• China syndromeChina Embraces Bigger Internet with Virtually Unlimited IP Addresses

    By John Xie

    China is pushing for the adoption of a new worldwide Internet Protocol that could make the internet bigger and faster, but also potentially less anonymous. The technology, called IPv6, is an upgrade of the internet’s architecture that would allow trillions more electronic devices to have unique addresses online.

  • RobokillersLethal Autonomous Weapons May Soon Make Life-and-Death Decisions – on Their Own

    With drone technology, surveillance software, and threat-predicting algorithms, future conflicts could computerize life and death. “It’s a big question – what does it mean to hand over some of the decision making around violence to machines, and everybody on the planet will have a stake in what happens on this front,” says one expert.

  • School surveillanceSchools’ Facial Recognition Technology Problematic, Should Be Banned: Experts

    Facial recognition technology should be banned for use in schools, according to a new study. The research reveals inaccuracy, racial inequity, and increased surveillance are the touchstones of a flawed technology.

  • AIMight Technology Tip the Global Scales?

    By Leda Zimmerman

    Benjamin Chang, a fourth-year MIT graduate student, is assessing the impacts of artificial intelligence on military power, with a focus on the U.S. and China. “Every issue critical to world order — whether climate change, terrorism, or trade — is clearly and closely intertwined with U.S.-China relations,” says Chang. “Competition between these nations will shape all outcomes anyone cares about in the next 50 years or more.”

  • FloodsA Warming California Will See Reservoirs Overwhelmed by Floods

    By the 2070s, global warming will increase extreme rainfall and reduce snowfall in the Sierra Nevada, delivering a double whammy that will likely overwhelm California’s reservoirs and heighten the risk of flooding in much of the state.

  • China syndromeA Ban on WeChat and TikTok, a Disconnected World and Two Internets

    By Fang Bing, Adam Xu, Jiu Dao

    President Trump’s new executive orders banning Chinese social media apps TikTok and WeChat marked a significant escalation in the ongoing technology tensions between the U.S. and China. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, predicted in 2018 that within the next decade, there would be two distinct Internets: one led by the U.S. and the other one led by China. Only two years after his comments, that prediction seems to have become a reality.

  • Designer pathogensHow Do We Know Whether a Virus Is Bioengineered?

    Since the onset of the pandemic, theories – or, rather, conspiracy theories – and no-evidence assertions argued that the coronavirus was intentionally engineered by Chinese scientists as a potential bioweapon, despite the consensus of scientists and intelligence experts that the virus’s genetics indicate that it is most likely a zoonotic pathogen. The scientists relied on a Finding Engineering-Linked Indicators (FELIX) analysis to reach their conclusion, but there are other detection tools – trouble is, these other tools may be used to engineer viruses for bioattacks.

  • Coastal challengesFacing Climate Threats, Landmarks May Have to Adapt and “Transform”

    How much effort should be spent trying to keep Venice looking like Venice – even as it faces rising sea levels that threaten the city with more frequent extreme flooding? As climate change threatens cultural sites, preservationists and researchers are asking whether these iconic locations should be meticulously restored or should be allowed to adapt and “transform.”

  • Water securityOverhauling the Circulatory System of the American West

    It might be tempting to think of cowboys and cattle drives, but the real story of the American West can be summed up in one word: water. While the costs might be daunting, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has teamed up with the Oregon-based Farmers Conservation Alliance to radically reimagine the role of irrigation systems in the West.

  • Cybersecurity$26 million NSF initiative to establish new Center for Quantum Networks

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched a major new initiative to establish and lead the Center for Quantum Networks, or CQN. The new center is funded through an initial $26 million, 5-year grant awarded to the University of Arizona, with an additional five-year $24.6 million renewal option.

  • Next Generation 911Testing Interoperability, Compatibility of Next Generation 911 systems

    Next Generation 911 (NG911) is an updated version of the current nationwide emergency response system operating on an Internet Protocol (IP) platform that will enable voice, video, photographs, text, and future communications technologies to be transmitted to and by the public and first responders for assistance. The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI), a DHS Center of Excellence led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), will develop a framework and process for testing the interoperability and compatibility of NG911 systems.

  • ExtremismResearch Suggests Racism Could Be a Genetic Trait

    Despite increased information and knowledge, racism is still a powerful force around the world. How can racist attitudes and practices have survived so many generations? A new study argues that beliefs that some groups are superior to others are deeply influenced by genetics.

  • PoisonPoison: Chasing the Antidote

    While targeted chemical attacks on civilians tend to make headlines, the most common poisoning reports in the United States are from accidental exposure to household chemicals such as insect sprays, cleaning solutions or improperly washed fruit or vegetables. In any case, the remedy is a fast-acting, poison-chasing drug compound, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory says it is on the forefront developing a new generation of life-saving antidotes.

  • Rare earth mineralsTurning Waste into Valuable Critical Minerals

    A new way to treat acid mine drainage (AMD) could help transform the environmental pollution problem into an important domestic source of the critical rare earth elements needed to produce technology ranging from smart phones to fighter jets.

  • Energy securityAssembling Offshore Wind Turbines

    The United States offshore wind energy industry is growing, with planned commitments to build 26 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind projects along the East Coast from now through 2035. This is the clean power equivalent of 26 nuclear power plants, or roughly 10 times the average electric energy used by the entire state of Delaware. Marshalling ports, large waterside sites with the acreage and weight-carrying capacity necessary to assemble, house and deploy the huge wind turbines ready to ship out into the ocean, will be critical to meeting this current and committed demand for offshore wind.