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TEDGlobal 2012

Lee Cronin: Print your own medicine

リー・クローニン: 自分専用の薬を印刷しよう

June 26, 2012

化学者リー・クローニンは、物体ではなく、分子を印刷することができる3Dプリンターの開発に取り組んでいます。これが応用できれば将来は化学物質をインクとして自分専用の薬を印刷するという驚くべき可能性も期待できそうです。

Lee Cronin - Chemist
A professor of chemistry, nanoscience and chemical complexity, Lee Cronin and his research group investigate how chemistry can revolutionize modern technology and even create life. Full bio

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Double-click the English subtitles below to play the video.
Organic chemists make molecules,
有機化学者は
00:16
very complicated molecules,
大きな分子を切ったり
00:18
by chopping up a big molecule into small molecules
既存の分子を分析して
00:20
and reverse engineering.
複雑な分子を作ります
00:24
And as a chemist,
数年前 研究室のグループに
何にでも使える
00:26
one of the things I wanted to ask my research group a couple of years ago is,
数年前、研究室のグループに
何にでも使える
00:27
could we make a really cool universal chemistry set?
化学実験キットが作れないか
課題を出しました
00:30
In essence, could we "app" chemistry?
つまり化学のアプリ化が
可能かということです
00:34
Now what would this mean, and how would we do it?
ではアプリ化の
意味と方法を見てみましょう
00:39
Well to start to do this,
始めるにあたって
00:42
we took a 3D printer
3Dプリンターを用意し
00:44
and we started to print our beakers and our test tubes on one side
ビーカーや試験管などの
実験容器を印刷しました
00:46
and then print the molecule at the same time on the other side
同時に別のプリンターで
分子を印刷し
00:50
and combine them together in what we call reactionware.
「反応容器」の中で
組み合わせました
00:55
And so by printing the vessel and doing the chemistry at the same time,
容器と分子の
同時印刷によって
00:58
we may start to access this universal toolkit of chemistry.
化学アプリ開発の
可能性が生まれます
01:02
Now what could this mean?
これは何を意味するか
01:07
Well if we can embed biological and chemical networks like a search engine,
生体 化学的ネットワークを
検索エンジンのように組み込めれば
01:09
so if you have a cell that's ill that you need to cure
病気の細胞を治したい時や
01:14
or bacteria that you want to kill,
細菌を殺したい時に
01:17
if you have this embedded in your device
手持ちの端末に
これが組み込まれていれば
01:19
at the same time, and you do the chemistry,
化学実験をしながら
01:21
you may be able to make drugs in a new way.
全く新しい方法で
薬が作れるかもしれません
01:24
So how are we doing this in the lab?
これをラボでやるとしたら
01:27
Well it requires software, it requires hardware
必要なのは
ソフトウェアとハードウェア
01:30
and it requires chemical inks.
そして化学物質のインクです
01:33
And so the really cool bit is,
これの凄い点は
01:35
the idea is that we want to have a universal set of inks
化学物質インクを一式用意し
01:37
that we put out with the printer,
プリンターにセットして
01:40
and you download the blueprint, the organic chemistry for that molecule
分子の設計図を
ダウンロードして
01:42
and you make it in the device.
端末上で作れるところです
01:46
And so you can make your molecule in the printer using this software.
アプリを使って分子を
作るわけです
01:49
So what could this mean?
最終的には
01:55
Well, ultimately, it could mean that you could print your own medicine.
自分の薬を自分で印刷出来る
ようになります
01:57
And this is what we're doing in the lab at the moment.
今はまだ研究段階ですが
02:02
But to take baby steps to get there,
目標に少しでも近付くために
02:04
first of all we want to look at drug design and production,
まず 薬の構造や製薬方法
つまり-
02:06
or drug discovery and manufacturing.
薬の開発や製造を考慮する
必要があります
02:09
Because if we can manufacture it after we've discovered it,
薬の開発後に製造ができれば
02:11
we could deploy it anywhere.
どこにでも薬を
届けられるからです
02:14
You don't need to go to the chemist anymore.
薬局に行く必要はなくなります
02:16
We can print drugs at point of need.
必要な場所で薬品を印刷し
02:19
We can download new diagnostics.
新しい診断も
ダウンロードできます
02:21
Say a new super bug has emerged.
新種の薬剤耐性菌が現れても
すぐに検索して
02:24
You put it in your search engine,
新種の薬剤耐性細菌が現れても
すぐに検索して
02:26
and you create the drug to treat the threat.
治療薬が作れます
02:27
So this allows you on-the-fly molecular assembly.
その場で分子を
構築できるのです
02:30
But perhaps for me the core bit going into the future
私が考えるこの研究の
将来性は
02:34
is this idea of taking your own stem cells,
人間の幹細胞を採取し
02:37
with your genes and your environment,
遺伝子情報や環境と合わせて
02:40
and you print your own personal medicine.
自分専用の薬が
印刷できるという発想です
02:42
And if that doesn't seem fanciful enough,
もっと空想を広げるならば
02:46
where do you think we're going to go?
さらにこの後に待つのは
02:48
Well, you're going to have your own personal matter fabricator.
個人専用の
物質構成装置かもしれません
02:50
Beam me up, Scotty.
「チャーリー、転送を頼む」
02:54
(Applause)
(拍手)
02:56
Translator:TSUKAWAKI KAZU 塚脇 和
Reviewer:Chiaki Takeuchi

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Lee Cronin - Chemist
A professor of chemistry, nanoscience and chemical complexity, Lee Cronin and his research group investigate how chemistry can revolutionize modern technology and even create life.

Why you should listen

Lee Cronin's lab at the University of Glasgow does cutting-edge research into how complex chemical systems, created from non-biological building blocks, can have real-world applications with wide impact. At TEDGlobal 2012, Cronin shared some of the lab's latest work: creating a 3D printer for molecules. This device -- which has been prototyped -- can download plans for molecules and print them, in the same way that a 3D printer creates objects. In the future, Cronin says this technology could potentially be used to print medicine -- cheaply and wherever it is needed. As Cronin says: "What Apple did for music, I'd like to do for the discovery and distribution of prescription drugs."

At TEDGlobal 2011, Cronin shared his lab's bold plan to create life. At the moment, bacteria is the minimum unit of life -- the smallest chemical unit that can undergo evolution. But in Cronin's emerging field, he's thinking about forms of life that won't be biological. To explore this, and to try to understand how life itself originated from chemicals, Cronin and others are attempting to create truly artificial life from completely non-biological chemistries that mimic the behavior of natural cells. They call these chemical cells, or Chells. 

Cronin's research interests also encompass self-assembly and self-growing structures -- the better to assemble life at nanoscale. At the University of Glasgow, this work on crystal structures is producing a raft of papers from his research group. He says: "Basically one of my longstanding research goals is to understand how life emerged on planet Earth and re-create the process."

Read the papers referenced in his TEDGlobal 2102 talk:

Integrated 3D-printed reactionware for chemical synthesis and analysis, Nature Chemistry

Configurable 3D-Printed millifluidic and microfluidic ‘lab on a chip’ reactionware devices, Lab on a Chip

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