Counting the Cost

Printing hope for the future

We find out how one biotech firm is using 3D printing technology to create living cells for breast cancer patients.

Last Modified: 21 Sep 2013 08:58
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It is a multi-billion dollar industry with a definite wow factor, but once the initial gloss wears off, what is driving growth in the 3D printing industry?

The process of printing something from a digital design has the potential to be a personal manufacturing revolution. Last year, according to Wohlers Associates, the market for 3D printers and services was worth more than $2bn. And by 2017, it should top $6bn and expand to almost $11bn by 2021. 

Many industries - from airlines to autos, engineering to medicine - have been using the technology for some time. But now one biotech firm is using bio-printing technology to create living cells and help women who have undergone breast cancer surgery by creating customised implants and grafts as part of their reconstruction. We speak to the company printing hope for the future. 

Also on this show, Counting the Cost gets under the skin of the troubled megacity that is so important to Pakistan's economy.

Once known as the 'Paris of the East', Karachi was a charming, bustling cultural and economic hub. Now, the city of 20 million people is considered the most dangerous in the world, with a murder rate said to be 25 percent higher than anywhere else.

Karachi accounts for a third of Pakistan's economic activity, but almost $8m are lost to the black economy every day. So, can a newly-launched government crackdown in the city help put Pakistan in better financial shape?

It was arguably one of the most closely watched - and surprising - financial decisions of the year when the Federal Reserve decided that it was not going to stop stimulating the US economy. The argument for this was, quite simply, that growth was weaker than hoped and unemployment levels still bleak. In fact, 2.2 million jobs still need to be created in order to get back to pre-crisis levels and, even for those who are in work, average household incomes have fallen for the fifth consecutive year.

But what will the Fed's decision mean for emerging markets? Counting the Cost investigates.

Plus, Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomy examines the connection between some prime Manhattan real estate and US sanctions against Iran. 

And finally, a sanctuary for Malaysia's pygmy elephants is causing some controversy. Activists say it is the very industries that harm the elephants' natural habitat that are footing the bill for the sanctuary. So, what happens when big business turns environmentalist? Andrew Thomas reports from Borneo.

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630. Watch more Counting the Cost.

Follow Kamahl Santamaria @KamahlAJE and business editor Abid Ali@abidoliverali


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