One evening in February, I went to the Baltimore underground science space, a community laboratory formerly known as the bottle cap factory, for a lecture. Like many other “biospaces” in the United States, “underground scientific space”, as its name implies, is full of subversive amateurism and vitality. Anyone can come here to study cutting-edge science, such as gene editing, synthetic biology, etc. However, in general, only academic institutions and private enterprises with sufficient funds can be involved in these experiments. Walking into the lab, you’ll see a blackboard with bacteria and a double helix cartoon, but the experimental area is well equipped. “Underground science space” has a PCR machine (polymerase chain reaction machine), which scientists can use to make millions of copies of specific DNA fragments for research and transformation. < / P > < p > “this is one of the few cool things we have here.” Lisa Scheifele, the lab’s executive director, told me. Although this may depend on what you think is like laminar flow purifying hood (according to their lab website, “for your reluctant contamination of cells and Petri dishes”), Alpha Innotech gel imagers, or fifty-six degrees Celsius storage refrigerators. “We have what we want here.” “You can do most of the genetic experiments here, and there’s no problem with microbiology,” Schaeffler said < / P > < p > that night, twenty four people crowded in to listen to the open insulin project, which was given by Yann huon de Kermadec, a 33 year old, low-key Ph.D. in protein biochemistry at the University of Grenoble. He hopes to recruit local volunteers through this project lecture. The < / P > < p > project started in 2015. In Auckland’s Biospace counter culture labs, they put forward the concept of “biohacking” to deal with one of the major ailments of the American health system: the soaring price of insulin, a synthetic hormone that has to be injected daily by 7.5 million diabetics to maintain their lives. < / P > < p > in the United States, insulin is manufactured and sold by three major pharmaceutical companies: Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. The goal of the project is to replicate the insulin and to publish an agreement to produce it safely. The three major American manufacturers have recently raised the price of insulin to $300 a vial. The ultimate goal of the project is to start a cooperative network owned by patients and workers. The network will produce small quantities of insulin, which will then be offered to diabetics for about $7 per vial. At the very least, the open source insulin project wants to prove that such “drug deciphering” can succeed – which may shed light on the pharmaceutical process. < / P > < p > the Baltimore lecture was held two weeks before the start of the social isolation caused by the new crown, so the audience could sit in a semicircle. Peppery biscuits and assorted nuts are on the table next to a book for sale: “genetic engineering from scratch: an introduction to programming bacteria in the home, school, and maker space.”. A flyer advertised a campaign called bioprinting blowout, saying it would introduce “3D tissue engineering and its applications for beginners.”. < / P > < p > among the crowd were a couple of Hippie clad couples, a middle-aged African American man in a parka, and a 61 year old regular customer who worked in the computer security industry and was fascinated by the atmosphere of the community laboratory. Here, he told me, you can talk about science as much as you can, and if “in normal social situations, people will run away.”. Hoon de kmadek wears Superman glasses, jeans and a Gray Hoodie. He introduced himself, saying that he was “a Frenchman who followed his wife’s steps in setting a job and got a doctorate.” His wife, Louise Lassalle, also works on the open source insulin project and is a biochemistry postdoctoral fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. < p > < p > Hoon de kemadke was first attracted to the open source insulin project because he thought the laboratory work would be interesting. He liked the skill of biology, but was tortured by the academic pressure of publishing articles. He reminded viewers that nearly half of American adults have diabetes or hyperglycemia, but there are no affordable insulin products in the U.S. market, and there is no price limiting mechanism – unlike Canada and Europe. < / P > < p > “if one of the three companies wants to raise the price, they will all raise the price.” He said, “because they can raise the price.” He took out a page chart showing the exponential curve year of insulin prices. Lilly released Humalog, Lilly’s own synthetic insulin, which costs $21 per 10 ml per vial; over the next 20 years, its retail price rose tenfold. < / P > < p > Sanofi’s Lantus and novorog also went up. (Lilly recently announced that it would reduce the expensive monthly cost of insulin to $35 during the outbreak. But the drug is the company’s main source of profits, and the price is likely to rebound.) People with type 1 diabetes usually need two to three vials of insulin a month. Even if they have insurance, they may not be able to cover all the expenses. In 2018, a study organized by researchers at Yale University School of Medicine found that one in four diabetic patients cut back on insulin use – not prescribing supplements and using less than prescribed: this increases the risk of kidney disease, blindness and death. < p > < p > Jean peccoud, a professor of chemistry and bioengineering at Colorado State University and the founder of the journal synthetic biology, told me, “there is no technical reason behind the high price of insulin, it’s the result of greed. Insulin is easy to produce and the market is so big. It should be as cheap as Tylenol < / P > < p > the scientist who found that insulin injections could save diabetic patients from painful death wanted to make insulin cheap and available. In 1921, Frederick Banting, a Canadian orthopedic surgeon, extracted insulin from the pancreas of dogs. He sold the patent to the University of Toronto for one dollar, clearing the way for mass production. “Insulin doesn’t belong to me.” “It belongs to the world,” he declared < / P > < p > the open source insulin project plans to use the scheme in published papers to carry out genetic engineering on two organisms (yeast and E.coli) to produce insulin, which is also the usual way for pharmaceutical companies. In the spring of 2019, the project team announced: preliminary results show that they have successfully inserted a targeted gene into E.coli cells to produce a protein that can be converted into insulin. The next step is to examine the samples using mass spectrometry and other techniques. < / P > < p > when Juan de kmadek mentioned the progress, a shaved man with a Russian accent interposed and said that he had opened a drug testing laboratory interested in testing some samples of the open source insulin project. The man said the project was a great opportunity to “see if ordinary people have a future in science.”. However, he pointed out that it might be more convenient for people to buy life-saving drugs on the black market or abroad. “Insulin can be bought on the black market,” sighs Juan de kmadek “But not everyone has a chance, and the system has not changed,” he said He paced back and forth in front of the room, and then said, “our goal should be to change the mode of production. It’s not the case that big pharmaceutical companies make money from people’s pain. We can design a better system. ” < / P > < p > in addition to lobbyists in the pharmaceutical industry, the open source insulin project has its own critics. Gregg Gonsalves is a professor of epidemiology at Yale University’s Department of public health and a member of the underground science space. He took a confrontational stance towards the drug research and development in the new crown crisis, opposing the establishment faction in the industry. < / P > < p > Gonzalez also told me, d.i.y. Drugs “are like gofundme, the pharmaceutical crowdfunding website, a sign of a broken system.”. He went on, d.i.y. The movement “will go to a dead end of despair – all the energy and anger it has accumulated could have been used against politicians” to fight for universal health care. However, in the face of the deep defects of the U.S. health care system, the solution of the open source insulin project still has some hope. The organization is considering joining with local hospitals and pharmacies, which will help integrate their programs with the practices of mainstream agencies. < p > < p > bioethicist Kelly hills works for a consulting firm called rogue bioethics. She appreciates the efforts of the open source insulin project, which has been deepened in the new outbreak. < / P > < p > she told me that decentralized production of standard drugs in small community laboratories may be a way to ensure that we don’t fall into drug shortages when traditional supply lines are disrupted. Drug shortages often occur, even in non crisis situations, and “if you live on drugs, drug shortages are deadly.”. But if you have a community lab around you, you can avoid the risk of production line delays and temporary border closures. If you know you can go to a community lab and get a month’s worth of insulin for a little money, you’ll be relieved The important question, she said, is whether open source insulin meets the extremely stringent mandatory safety requirements of the food and drug administration. < p > < p > John wilbanks is a medical technician at Sage bionetworks, a nonprofit research organization. He told me that in all its radical aspects, d.i.y. Health care can be seen as a typical American project. “We have a culture of hard work that encourages people to find individualistic solutions for themselves.” He points out, “well, that’s what they’re doing.” < / P > < p > the rise of d.i.y. from the millennium. Biological movement, almost gradually, conforms to the historical opportunity. Echoing all aspects of maker culture *, it is particularly similar to the garage entrepreneurial story of the early development of personal computers. First of all, the hardware, then the software; now even the wet parts of life can be made in our own home.
D.I.Y。 Biology reflects a general response to expert authority and gatekeeper behavior