Chemical | Homeland Security Newswire

  • Army signs deal with ChemImage for explosive detection technology

    The U.S. Army’s Space and Missile Defense command recently signed a $17 million contract with ChemImage Corporation to implement its real-time sensor technology to detect explosive threats in the field; ChemImage’s technology would give U.S. troops the ability to identify objects from a distance to determine if they are explosive, chemical, or biological threats; the devices rely on molecular spectroscopy and digital imaging to analyze material

  • U.S. urged to update chem-bio defense efforts

    A new report highlights one of the major problems in preparing defenses against chemical and biological (CB) agents: “Given the inherent secrecy with which states and other actors will conduct CB agent development, adversary programs could acquire new CB agents years before U.S. defense planners recognize those agents—- And, after the U.S. intelligence community recognizes those CB agents as threats, the United States will probably need many more years to establish a comprehensive defense against them. Such gaps in CB agent defense capabilities pose a potentially serious risk to U.S. military operations”

  • Missing vial of VX nerve agent causes Army base lockdown

    VX is an amber-colored, odorless, tasteless oily liquid that evaporates very slowly, almost like motor oil; one of the most lethal chemical weapons agents ever synthesized, it can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled as a vapor; VX affects the body’s ability to carry messages through the nerves, causing rapid death by paralysis; the U.S. Army’s Dugway Proving Ground in Utah was locked down over night — with between 1,200 and 1,400 people inside the facility — after a small vial of VX went missing; the missing vial was found at 3 a.m.; the base commander told reporters that the mishap resulted from VX liquid “misplaced into a different container that was improperly marked.”

  • Enzyme provides protection against nerve gas

    Nerve agents disrupt the chemical messages sent between nerve and muscle cells, causing loss of muscle control, and ultimately leading to death by suffocation; protection against nerve gas attack is a significant component of the defense system of many countries around the world; nerve gases are used by armies and terrorist organizations, and constitute a threat to both the military and civilian populations, but existing drug solutions against them have limited efficiency; a multidisciplinary team of scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, succeeded in developing an enzyme that breaks down nerve agents efficiently before damage to nerves and muscles is caused

  • ICx Technologies: comprehensive, layered approach to security

    At the recent ASIS exhibition and seminar, Homeland Security Newswire took the time to walk through the ICx Technologies booth and speak to some of their subject matter experts; CommandSpace® & ThreatSense™, solutions which provide a comprehensive, layered approach to perimeter security and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security for critical facilities, respectively, were on display

  • New detector tests for illegal drugs, superbugs in minutes

    A new method of detecting illegal drugs and super bugs will be used in a U.K. government-backed handheld device that analyzes saliva; the testing takes minutes and costs as little as £1.50 per test; it works by measuring the electric charge generated when the substances in the saliva react with an electrode coated with antibodies

  • 1st Detect in $735,000 contract for chemical detection in the field

    Phase II SBIR contract from the Joint Science & Technology Office for Chemical and Biological Defense will allow the company to design and develop a novel sample inlet system intended to improve the sensitivity of mass spectrometers used for chemical detection in the field

  • Iraqi army trains in biological, chemical weapons removal

    The Iraqi military is training in removing suspected weapons of mass destruction, including biological and chemical weapon; there are no reliable figures for the amount of unexploded ordinance located in Iraq, let alone those that may contain degraded but still dangerous substances, such as sarin nerve gas or mustard gas

  • Chemical sensor may stop terrorists

    Terrorists may find it harder to carry out attacks thanks to a new explosives detector developed by Turkish scientists; the scientists have designed a colorimetric sensor that can selectively detect the peroxide-based explosives TATP and hexamethylenetetramine (HMTD) and can be used on-site

  • Green decontaminants to breaking down chemical weapons

    New products developed non-toxically to decontaminate nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax. The formulas are based on ingredients found in foods, cosmetics, and other consumer products

  • Tiny sensors embedded in cell phones identify, map airborne toxins in real time

    Cell phones are everywhere people are, so University of California-San Diego’s researchers want to turn the devices into chemical sensors; the tiny sensor, a porous flake of silicon, changes color when it interacts with specific chemicals. By manipulating the shape of the pores, the researchers can tune individual spots on the silicon flake to respond to specific chemical traits

  • Non-toxic cleaners for terrorist attacks

    Traditional chlorine- and lye-based cleaning agents are potentially hazardous and can react with chemical weapons and other materials in the environment to form new toxic substances; military researchers non-toxic, ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack; the peroxide-based “green” decontaminants are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax

  • New sensor speeds water analysis

    New sensor creates a single procedure for in-situ monitoring of chlorinated hydrocarbons in water, obviating the need for laboratory-based technologies for the analysis of water contaminants, which are time consuming, labor intensive and expensive

  • Taliban uses poisonous gas in attack on Kabul girls school

    The Taliban continues its violent campaign against girls’ education in Afghanistan; the Taliban’s latest tactics; poisonous gas attacks on girls’ schools, aiming to scare students and teachers; in mid-April the Taliban attacked three girls’ schools in northern Afghanistan; yesterday, the Taliban attacked a school in the middle of Kabul; twenty-two students and three teachers were hospitalized

  • Planned security network for Lower Manhattan would not have identified bomber

    New York City plans to install a protection system in Lower Manhattan which will consist of surveillance cameras, license plate readers, and chemical sensors; the system will be able to record and track every vehicle moving between 34th and 59th Streets, river to river; because neither the S.U.V. used in the attempt last Saturday nor the license plate on it had been reported stolen, it would not have raised any immediate red flags