World’s First 3D Printable Handgun Test Fired Successfully

World's First 3D Printable Handgun Test Fired SuccessfullyThe world’s first gun made with 3D printer technology has been successfully fired in the US. The controversial group which created the firearm, Defense Distributed, plans to make the blueprints available online. The group has spent a year trying to create the firearm, which was successfully tested on Saturday at a firing range south of Austin, Texas.

‘More user friendly’

Anti-gun campaigners have criticised the project. Europe’s law enforcement agency said it was monitoring developments. Victoria Baines, from Europol’s cybercrime centre, said that at present criminals were more likely to pursue traditional routes to obtain firearms.

She added, however: “But as time goes on and as this technology becomes more user friendly and more cost effective, it is possible that some of these risks will emerge.”

Defense Distributed is headed by Cody Wilson, a 25-year-old law student at the University of Texas.

‘Used to harm people’

3D printing has been hailed as the future of manufacturing. The technology works by building up layer upon layer of material – typically plastic – to build complex solid objects. The idea is that as the printers become cheaper, instead of buying goods from shops, consumers will instead be able to download designs and print out the items at home. But as with all new technologies, there are risks as well as benefits.

The gun was made on a 3D printer that cost $8,000 (£5,140) from the online auction site eBay. It was assembled from separate printed components made from ABS plastic – only the firing pin was made from metal.

Asked if he felt any sense of responsibility about whose hands the gun might fall into, Wilson told the BBC: “I recognise the tool might be used to harm other people – that’s what the tool is – it’s a gun. But I don’t think that’s a reason to not do it – or a reason not to put it out there.”

Is this 3D printable handgun a good thing or a bad thing? Why do you say so?

Source: Rebecca Morelle, BBC News

Image: iO9

Neurologists Find ‘Evil Patch’ In Brain Scans Of Criminals

Neurologists Find 'Evil Patch' In Brain Scans Of CriminalsCan you spot evil in an X-ray? You can, at least according to a German scientist who claims an “evil patch” is visible in brain scans of criminals. Dr. Gerhard Roth, a neurologist and professor at the University of Bremen, told London’s Daily Mail that he discovered a dark mass near the front of the brain in scans of people with criminal records.

‘Psychopathic tendencies’

“When you look at the brain scans of hardened criminals, there are almost always severe shortcomings in the lower forehead part of the brain,” Roth said. “There are cases where someone becomes criminal as a result of a tumor or an injury in that area, and after an operation to remove the tumor, that person was completely normal again… This is definitely the region of the brain where evil is formed and where it lurks.”

Roth is not alone in his belief that brain scans can reveal psychopathic tendencies. Kent Kiehl, associate professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, for one, used a mobile MRI unit to conduct brain scans on 2,000 prison inmates in Wisconsin and New Mexico.

‘Distinct neurological condition’

Kiehl found similar patterns in their brain scans. “If you have different behavior, you’re going to have a different brain,” he said at a 2012 lecture at Duke University. “Psychopathy is currently considered the single best predictor of future behavior,” Kiehl said.

A growing number of psychologists “believe that psychopathy, like autism, is a distinct neurological condition—one that can be identified in children as young as 5,” the New York Times reported in May. “Crucial to this diagnosis are callous-unemotional traits, which most researchers now believe distinguish ‘fledgling psychopaths.'”

Not all psychologists believe such a diagnosis is possible, and even those that do admit they are uncomfortable with it. Roth himself admits the research is not foolproof.

Do you believe there is really an “evil patch” in the brain of criminals? How could the results of this research be of help to our society? Feel free to comment on this new scientific finding!

Source: Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News

Image: Belfast Telegraph