“I’m trying to make 3D printed cancer-fighting viruses” declares Autodesk’s Andrew Hessel, speaking at WIRED2014 in London.
…While Autodesk is primarily known for its CAD products, Hessel works within its experimental Pier 39 facility in what he says is “the first life science lab ever created by a software company”. It is “a lab to study labs” and it has really been exploring digital biology, which is what Hessel thinks is the thing that will allow him to print the viruses he believes will be able to fight cancer.
The software and printers he works with can take data and turn it into DNA, or even viruses. “Now i just have to swap out the design to start making cancer-fighting viruses,” he says. It is these viruses that Hessel is putting his hopes in. “Cancer cells are broken,” he explains. “These viruses, when they infect a cancer cell, hack it, take over it and then take over more cancer cells.”
“I think cancer is actually a fairly easy disease,” he states boldly. The medicines we currently use to treat cancer are highly toxic, but are getting better and more targeted all the time. He believes firmly that the ultimate answer lies in creating highly personalised medicines, which are necessary because “it’s your cells infecting your body”….
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