When I was looking for more information about peer production and open source, I came across a very interesting article. This article is about a project to fight cancer. Did you know that one out of three people will get cancer in their lifetime?
Isaac Yonemoto came up with a solution. This solution is the development of unpatented drugs. These drugs should be sold by pharmaceutical companies for a reasonable price, so that these drugs will become accessible to everyone. The open source software and industry has already proved that patents are not necessary for innovation. Without patent, the drugs are less expensive and it is easier to develop better drugs.
This video will tell you briefly what the project is about:
The Marilyn Project
Marilyn Project is an open source project for developing a cure for cancer. This drug is patent free. You can support this research by donating money or bitcoins. A xenograft experiment will be funded with this money. Xenograft means the transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another. Yonemoto can further develop the promising anti-cancer compound 9DS because of this xenograft experiment. This experiment needs to be completed before 9DS can move on to clinical trials. All the data is published online on the site http://www.indysci.org.
9DS was developed by Barbare Gerratana, a researcher at the University of Maryland. When she took a job at National Institute of Health, she was unable to continue her work. Because she had already published her research without any patent, big pharmaceutical companies were unlikely to sponsor it. However, this unpatented work does have an advantage. Because it was never patented, this work is now in the public domain. Now anyone can work on it, as in open source software. Yonemoto came across this research and continued her work.
The plan of Yonemoto is to spend the donations on scientific expenses such as materials to produce 9DS. You can see the total budget on the site (http://pledge.indysci.org/liberate-pharmaceuticals). Anyone can donate through money or bitcoins, but also by buying gifts like a coffee mug or t-shirt. It is a type of crowdfunding. Today (18 October 2014) the counter is $ 33.519 of $ 50.000. There are 10 days left.
The question is whether this project will really work. What do you think? Will Yonemoto get the required budget? Or do you think people do not want to donate to an open source project? Would you like to donate yourself? In addition, do you think open source projects like this really work? Let me know!