Disasters

  • Aussies worry about rising sea levels

    About 80 percent of Australians live in coastal areas, and a new parliamentary report recommends new laws banning further development in coastal regions

  • Tracking swine flu spread by monitoring electronic prescription records

    Rhode Island is using information supplied by pharmacies to document how much Tamiflu and other antivirals are being dispensed to patients; the information — categorized by zip codes of the pharmacies where the medicine is dispensed and the age group of the patient receiving it — is given to epidemiologists at the state health department

  • Awareness of DHS's NECP is low, but its promise is high

    CDW-G reports finds that just half of public-safety communications professionals were familiar with the NECP, yet when briefed, almost all believe it could address their communications challenges

  • Humanoid robots to help people in hazardous environments

    Current calculations required for robots’ handling objects and avoiding collisions are based on movements in the XYZ coordinates, and are sensitive to any minor deformations in the environment, such as a flexible object that would cause the calculations to be invalid; researchers offer a new way to govern robots’ movement

  • Bipartisan WMD commission: U.S. failing to address urgent biothreat

    Interim report assesses progress in preventing WMD proliferation and terrorism

  • How prepared is the U.S. for a bioterror attack?

    The current U.S. bioterror detection program: A federally funded, locally run program with an $80 million annual budget, deploying a network of vacuum pumps that draw surrounding air through filters, sniffing for signs of biological agents

  • Computer models predicts power outages during hurricanes

    Researchers develop computer model that can estimate how many power outages will occur across a region as a hurricane is approaching; having accurate estimates, prior to the storm’s arrival, of how many outages will exist and where they will occur, will allow utilities to better plan their crew requests and crew locations

  • UK.gov's G Cloud may have security silver lining after all

    Cloud computing offers many benefits, but enhanced security is not one of them — or is it? An expert says that the emergence of cloud computing is making it possible to take a new approach to security; until now, the U.K. government has kept its work on information security in specialist bodies such as GCHQ and CESG, separate from the development of business functions; “The cloud gives us the opportunity to get the specification right before we get too far down the track,” he says

  • Cosmic entropy could be 100 times greater than previously thought

    Entropy increases as the number of ways the system can be arranged microscopically without changing the external appearance increases; new study shows that cosmic entropy is a 100 times greater than earlier estimates; the entropy of the universe must be below the maximum theoretical value or life and other complex phenomena will cease to exist; as the entropy gradually increases it will eventually approach the theoretical maximum, a state many physicists have called the heat death of the universe; the new study thus shows that our universe is closer to its death than previously thought

  • Tornado threat increases as Gulf hurricanes get larger

    New study predicted exactly the number of hurricanes seen for Hurricane Ike: 33; tornadoes that occur from hurricanes moving inland from the Gulf Coast are increasing in frequency

  • Without water reform Asia will face food shortage by 2050

    There are three options for meeting the food needs of Asia’s population, which will expand by one-and-a-half billion people over the next forty years: The first is to import large quantities of cereals from other regions; the second to improve and expand rainfed agriculture; and the third to focus on irrigated farmlands

  • Massive earthquakes shake scientific thought

    Experts who dismissed notions that far-away quakes could be linked are beginning to think again after huge tremors rocked Samoa and Indonesia on the same day, followed by another major convulsion in Vanuatu

  • DHS recommends three emergency management standards

    DHS, under its Voluntary Private Sector Preparedness Accreditation and Certification Program (PS-Prep), is proposing the use of three existing emergency management and business continuity standards; the three were selected from twenty-five standards submitted to DHS for consideration

  • New Bay Bridge span designed to endure major quake

    Twenty years ago a 250-ton section of the Bay Bridge fell into the water as a result of a 6.9 magnitude earthquake; the new bridge design will be able to withstand the largest plausible earthquake to occur within a 1,500-year period

  • Asteroid collision: How to defend Earth, II

    Asteroid impacts are much rarer than hurricanes and earthquakes, but they have the potential to do much greater damage; moreover, what if an asteroid hits Earth in the Middle East or the Asian subcontinent? Such an event could be misinterpreted as a nuclear attack — both produce a bright flash, a blast wave, and raging winds; the result may be a nuclear war