• HackingFBI does not know how the $1m iPhone hack works

    The  FBI does not know how the hack which was used to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist’s iPhone 5C works, even though the agency paid about $1 million for the technique. The identity of the hackers who sold the technique to the agency is a closely guarded secret, and the FBI director himself does not know who they are.

  • ISISISIS runs fish farms, car dealerships to compensate for lost oil revenues

    The U.S.-led coalition’s air strike have crippled the ISIS oil-smuggling-based economy, forcing the organization to rely on fish farming and car dealing as alternative money generating resources, a new report has revealed. In order to close a yawning gap in the organization’s once-lucrative $2.9 billion oil trading scheme, ISIS has now increasingly turned to other revenue streams.

  • Border securityIsraeli anti-tunnel tech could thwart U.S.-Mexico smugglers

    Smugglers of drugs and illegal migrants using tunnels along the U.S.-Mexico border may want to keep an eye on Israel. The U.S. government is cosponsoring the tunnel-detection technology now being developed by Israeli engineers. This latest innovation hit world headlines upon the announcement that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) uncovered a two-kilometer-long, concrete-lined tunnel on its Gaza border.

  • CybersecurityArgonne hosts Cyber Defense Competition

    More than seventy-five aspiring cyber defenders from across Illinois and Iowa converged last Saturday on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Argonne National Laboratory to take on the challenge of Argonne’s first Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition. The competition provided a strong challenge for eight teams from seven colleges, forcing them to defend simulated power utility networks from a variety of realistic attacks by a “Red Team” made up of cyber experts from Argonne and industrial partners.

  • Disaster recoveryRepairing earthquake-damaged bridge columns in days, not weeks

    In just thirty seconds, a devastating earthquake like the ones that struck Japan and Ecuador can render a city helpless. With roadways split and bridges severely damaged, residents and emergency personnel could be prevented from moving around to rebuild. Normally, it takes weeks to repair the cracking or spalling of columns on just one bridge damaged in an earthquake. Researchers have developed a new process of fixing columns that takes as little as a few days.

  • Water securityFracking would pose no danger to water supplies: Research

    One of the primary concerns of those who oppose the development of shale gas by hydraulic fracturing is that creation of new fractures in the earth could cause fracking fluids to leak into, and contaminate, underground freshwater aquifers. Potential future fracking activity in the United Kingdom is unlikely to pose a pollution danger to overlying aquifers, new research from a leading academic suggests.

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  • Emerging threatsPutting consistent value on experts' uncertainty on climate change models

    Science can flourish when experts disagree, but in the governmental realm uncertainty can lead to inadequate policy and preparedness. When it comes to climate change, it can be OK for computational models to differ on what future sea levels will be. The same flexibility does not exist for determining the height of a seawall needed to protect people from devastating floods. For the first time in the climate field, researchers have combined two techniques long used in fields where uncertainty is coupled with a crucial need for accurate risk-assessment — such as nuclear energy — in order to bridge the gap between projections of Earth’s future climate and the need to prepare for it.

  • ISISCoalition’s campaign has seriously weakened ISIS financial position

    The coalition’s airstrikes on ISIS-controlled oilfields, the recapturing of ISIS-held territory, and destruction of the group’s cash storage facilities – in which up to $800 million in cash went up in smoke — may have seriously undermined ISIS and its operations in Syria and Iraq, the coalition’s military commanders said. Officials at the U.K Ministry of Dense said earlier this week that ISIS has increasingly been resorting to arbitrary fines, extortion, and gangster-like tactics to compensate for the shortfall in income.

  • CounterterrorismU.S. employs Israeli “roof-knocking” air strike tactic

    The U.S. military is now employing a controversial air strike technique called “roof-knocking,” which was widely used by Israel during the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip in summer 2014. The approach involves dropping small munitions in the roof of a house in which terrorists are suspected to be hiding, or which is suspected of being a storing facility for terrorists weapons. The purpose of dropping the small, harmless munitions on the roof is to alert civilians in the house that they have a few minutes to escape to safety.

  • SurveillanceSnowden revelations led to “chilling effect” on pursuit of knowledge: Study

    By Nadia Prupis

    National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden’s 2013 mass surveillance revelations caused a drop in website browsing, particularly in internet searches for terms associated with extremism, an example of the most direct evidence yet that the spying operations exposed in the leak had a “chilling effect” on the lawful pursuit of information, an impending report has found.

  • EbolaCellphone-sized device detects the Ebola virus quickly

    The worst of the recent Ebola epidemic is over, but the threat of future outbreaks lingers. Monitoring the virus requires laboratories with trained personnel, which limits how rapidly tests can be done. Now scientists report in ACS’ journal Analytical Chemistry a handheld instrument that detects Ebola quickly and could be used in remote locations.

  • ChernobylWhat we learned from Chernobyl about how radiation affects our bodies

    By Ausrele Kesminiene

    The world has never seen a nuclear accident as severe as the one that unfolded when a reactor exploded in Chernobyl on 26 April 1986, sending vast amounts of radiation into the skies around Ukraine, Belarus and Russia. The planet had experienced massive releases like this before, in the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. But Chernobyl-related radiation exposure had a more protracted character. It was the first time in history that such a large population, particularly at a very young age, was exposed to radioactive isotopes, namely iodine-131 and cesium-137, not just through direct exposure, but through eating contaminated food as well.

  • Emerging threatsRising seas put Vietnam in the “bull’s eye” of rising seas

    A rising sea level — for a country like Vietnam, with 2,000 miles of coastline — presents a major environmental and food security challenge, especially in the Mekong River Delta region where 22 percent of the population lives and about half of the country’s food is produced.

  • Water securityGroundwater quality changes alongside the expansion of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling

    New research demonstrates that groundwater quality changes alongside the expansion of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing but also suggests that some potentially hazardous effects may dissipate over time. The research is the first to analyze groundwater quality in the Cline Shale region of West Texas before, during, and after the expansion of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling.

  • TerrorismCanada, U.K. to press other nations to stop ransom payments to terrorists

    Canada and Britain will work together to persuade other nations to stop the flow of ransom payments to terrorists, Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday. “Canada does not and will not pay ransom to terrorists, directly or indirectly,” Trudeau told reporters in Alberta. His statement came one day after Canadian hostage John Ridsdel, a former mining executive, was killed by Islamist Abu Sayyaf militants in the Philippines. He was killed within hours after the Canadian government did not respond to the group’s ransom demand.

  • ExplosivesNumber of civilian casualties from explosives around the world continues to grow

    For the fourth year in a row, 2015 saw a rise in the number of civilian casualties from explosive violence around the world: 33,307 civilians having been killed or injured by explosive weapons – up 2 percent from 2014, and 54 percent more than when Action on Armed Violence’s (AOAV) monitoring began in 2011.

  • ChernobylMore money for nuclear safety pledged on Chernobyl 30th anniversary

    The EU and other global donors have pledged an additional $99 million to help secure the Chernobyl power plant, as ceremonies in the Ukraine mark thirty years since the disaster. The money will be used to construct a new spent nuclear waste storage facility, adding to the €2 billion already donated to helping clean up and secure the Chernobyl site. A new giant $1.7 billion steel structure will be placed over the nuclear reactor this year to prevent further radioactive leaks. The old concrete structure was put together after the meltdown, but experts say it is not leak-proof and that, in any event, it is beginning to show its age.

  • ChernobylThe legacy of Chernobyl -- 30 years on

    By Awadhesh Jha

    The 26 April 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. For many, especially those born since 1986, it is a word they know without appreciating the full significance of what happened on that day. For others, it was a life changing catastrophe which resulted in largest release of radioactivity in the history of nuclear energy.

  • Nuclear wasteDealing with irradiated nuclear graphite

    Since the beginning of the nuclear power industry, a large number of channel uranium-graphite nuclear power reactors was built across the world. To date, they all are on the output stage of the operation or decommissioning preparation. Approximately 250,000 tons of irradiated graphite are accumulated in the world, including ~ 60,000 tons in Russia. Due to the specificity of irradiated graphite, the treatment of this type of radioactive waste has not been determined yet.

  • Resilience“G-Science” academies call for strengthening global disaster resilience

    In the decade between 2005 and 2014, more than 6,000 natural and technological disasters occurred around the world, killing more than 0.8 million people, displacing millions more, and costing more than $1 trillion. Losses due to disasters are increasing in both developed and developing countries. Human factors that increase exposure and vulnerability, such as poverty, rapid population growth, disorderly urbanization, corruption, conflict and changes in land use, poor infrastructure including non-engineered housing, together with effects of climate change on weather patterns with increased extreme events, aggravate the negative consequences of natural and technological hazards.

  • Emerging threatsA single oil field a key culprit in global ethane gas increase

    A single U.S. shale oil field is responsible for much of the past decade’s increase in global atmospheric levels of ethane, a gas that can damage air quality and impact climate, according to a new study. The researchers found that the Bakken Formation, an oil and gas field in North Dakota and Montana, is emitting roughly 2 percent of the globe’s ethane. This is about 250,000 tons per year.

  • Cyber warfarePentagon “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS

    Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work has said that the U.S. military is “dropping cyberbombs” on ISIS. Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced that the U.S. Cyber Command had been given its “first wartime assignment” – attacking and disrupting ISIS cyber infrastructure. in the last few months, the Pentagon has allowed more information to be published about the U.S. military’s cyberwar against ISIS. Work, describing the Cyber Command’s operations at a news conference, said: “We are dropping cyberbombs. We have never done that before.”