This Gadget Lets You Brew Your Own Drugs In Your Kitchen

7136822_will-patricks-farma-bioreactor-could-let_t170c2881It’s 2025, and there’s a strange machine sitting on your kitchen counter next to your toaster. Every morning, it pops out your daily prescription.

A new prototype shows exactly how future countertop drug manufacturing could work: A glowing cylinder brews blue-green algae, genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals. Then it measures, filters, and dries it into a powder that can fill a pill.

It’s only a concept at the moment, but the artist who created it thinks that it could be technically feasible in five or ten years. “Part of my goal of the project is to demonstrate how easy it is to build an at-home system that could ferment microbes,” says Will Patrick, who designed the Farma gadget during a residency at Autodesk.

It’s already possible to brew opiates in a lab. The anti-malarial drug Artemisinin is also mostly made using genetically engineered yeast. It’s not inconceivable to think that synthetic biology could also be used as a cheaper, faster way to make all kinds of other drugs—and potentially make them in unexpected places, like your kitchen.


About Peter Coffaro 1430 Articles
A growth-driven and strategic executive, Peter Coffaro commands more than 20 years of progressive management success within the medical device industry. As a District Sales Manager for Stryker Orthopaedics, Peter was responsible for managing and directing a regional sales force to achieve sales and profit goals within the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, he was the Director of Sales & Marketing for Amp Orthopedics. In this role, Peter was responsible for planning, developing, and leading all sales and marketing initiatives. Peter is a former orthopedic distributor in the Pacific Northwest. He has also worked with DePuy Orthopaedics as well as Zimmer, and held positions in sales, sales training, and sales management. Peter has an extensive background in organizational development, business development, sales management, negotiating and P&L management. Peter holds a B.S. degree in Biology from Northern Illinois University.

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