When is a gun not a weapon? Swedish police worried about the rise in 3D printed guns

Police in the Swedish city Malmö have reported that criminals in the city are using 3D printers to make working guns.

The problem for the city’s authorities is that under Swedish law it is not a crime to construct or hold a 3D printed gun’s impotent individual parts.

It is only when they are assembled into a working firearm are they in violation of the Arms Act, which is a situation Malmö’s police chief, Stefan Sintéus, is uncomfortable with.

“It is obvious that the aim is to put the pieces together into a weapon. The only thing missing is a gun barrel and a bolt, so I call for a discussion of the limits on when it counts as a crime,” said Sintéus in an interview with Swedish news programme, Skane.

Image courtesy of Malmö police

The guns were seized in January and February of this year and were later tested, and proved to be working, at the National Forensic Centre.

Police reported finding one of the 3D printed guns during a city-wide criminal sweep, while the other firearm was discovered in a Malmö parking garage.

Both guns are reported to have been constructed in the same way: by disassembling a traditionally made gun, scanning the parts, and re-constructing them via a 3D printer, which are then assembled into a finished weapon.

According to Sintéus engineers performed test firings of the weapons on six different occasions, and can confirm they are indeed in working order. The firearms therefore now qualify as illegal weapons.

Image courtesy of Kamenev

Sintéus’ comments make it pretty obvious that the Malmö police department believe 3D printed guns ought to be restricted in the same way ordinary guns are.

He also noted that while these incidents occurred in Malmö, 3D printed guns are increasingly being used by savvy criminals and the trend was “more common in Europe”.

Like it or not, we are reaching a stage where we will have to legislate for 3D printed guns, as well as their constituent parts.

“It’s not possible to criminalize a 3D printer, but it is nevertheless true that we now have people in the criminal environment that have this kind of weapon,” said Sintéus.

Steve “Woz” Wozniak to advise hologram emoji company that he calls “groundbreaking”

Apple’s co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak has found himself a new gig; Woz has joined the hologram emoji company, Mojiit, as an adviser.

In his role as advisor to Mojiit, the legendary entrepreneur and engineer will help assemble a world-class engineering team in addition to bringing investors and partnerships to the newly launched startup. Wozniak will also serve as mentor to Mojiit founder, Jeremy Greene.

“I’m thrilled to join Mojiit as an advisor,” said Wozniak. “Jeremy is a natural leader, the company is groundbreaking, it’s going to change the ecommerce space, and it’s a lot of fun.”

Created in 2017, Mojiit is the latest startup technology venture from Greene. The company’s tech essentially enables users to project and share 3D hologram emojis via smartphones.

The platform turns users into emojis by scanning their face, which can then be sent to loved ones and friends. Once a Mojiit message is received, it will map the area where it is received and place the Mojiit hologram there in real time, so it works in a similar way to Pokemon Go.

“Steve is one of the best and brilliant engineers in the entire world. But outside of that, he’s a wonderful man,” said Greene. “There isn’t anyone I’d want to be in business with more than this guy. He’s a legend. Who better to learn from than the guy who created the computer?”

Image courtesy of Nichollas Harrison. Featured image courtesy of Mojiit

In addition to consumer use, businesses of all kinds can tap into hologram emojis with Mojiit’s technology.

Mojiit investors already  include NFL alum Ed Reed, and the company was able to raise a total of $1 million in its seed round of funding.

Alongside the appointment of Woz, Entourage and Ballers producer Rob Weiss recently joined the company as a creative director.

“It’s exciting to expand beyond television and film to digital platforms,” said Weiss. “Hologram technology brings incredible opportunity to entertainment and media. I’m thrilled to be leading creative at Mojiit.”

Nanoengineers send antibiotic-delivering micromotors into the body to treat cancer-causing infection

Nanoengineers have demonstrated for the first time how “micromotors” that measure half the width of a human hair can be used to transport antibiotics through the body.

Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego tested the micromotors in mice with Helicobacter pylori infections, which can also be found in about two-thirds of the world’s population and while many people will never notice any signs of its presence it can cause peptic ulcers and stomach cancer.

The mice received the micromotors – packed with a clinical dose of the antibiotic clarithromycin – orally once a day for five consecutive days.

Afterwards, nanoengineers evaluated the bacterial count in each mouse stomach and found that treatment with the micromotors was slightly more effective than when the same dose of antibiotic was given in combination with proton pump inhibitors, which also suppress gastric acid production.

Micromotors administered to the mice swam rapidly throughout the stomach while neutralising gastric acid, which can be destructive to orally administered drugs such as antibiotics and protein-based pharmaceuticals.

Because gastric acid is so destructive to traditional antibiotics drugs used to treat bacterial infections, ulcers and other diseases in the stomach are normally taken with additional substances, called proton pump inhibitors.

But when taken over longer periods or in high doses, proton pump inhibitors can cause adverse side effects including headaches, diarrhea and fatigue. In more serious cases, they can cause anxiety or depression.

The micromotors, however, have a built-in mechanism that neutralises gastric acid and effectively deliver their drug payloads in the stomach without requiring the use of proton pump inhibitors.

“It’s a one-step treatment with these micromotors, combining acid neutralisation with therapeutic action,” said Berta Esteban-Fernández de Ávila, a postdoctoral scholar in Wang’s research group at UC San Diego and a co-first author of the paper.

The nanoengineers say that while the present results are promising, this work is still at an early stage.

To test their work, the team is planning future studies to into the therapeutic performance of the micromotors in animals and humans, and will compare it with other standard therapies used to combat stomach diseases.

UC San Diego nanoengineers also plan to test different drug combinations with the micromotors to treat multiple diseases in the stomach or in different sections of the gastrointestinal tract.

Overall, the researchers say that this work opens the door to the use of synthetic motors as active delivery platforms in the treatment of diseases.

Image and video courtesy of the Laboratory for Nanobioelectronics at UC San Diego.