In the wake of recent incidents, it has become very mandatory that we understand the importance of investment in the technology needed in science. Many pieces of equipment required for science research cost millions of dollars and are not necessarily feasible for all scientists to have.
The large requirement of capital and inaccessibility to the scientists, would be for them to be able to build their equipment with a DIY facility. The online availability of vast free open source designs and the innovation of 3D printers and platforms such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi have made this very possible for all scientists across the globe.
Building the equipment
Building your equipment and instrument requires a lot of time and labour intensive work, and it gives a result which is less reliable than its commercial alternatives, and there is a lack of technical support as well. However, the low-cost structure of this method makes it feasible for all scientists to be able to access advanced equipment in technology anywhere needed on the globe. The open-source designs available have catalyzed this Trend and made a revolution by democratizing science.
For some scientists, the DIY structure of this reagent it is very attracting because building and maintaining your equipment is engineering and technical challenge in itself, which makes it very alluring. Whereas for others coming from countries with low economic background, it makes a lot more financial sense since these pieces of equipment are made substantially less expensive than the commercial alternatives. However, for some scientists coming from cut off places and any access to the technological advancement in science, it helps them to bridge this gap in places like Africa.
Some impactful benefits
Devices and types of equipment have to meet higher standards and follow stringent regulations will also be more robust and easy to use in a health care setting. The most significant advantage of this is the broad range it has a tuberculosis diagnosis, malaria diagnosis, sickle cell disease, a PCR machine a lot is manageable with the help of this structure. This reagent managed even covid-19. The resulting attempt could cost about just 600 rupees for eight USD and can be performed in any lab using a regular PCR machine compared to the 2500 to 4000 rupees for a typical advanced test that only specialized institutes can handle.
3D printers have also held revolutionalize this method since the cost as little as 250 dollars and can print whatever you imagine. However, the limited access and a lack of reliable electricity hinder the further development of this potential scope.
Another advantage is the reusability of these parts of the DIY hardware. A confocal microscope can make images worth $5, and can also reduce it for the next microscope.
It is mostly agreeable that one of the loopholes in this structure is the lack of reliability and precision; therefore, DIY isn’t always the best option. For example, a lab doing cutting-edge molecular biology research would not want to save money on pets at the cost of accuracy.