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Physical Attraction

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We are a physics podcast. But not just a physics podcast - interviews with scientists, scholars, authors and reflections on the history and future of science and technology are all in the wheelhouse.

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We had a sister podcast, Autocracy Now, which deals with the lives of famous historical dictators. You can find some of their episodes on our feed, or the show itself at 

Nov 10, 2017

Earlier this year, a couple of scientists in a laboratory did something incredible. Using nothing but the genetic code and a well-equipped lab, they raised the dead. 

Specifically, the extinct horsepox virus was brought back to life. The scientists said that they didn't do the experiment out of any malice for horses, but just to demonstrate that - with a few good biotech experts, a decent lab, and $100,000 - anyone would soon be able to bring viruses back from the dead.

So what about when that virus is smallpox, capable of killing millions, with the only surviving samples stored as bioweapons by the US and the Russians? Could it be that the biotech revolution - which has such power to save us from our ills and woes - might doom us as well? And what happens when this power gets into the hands of more and more people; the power over life and death? 

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