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Druuuugs.... iiiiin... spaaaaaace.....

Posted on 2007.10.08 at 10:30
http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2007/10/pharma_iss

"Thomas Pickens III thinks the pharmaceutical industry and the space station need each other.

Drug discovery is an arduous and extremely expensive project. But in space, molecules do miraculous things. Disease-causing proteins crystallize so well -- growing larger and clearer -- that finding a drug to stop the protein's damaging activities could happen months, if not years, faster."

"If people knew what I already know, the International Space Station would be considered one of the most valuable resources our world possesses," Pickens said at the ISS National Laboratory Workshop last week. "There are things you can only do in microgravity that will eventually lead to products that could save millions of lives."

"The scientists seemed wary of him, which is perhaps appropriate. After all, he is prone to saying, "I am Wall Street." But they are transfixed when he talks about bringing big money into outer space. They're listening, because Pickens and other businessmen are the new variables in the space equation. The science has been there; the salesmanship has been missing."

"But one thing is sure: The space station needs private money, and lots of it. As Allan Marty, a former NASA consultant, told a mostly agency crowd at the ISS workshop last week, "It's not a given that the Space Station will be sustainable, unless we find a way to attract private capital over the next eight years."

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