Synthetic Biology Could Bring a Pox on Us All

On July 11, 2002, the researchers revealed that they had synthesized the polio virus, which had been wiped out in the US in 1979. It was the first time a virus had been created from scratch with synthetic DNA. The work was funded by the Pentagon in part to establish whether terrorists could pull off such a feat. The answer was yes.

Meth, Murder, and Pirates: The Coder Who Became A Crime Boss

How a brilliant self-made software programmer from South Africa single-handedly built an online startup that became one of the largest individual contributors to America’s burgeoning painkiller epidemic. In his world, everything was for sale. Pure methamphetamine manufactured in North Korea. Yachts built to outrun coast guards. Police protection and judges’ favor. Crates of military-grade weapons. Private jets full of gold. Missile-guidance systems. Unbreakable encryption. African militias. Explosives. Kidnapping. Torture. Murder. It's a world that lurks just outside of our everyday perception, in the dark corners of the internet we never visit, the quiet ports where ships slip in by night, the back room of the clinic down the street.