• Evaluate AI capabilities in Helping Paramedics

    Paramedics must make numerous life-saving decisions, often in the back of an ambulance with limited time. While they at times call doctors for additional medical directives, precious seconds tick away for the patient during these back-and-forth conversations. DHS S&T partnered with its Canadian counterpart to examine whether artificial intelligence could be used to improve that information overload.

  • A Guide to Not Killing or Mutilating Artificial Intelligence Research

    What’s the fastest way to build a jig-saw puzzle? That was the question posed by Michael Polanyi in 1962. An obvious answer is to enlist help. Polanyi found it obvious that the fastest way to build a jig-saw puzzle is to let everyone work on it together in full sight of each other. No central authority could accelerate progress. Polanyi, however, thought it “impossible and nonsensical” to guide science toward particular ends. Like in the jig-saw puzzle, no scientist understands more than a tiny fraction of the total domain. Joint opinion is reached when each scientist has overlapping knowledge with other scientists, “so that the whole of science will be covered by chains and networks of overlapping neighborhoods.” Intervention by a central authority can only “kill or mutilate” scientific progress, Polanyi argued; it “cannot shape it.”

  • Remotely Monitoring Nuclear Reactors with Antineutrino Detection

    Technology to measure the flow of subatomic particles known as antineutrinos from nuclear reactors could allow continuous remote monitoring designed to detect fueling changes that might indicate the diversion of nuclear materials. The monitoring could be done from outside the reactor vessel, and the technology may be sensitive enough to detect substitution of a single fuel assembly.

  • Russia's Nclear Propulsion Experiment a Cause for Worry

    An explosion last Tuesday at a Russian military test site caused a spike in radiation levels, forcing the evacuation of a small town. Experts say the incident occurred during the test of a new nuclear-powered cruise missile. Both superpowers experimented with nuclear propulsion of rockets during the cold war, but without success. Experts worry if a nuclear-powered cruise missile carries a conventional warhead to its target, an accident occurring with this missiles may turn what was meant to be a non-nuclear attack into a nuclear one, even if the explosion and radiation dispersion would be smaller relative to a “real” nuclear attack.

  • Even a Small Change in Earth’s Carbon Dioxide Makes a Big Difference

    There is a lot less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than most people think, and climatology researchers say that’s all the more reason to be wary of even the slightest changes.

  • The World's Aging Dams Are Not Built for Ever More Extreme Weather

    The town of Whaley Bridge in the UK has had to be evacuated after damage to a dam built in 1831. The Toddbrook Reservoir is just one of many ageing dams worldwide not designed for ever more extreme rainfall as the planet warms. Dams are typically designed to cope with a so-called 1-in-100-year flood event. But as the world warms the odds of extreme rainfall are changing, meaning the risk of failure is far greater. Engineers have been warning for years that many old dams around the world are already unsafe and need upgrading or dismantling.

  • Climate Change Has Made Our Stormwater Infrastructure Obsolete

    We are not ready for the extreme rainfall coming with climate change. A quick dramatic thunderstorm in New York on Wednesday flooded Staten Island so badly that brown murky water joined bus riders for their evening ride home. It’s just one in a growing number of examples of infrastructure not being up to the task. Many cities’ water management systems—think stormwater drains or dams—aren’t equipped to handle climate change-influenced weather shifts.

  • Hacking One of the World's Most Secure Industrial Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)

    Researchers have managed to take control of a Siemens PLC, which is considered to be one of the safest controllers in the world. As part of the attack, the researchers analyzed and identified the code elements of the Siemens proprietary cryptographic protocol, and on the basis of their analysis, created a fake engineering station, an alternative to Siemens’ official station. The fake engineering station was able to command the controller according to the will of the attackers.

  • Bullet shape, Velocity Determine Blood Spatter Patterns

    Blood spatters are hydrodynamic signatures of violent crimes, often revealing when an event occurred and where the perpetrator and victim were located at the time of the crime. Gaining a better physical understanding of the fluid dynamical phenomena at play during gunshot spatters could enhance crime scene investigations.

  • Differentiating Earthquake from Underground Explosion

    Sandia National Laboratories researchers, as part of a group of National Nuclear Security Administration scientists, have wrapped up years of field experiments to improve the United States’ ability to differentiate earthquakes from underground explosions, key knowledge needed to advance the nation’s monitoring and verification capabilities for detecting underground nuclear explosions.

  • Foreign-Born PhDs Deterred from Working in Startups Because of Visa Concerns

    Foreign-born Ph.D. graduates with science and engineering degrees from American universities apply to and receive offers for technology startup jobs at the same rate as U.S. citizens, but are only half as likely to actually work at fledgling companies, a study finds.

  • Humanity’s Ability to Feed Itself Under Growing Threat

    A new UN report warns that the world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” and that the combination of this increasingly more rapid exploitation with climate change is putting dire – and threatening — pressure on the ability of mankind to feed itself.

  • DoD “Precariously Underprepared” for Security Challenges of Climate Change

    The United States Army War College recently released a report exploring the broad impact climate change will have on national security and U.S. Army operations, and offering what it describes as urgent recommendations. The second sentence of the report captures the report’s tone and argument: “The Department of Defense is precariously underprepared for the national security implications of climate change-induced global security challenges.”

  • U.S. Infrastructure Unprepared for Increasing Frequency of Extreme Storms

    Current design standards for United States hydrologic infrastructure are unprepared for the increasing frequency and severity of extreme rainstorms, meaning structures like retention ponds and dams will face more frequent and severe flooding, according to a new study.

  • July Equaled, or Even Surpassed, the Hottest Month in Recorded History

    July at least equaled, if not surpassed, the hottest month in recorded history. This follows the warmest ever June on record. The figures show that, based on the first 29 days of the month, July 2019 will be on par with, and possibly marginally warmer than the previous warmest July, in 2016, which was also the warmest month ever. The latest figures are particularly significant because July 2016 was during one of the strongest occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon, which contributes to heightened global temperatures. Unlike 2016, 2019 has not been marked by a strong El Niño.