Friday, February 24, 2017

We need /vaccine/antiboitic/drug 3D printers


In a previous post I talked about how DARPA was working to stop pandemics by developing technology that would allow the rapid production of vaccines for RNA viruses. This sort of thing is important because if some DIY biohacker is going to have the ability to produce a deadly virus in his garage, then some other guy must also have the ability to reverse engineer a vaccine from the blood of a person who is infected.

Health bureaucracies are not always serving the best interests of the public, and the cost of FDA approval of new drugs has climbed to astronomical levels. If one is going to develop the sort of technology to reverse engineer viruses, one might as well go full-on zerg rush and create a household drug 3D printer for consumer use. Then you would sell the thing to millions of people and let them do whatever they want with it.

Many people would use it to develop recreational drugs. There would be overdoses. People would definitely get screwed up by some of the things they created. Some people would die.

However, the pace of developing cures for diseases would explode. People would experiment with these drugs and post the results on the internet. Someone would invent a wiki/review system for keeping track of effects. Eventually a cycle would be developed involving public experimentation---> wiki review and feedback---> and popular acceptance of safe drugs. After a decade or so, there would be vast online lists of safe medications developed by hobbyists around the world. Ensuring your safety would be a matter of always checking the list of a trusted source before consuming them. The FDA would be forced to reform itself, and become a public service announcement agency and information source. Would is be better than the status quo? Probably. Currently, 39.6 percent of the population will die of some form of cancer in their lives. If 1% of the population died from overdosing on 3D printed recreational drugs and the cancer rate were reduced by 10% (39.6 - 3.96), by that same technology, then the drug 3D printer would save a net 2.96% from dying.

Craig Venter is working to develop technology similar to this.



1 comment:

  1. "This sort of thing is important because if some DIY biohacker is going to have the ability to produce a deadly virus in his garage, then some other guy must also have the ability to reverse engineer a vaccine from the blood of a person who is infected."

    Good point. This makes it a right-to-self-defense issue.

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