-making machine, a first in the chemical industry. That is to say, that the machine is able to produce automated chemical synthesis. The process used in this machine could be described as a 3D printer for chemicals. __ http://www.sculpteo.com/blog/2015/10/28/3d-printing-for-the-chemical-industry/
University of Glasgow chemist Lee Cronin is building a different type of drug discovery platform.
Prof. Cronin is Regius Professor of Chemistry in the School of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow and Founding Scientific Director of Cronin Group plc, a company listed on the AIM stock market in the UK. The company is focused on the discovery, development and manufacture of small molecules and nanomaterials using proprietary chemistry developed at the University of
Glasgow and enabled through the application of 3D printing and related technologies.
According to Cronin’s group, robots could be used as ‘automated bartenders,’ manipulating the components, similar to making a cocktail, in order to carry out chemical reactions under extremely well controlled and easily reproducible conditions. This would ultimately bring down the cost of discovery in the chemical space, e.g. drugs, catalysts, formulations and so on.
__ State of Innovation
The bioreactor pictured above is the brain-child of Will Patrick, a graduate of the MIT Media Lab.
The cylinder-shaped Farma kitchen appliance could be used to grow, measure, filter and dry synthetically designed microbes.
… “The prototype can control temperature and light levels, and aerate and mix the culture thoroughly,” said Patrick, who previously served as a researcher in Neri Oxman’s Mediated Matter group.
… According to Patrick, the Farma would be most useful for the kinds of drugs that are used for long periods of time, such as anti-depressants, chemotherapy or insulin – rather than occasional drugs such as antibiotics.
… “There are several drugs that are now being produced in synthetically designed organisms, including human insulin, anti-malarials and opiates,” he explained. “These drugs are currently produced in microbes such as E coli and yeast, both of which could be brewed at home in a bioreactor such as Farma.” __ http://www.dezeen.com/2015/12/08/will-patrick-farma-bioreactor-prototype-pharmaceutical-drugs-production-at-home/
Will Patrick’s Farma device is meant to work with drug-brewing yeast or bacteria, as well as algae. The inventor envisions a future where individuals and families could grow their medications, drugs, supplements, and other useful chemicals at home, using bioreactors.
Today’s primitive psychedelics and artificial mood-boosters may be just the beginning… as so called “punk chemists” experiment with molecular compounds and report about their effects on their blogs. The chemicals therein may even skirt existing substance-control laws, mucking up the definition of what constitutes a “legal high.” __ https://theweek.com/articles/462825/3d-print-drugs
All of this is coming down the pipeline, whether you want it or not. And much more.
The kit could also be adapted to create fragrances, flavours, materials, and even create medicine, such as insulin, at home.
Synthetic biology is increasingly fascinating designers, who have proposed using the field to do everything from replacing vaccinations with mushroom inhalers to modifying the human body so it can consume and digest rotten food.
“Synthetic biology and genetic engineering is going to be as big as electrical engineering was for the last century,” Legault told Dezeen. “It’s a new technology, scientists have got a good grip on it now and it’s already affecting us in terms of food and medicine, and materials.” __ http://www.dezeen.com/2015/10/28/julie-legault-synthetic-biology-amino-biolab-tamagotchi-kit/
We’re dealing with a giant population so it’s hard to know exactly who’s been influencing other people. My sense from biohackers is that in general they operate pretty far outside the industry and the academic world because they’re doing things that the industry and academia can’t. So biohackers experiment on themselves, and in certain ways that gives them a lot of freedom. You don’t have to go through the permissions process for human clinical trial to do it. You don’t have to get permission from a university’s ethics department to do it. You don’t have to develop a mouse model before trying it on a person. You don’t have to write to somebody to get a grant. You just do it!
Home-grown sex hormones
“Take charge of your own sex-change!”
It should be clear to most readers that a number of new things are headed our way. Many of these methods of personal empowerment have the potential to make government drug and pharmaceutical regulating agencies obsolete.
But home medication manufacture is just the tip of the iceberg. What we are seeing is a coming age when people will be able to genetically engineer both themselves and their own children. For themselves, they will be able to modify or cure a large number of diseases with genetic components. For their children, many will probably want to make it more likely for children to be taller, smarter, healthier, more creative, more emotionally balanced, and more ambitious than themselves. And then, what will that generation of engineered children want to do with future generations?
These options are likely to be mainly available to the wealthy, the savvy, the extremely bright, and highly placed government officials / organised criminals. Such technologies are likely to create a wider divergence between “haves” and “have-nots.”
The type of fortresses which we have jokingly looked at as refuges against a zombie apocalypse, may soon be built and occupied by the super-rich genetically modified classes as refuges against what Europe and large parts of the Anglosphere are becoming — to say nothing of the coming collapse of Russia and breakup of China.
The more goods and vital services that most people can provide for themselves, the less necessary their high-taxing, population-hating governments will seem. Then things will get very interesting.
People can already manufacture their own firearms at home, as well as any number of advanced weapons (lethal and non-lethal) which are generally not discussed in polite, multicultural society. Sophisticated defenses can be printed and assembled, which would hold off most types of ground vehicles and discourage aircraft from loitering overhead or attempting to land.
Individuals will not wish to fight wars against their own governments, and keeping a low profile is generally for the best for those who choose to go “off-grid,” or off of government services. But those with good imaginations can see a number of different ways that these things might go.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too early or late to have a Dangerous Childhood.
Russia faces a serious challenge in producing medicines domestically that it had been importing until Moscow’s counter-sanctions effort, a challenge complicated by a weak pharmaceutical industry, tensions between the state and academic researchers, and overly long periods between the invention of a drug and its introduction.
… Instead, the government itself is going to have to change its approach if it wants medicines to be developed domestically and then quickly introduced, he continued. “The bureaucratic system prolongs the registration of these medications for many years, from three to five” more than necessary.”
Russia has lost a lot of time under the despotic Putin regime. Here is more on the crisis faced by Russian business enterprises in general:
Potapenko told the roundtable that racketeering gangs that had a stranglehold over Russian businesses following the Soviet collapse in the 1990s were “exceptional bastards,” but that their function had been replaced by tax inspectors, customs officials, and economic-crimes police who are “significantly worse.”
… During his remarks, Potapenko took aim at the title of the December 8 roundtable, Changing The Economic Course: Responding To Outside Threats. “First of all, I don’t see any outside threats, pardon me…. Our own economic authorities have delivered four knockout punches” to Russian business, he said.
These “punches,” he said, include the “criminal” embargo on Western goods in response to U.S. and EU sanctions over Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis that has driven up prices, as well as “prohibitive” interest rates on loans.
“It wasn’t Obama who [set these rates],” Potapenko said…
… Two separate videos of his performance have garnered nearly 800,000 YouTube views in two days, while Potapenko has drawn praise from prominent Kremlin critics, including opposition leader and anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny.
Impediments to Russian business and entrepreneurship have grown immense during the Putin years. Russian prospects for “import substitution” via domestic production are grim and growing grimmer.
Russia can always buy drugs from China, but will they be real, counterfeit, or poison? That is the risk one chooses when he takes on the entire world unprepared.
Home Manufacture of Drugs, Chemicals, Machines, Spare Parts, Weapons, and More . . . Will Cut Many Ties to Government and Quasi Government Oppressors
“The limiting factor today is not the cost of systems and materials. It’s not the performance of the end products. It’s a lack of content,” says Reichental. “We are actively seeking ways to reduce the level of expertise that’s required to design for our machines. We’re also actively looking for ways to create exchanges and platforms for design so that we can really empower entrepreneurs to partake in this digital manufacturing revolution.”
… if the costs of rapid prototyping technology continue to decline, it’s hard to see why future generations will have to go to the store to buy anything made of solid plastic or metal. __ http://bigthink.com/articles/will-3d-printing-spark-a-home-manufacturing-revolution
Thanks to internet shopping, many people never go to the store for anything, anymore. But as home manufacturing methods are perfected and made more affordable, the only things people will be buying over the internet are raw materials and digital production plans. Everything else they need will be made at home. [An exaggeration, but the possibilities are endless.]
First, liberate yourselves, make yourselves “hard targets,” form networked trading / information exchange co-ops, then explore the many paths to a more abundant and expansive human future.
Corrupt politicians, their rich cronies, their enforcers, and the other enemies of the future will need to be pushed out of the way.
http://www.nature.com/news/chemistry-why-synthesize-1.19019 , discusses the turning point in chemical discovery and training.