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News From The Future-36-1

Adafruit 95

The ‘chemputer’ that could print out any drug @ The Observer

What would this mean? Well for a start it would potentially democratise complex chemistry, and allow drugs not only to be distributed anywhere in the world but created at the point of need. It could reverse the trend, Cronin suggests, for ineffective counterfeit drugs (often anti-malarials or anti-retrovirals) that have flooded some markets in the developing world, by offering a cheap medicine-making platform that could validate a drug made according to the pharmaceutical company’s “software”. Crucially, it would potentially enable a greater range of drugs to be produced. “There are loads of drugs out there that aren’t available,” Cronin says, “because the population that needs them is not big enough, or not rich enough. This model changes that economy of scale; it could makes any drug cost effective.”

Within a few weeks there will be 50 ‘chemputers’ on KickStarter :)

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. iampsion says:

    Very cool! But how does this offset the cost of developing the drug in the first place? And print out “any” drug? The DEA will be all over this like a fat boy on a Snickers. Legislators will start regulating the kinds of “printers” you can own, too, because you might print illegal substances or weapons or … anything else that might fit in under that pesky Commerce Clause.

    This will all end in tears.

  2. colga1 says:

    I think this man is gonna die soon :(

  3. [...] Print any drug using the Chemputer: Professor Lee Cronin at Glasgow University is working with a modified 3d printer to create a machine that can ‘print’ just about any pharmaceutical with the ultimate goal to allow people to do this in their own home. The printer creates tubes that it injects various base chemicals that then react inside the tubes to produce the desired drug using the specific recipe for a given drug. This will allow doctors to prescribe very specific doses for individuals and the printer will custom deliver the medication not to mention the implications such a device would have in developing countries where medication is in short supply. (source) [...]

  4. Pete says:

    … And that’s why the next one that has the idea will do something smarter than making it totally public…like leaving the design files laying around in the upload section of some obscure Anarchistic database ( like the VX server) and leave a comment or two around the web to it’s emplacement, like at wikileaks and one comment for each super power in the world ( by the time they finish bickering about who invented the thing and who ahs the right to use it, a houndreth copy’s or so should be available of the damn thing :)/

    Plus, leave one link on the .onion network, it’s filled with si many ‘not at all FBI sites” for serial killer hiring that no one will notice another site popping up.

    My cents on how to counteract internet censorship, the onyl reason you can’t make bombs at home, after all, is that you require ingredients that you can’t download inconscpicuously and that are thus under heavy surveillance XD.

    One thing though:

    – We would probably be forced to rethink our approach to anti-terrorism if this gets big… as the FBI and who-not would lose all possibility to track the ingredients necessary for bombs and poisons ( though terrorists are stupidon the posion business… a everyday plant, the tomato plant’s leaves, to be exact, provide enough extractible poison to kill a person if extracted properly XD)

    Just felt like sharing this intellectual rambling fo my mind. Nive day to you all !!!!!!

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