Machines capable of creating 3D objects independently have been part of science fiction for decades, but they are fiction no longer, and they may even be one of those few breakthroughs that change the world.
We've seen many ideas that ended up fading out of the hearts and minds of mankind, only some of which got rediscovered and used properly later.
3D Printing might be one of those that take off from the start, even if there have been some failed experiments, like a particularly frail 3D printed gun
A 3D printing service
will be launched in early 2013, which has definitely earned the technology points. A 3D printed motion sensing glove
adds to the good track record too.
Neither of those is a truly life-changing breakthrough though. Not like the Parabon Essemblix Drug Development Platform
Developed by Parabon NanoLabs and Janssen Research & Development, following a grant from the National Science Foundation, it is a technology that could enable rapid prototyping of drug creation.
The idea is that, since 3D Printing can, in theory, be used for anything, it should be usable for creating drugs.
A team at Parabon is working on a prostate cancer drug that, in its current form, “combines a toxin with a chemical that makes cancer cells susceptible to that toxin.”
The Parabon Essemblix Drug Development Platform was used to create the drug, which is now in testing stage.
Essentially, it has become possible to “print” each exact compound, molecule by molecule, and specify the exact placement of every atom in any compound.
That said, Parabon expects to be able to track the drug as it moves to tumors (in order to prevent healthy tissues from becoming targets).
Assuming the drug works as intended, we may finally have an intelligent, functional solution against diseases here. Even if it does have issues, they should be solvable.