Category Archives: Engineering

How to Make Drugs – Without Patents Getting in Your Way

Some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world are also some of the most important. The formulas and synthesis methods for a variety of crucial medications are patented due to the billions of dollars companies make off of them. As prices of prescription medications skyrocket, stories abound of pill-cutting and other tactics to cope with inability to afford

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Menace or Miracle: The dawn of quantum computing

  You trust the encryption systems that your bank uses to secure your accounts and that your doctor uses to keep your medical records confidential, right? These encryption systems are great at guarding against almost all attacks by modern computers, but there’s a new type of computer on the rise: the quantum computer. Not only can quantum computers easily break

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DNA Synthesis Going Viral: Evaluating the Security of Dual-Use Biotechnology

In 2004, the United States passed legislation that made hundreds of researchers around the country guilty of a crime with consequences of up to $2,000,000 fines and a prison sentence of 25 years to life. What was that crime? Working with vaccinia—a live virus vaccine that essentially eradicated smallpox by 1980 and became the most widely used human immunization. While

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