We often write about the amazing, charming, ridiculous things that 3D printers makes possible: see the fabbed hermit crab shells, the space shuttle made of pureed scallops and cheese, the “pirated” Penrose Triangle. But machines that can make any physical object using only resin powder can also be turned to more nefarious ends. Security blogger Brain Krebs reports that someone has deployed at least one impressively sophisticated ATM skimmer in LA that appears to have been 3D printed. The device fits over the front of a bona fide Chase ATM. Just looking at these babies sends a chill down your spine—this person or persons knew what they were doing. Here’s more from Krebs: Read More
The disgraced South Korean researcher whose breakthrough cloning research was exposed as a fraud in 2005 now faces up to four years in prison. Prosecutors asked for the four-year sentence in court today, where the researcher, Hwang Woo-suk, is standing trial for fraud, misusing $2.25 million in state funds, and violating bioethics laws by illegally buying human eggs for his research. “The people’s disappointment was very serious because their expectation for his stem cell research had been high,” an unidentified prosecutor told the courtroom. He said Hwang tarnished South Korea’s image abroad…. Hwang pleaded for leniency, saying if the court forgives him he is ready to “pour the last of my passion” into research [AP].
Hwang became a national hero to South Korea in 2004, when he claimed to have cloned human embryonic stem cells, a feat that was thought to be impossible because of the complexities of human cells. Embryonic stem cells are of great interest to medical researchers because they can develop into any kind of adult cell, and could theoretically be used to replace malfunctioning cells that cause disease. A year later, Hwang said the team created human embryonic stem cells genetically matched to specific patients — a purported breakthrough that promised a way to withstand rejection by a patient’s immune system [AP].