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Bitconned

JUST over a week ago, Schumpeter wrote about the collapse of Mt Gox, the once-dominant Bitcoin exchange that disappeared in late February along with almost half a billion dollars of customers’ cryptocurrency (and $65 million of its own)—all presumed stolen. Schumpeter’s reward for his article was open warfare in the comments section. A large minority of commenters pilloried Schumpeter for daring to criticise...

The search for a cure for AIDS: If it ain’t broke…

To your very good health, sir! GENE therapy usually works by repairing a broken gene or creating a new one where none previously existed. Breaking a working gene to effect a cure is a novel approach. That, though, is what Carl June of the University of Pennsylvania and his colleagues are trying to do. As they explain in the New England Journal of Medicine, by damaging a gene called CCR5 they hope to treat—and...

Bioprinters: Printing a bit of me

UK Only Article: standard article Issue: Printing a bit of me Fly Title: Bioprinters Rubric: Bioprinting: Building living tissue with a 3D printer is becoming a new business, but making whole organs for transplant remains elusive Main image: 20140308_TQD007_0.jpg IN A state-of-the-art clean room, a scientist clad in a full-body containment suit, a hair net and blue gloves is preparing some printing cartridges—filled...

Genetically modified crops: Fields of beaten gold

UK Only Article: standard article Issue: The rise of BlackRock Fly Title: Genetically modified crops Rubric: Greens say climate-change deniers are unscientific and dangerous. So are greens who oppose GM crops Main image: 20131207_LDP004_1.jpg IN AUGUST environmentalists in the Philippines vandalised a field of Golden Rice, an experimental grain whose genes had been modified to carry beta-carotene, a chemical...

Creativity and cheating: Mwahahaha…

FROM James Moriarty to Ernst Stavro Blofeld, the idea of the evil genius has been a staple of storytelling. But is it true? Or, to put the matter less starkly, is there a connection between creativity and dishonesty in real people who are not bent on world domination, as well as in fictional supervillains? Writing in Psychological Science, Francesca Gino of Harvard University and Scott Wiltermuth of the University...

Condom technology: Sheathing Cupid’s arrow

THEY have been made of tortoiseshell and horn. They have been made of the finest silk and the coarsest leather. They have been made of pigs’ bladders and sheep’s intestines. They have been made of rubber (natural and synthetic). They have been made of plastic. But none of these has quite fitted the bill. Condoms, though 15 billion are manufactured each year, and 750m couples use them, are not, when push...

What exactly is an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurs are everybody’s favourite heroes. Politicians want to clone them. Popular television programmes such as “The Apprentice” and “Dragons’ Den” lionise them. School textbooks praise them. When the author of this blog was at Oxford “entrepreneur” was a dirty word. Today the Entrepreneur’s...