The Great Government Giveaway

Need some technology? Federal labs are ready to help. Honest.

NASA's jet propulsion laboratory had several goals in mind for the ultrasensitive heat detector it invented in the early 1990s--and none of them had anything to do with helping Mark A. Fauci get his business off the ground. The infrared digital sensor, developed with Defense Dept. funding, was designed to search for distant galaxies and spot missile launches as part of the "Star Wars" program. It took Fauci the entrepreneur to come up with a radically different idea for the heat-seeking device: to probe for the first signs of cancer in the human body.

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