Scientists invented Molecule-making machine to improve synthetic drugs

Scientists have been provided with a range of odd chemical structures by the Mother Nature, which play the role of drugs perfectly. New such structures are discovered every now and then to inspire creation of several new drugs. However, the process of deriving drugs from natural substances like tree bark, scorpion venom etc. is not at all easy; people need to put in a lot of hard work and spend hours in the lab to prepare drugs using those natural resources.

Recently, a group of researchers representing the University of Illinois has discovered an effective method of automated production of small molecules from naturally occurring substances and then tweaking them to ensure that they can be more useful as raw materials for drugs.


The team carried out the research under able leadership of Martin Burke. During the study, which has recently been published in the widely read journal Science, the scientists have discovered a new way of synthesizing organic compounds using small molecules belonging to fourteen different classes.

A recently issued statement by the university is promoting this new finding aggressively. It states that the team of researchers under Burke has built a special machine that can be used for assembling complex naturally occurring small molecules in a simpler manner than ever before. The university’s statement has described the machine as a 3-D printer of molecular level.

The study has been patronized by one of the most well known biotech venture firms Third Rock Ventures. The organization has invested a whopping sum of $45 million in the project. The investment is made through a startup company named Revolution Medicines.

Revolution Medicines has the desire of further engineering and optimizing the newly discovered technology and is planning to use the first version of the tech for crafting new antifungal medicines.

The company’s CEO Mark Goldsmith, who also happens to be one of the partners at the venture capital firm Third Rock, recently said that the new technology provides them with amazing synthetic access to a range of complex molecules such as molecules present in nature. According to him, such easy access to those complex molecules will be allowing his firm to redesign all those molecules by modifying them atom-by-atom; this will result in production of drugs for different serious diseases.

About the author

Nitin Agarwal

Nitin has a background in Electrical Engineering and is passionate about the Internet of Things. He covers how connected devices like smart homes, wearables, and industrial IoT are changing our daily lives. Nitin is also a DIY enthusiast and loves to build IoT gadgets.