• Personal protective equipmentBulletproof origami shield to protect law enforcement

    Engineering professors have created an origami-inspired, lightweight bulletproof shield that can protect law enforcement from gunfire. The new barrier can be folded compactly when not in use, making it easier to transport and deploy. When expanded — which takes only five seconds — it can provide cover for officers and stop bullets from several types of handguns. The ballistic barrier is made of twelve layers of Kevlar.

  • Fake newsHow science should respond to fake news

    The rise of fake news has dominated the world of politics since the last U.S. election cycle. But fake news is not at all new in the world of science. “Fake news about science has always existed,” says one expert. “What has changed now is social media and the potential to disseminate this kind of news much faster among social networks.”

  • Emerging threatsImproving climate change modeling by including variables such as inequality, consumption, and population

    A new scientific paper by an international team of distinguished scientists, including five members of the National Academies, argues that there are critical two-way feedbacks missing from current climate models that are used to inform environmental, climate, and economic policies. The most important inadequately modeled variables are inequality, consumption, and population. The authors present extensive evidence of the need for a new paradigm of modeling that incorporates the feedbacks that the Earth System has on humans, and propose a framework for future modeling that would serve as a more realistic guide for policymaking and sustainable development.

  • HSNW conversation with Frederic LemieuxApplied intelligence: Providing actionable insights to decision-makers

    Frederic Lemieux is Professor and Faculty Director at the Applied Intelligence Program, School of Continuing Studies, Georgetown University. Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies (MPS) in Applied Intelligence, blending study and hands-on practice, is designed for professionals who are looking to enter into or advance within a wide range of intelligence-related roles in both the public and private sectors. Students learn how to master strategies for assessing organizational strengths and weaknesses, harnessing large and disparate data sets, and forecasting business competitiveness in both public and private institutions.

  • CybersecurityHow Florida is helping train the next generation of cybersecurity professionals

    By Sri Sridharan

    Our increasingly connected and digital world is vulnerable to attack and needs more skilled professionals who know how to defend it. As connected devices proliferate, particularly smart devices creating what has been called the “Internet of Things,” the problem is getting worse. While we don’t know where and when the next cyber threats will arise, we can be sure that our society’s use of and demand for digital connections will only grow. As a result, we’ll also see the demand for cybersecurity professionals rise – and the opportunities for new ways of thinking, learning and collaborating.

  • ScienceConcerns about science are unprecedented: AAAS president, CEO

    Researchers are concerned at unprecedented levels about how a new presidential administration may undermine scientific work and delay its benefits, AAAS President Barbara Schaal and AAAS CEO Rush Holt said at a press event at the AAAS Annual Meeting. “It used to be when someone would say they were concerned about the state of science, they were talking about funding for research … these concerns about funding are not the ones being brought to me,” said Holt. “What I hear now are concerns about what I would call an ongoing trend that goes back many years, even decades, where ideology and ideological assertions have been crowding out evidence in public and private debates and policymaking.”

  • SatellitesFirst Israeli nanosatellite launched

    BGUSAT,” the first nanosatellite for Israeli academic research, was launched Wednesday, 15 February as part of a collaboration between Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), and the Israel Ministry of Science, Technology and Space. It will provide researchers with data on climate change, agricultural developments, and other scientific phenomena. The nanosatellite is slightly larger than a milk carton (4x4x12 inches) and weighs only eleven pounds.

  • Coastal resilienceSea-level rise in Southeast Asia 6,000 years ago relevant for coastal dwellers today

    For the 100 million people who live within three feet of sea level in East and Southeast Asia, the news that sea level in their region fluctuated wildly more than 6,000 years ago is important, according to researchers. This is because those fluctuations occurred without the assistance of human-influenced climate change. Such a change in sea level could happen again now, on top of the rise in sea level that is already projected to result from climate change. This could be catastrophic for people living so close to the sea.

  • Coastal resilienceLast year’s El Niño resulted in unprecedented erosion of the Pacific coastline

    Last winter’s El Niño might have felt weak to residents of Southern California, but it was in fact one of the most powerful climate events of the past 145 years. If such severe El Niño events become more common in the future as some studies suggest they might, the California coast — home to more than twenty-five million people — may become increasingly vulnerable to coastal hazards. And that’s independent of projected sea level rise.

  • Emerging threatsHumans now affect Earth system more than natural forces

    Humans are causing the climate to change 170 times faster than natural forces, new research finds. The study for the first time came up with a mathematical equation to describe the impact of human activity on the Earth system, known as the Anthropocene equation. Over the past 7,000 years the primary forces driving change have been astronomical — driving a rate of change of 0.01 degrees Celsius per century. “Human-caused greenhouse gas emissions over the past forty-five years have increased the rate of temperature rise to 1.7 degrees Celsius per century, dwarfing the natural background rate,” the researchers say.

  • CybersecurityCenter for Long-Term Cybersecurity unveils 2017 research grantees

    The Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity (CLTC) has announce the recipients of its 2017 research grants. In total, twenty-seven different groups of researchers will share a total of nearly $1 million in funding. CLTC says that the projects span a wide range of topics related to cybersecurity, including new methods for making crypto-currencies more secure; protecting health information stored on mobile devices; teaching high-school computer science students how to “program for privacy”; and exploring potential limits on the use of digital controls in nuclear reactors.

  • Emerging threatsCurrent climate change models understate the problem

    A new study on the relationship between people and the planet shows that climate change is only one of many inter-related threats to the Earth’s capacity to support human life. An international team of distinguished scientists, including five members of the National Academies, argues that there are critical components missing from current climate models that inform environmental, climate, and economic policies.

  • Drone catchingSideArm prototype catches full-size drones flying at full speed

    Few scenes capture the U.S. Navy’s prowess as effectively as the rapid-fire takeoff and recovery of combat jets from the deck of an aircraft carrier. The ability to carry air power anywhere in the world, and both launch those aircraft to flight speed and bring them to a stop over extremely short distances, has been essential to carriers’ decades-long dominance of naval warfare. To help provide similar capabilities—minus the 90,000-ton carriers—to U.S. military units around the world, DARPA’s SideArm research effort seeks to create a self-contained, portable apparatus able to horizontally launch and retrieve unmanned aerial systems (UASs) of up to 900 pounds. The self-contained, portable apparatus can be used to launch and retrieve unmanned aircraft from trucks, ships, and fixed bases.

  • Water securityStorms filled 37 percent of California snow-water deficit

    The “atmospheric river” weather patterns that pummeled California with storms from late December to late January may have recouped 37 percent of the state’s five-year snow-water deficit. Researchers estimate that two powerful recent storms deposited roughly 17.5-million acre feet (21.6 cubic kilometers) of water on California’s Sierra Nevada range in January. Compared to averages from the pre-drought satellite record, that amount represents more than 120 percent of the typical annual snow accumulation for this range.

  • Emerging threatsElectricity costs to surge in a warming world

    Climate change is likely to increase U.S. electricity costs over the next century by billions of dollars more than economists previously forecast, according to a new study. The study shows how higher temperatures will raise not just the average annual electricity demand, but more importantly, the peak demand. And to avoid brownouts and absorb these surges, utilities will need to spend between $70 billion and $180 billion in grid upgrades—power plants and futuristic energy storage systems for which ratepayers would ultimately foot the bill.