• Hiring highly educated immigrants leads to more innovation and better products

    Much of the current debate over immigration is about what kind of impact immigrants have on jobs and wages for workers born in the United States. Seldom does anyone talk about how immigration leads to a wider variety of better products for the American consumer. We recently conducted a study to shine more light on the matter.

  • Ramping up fight against antimicrobial resistance

    The U.S. government is challenging world leaders, corporations, and non-governmental groups to step up their efforts against antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The AMR Challenge asks for at least one commitment in one of five areas: improving antibiotic use in humans and animals; reducing antibiotics and resistant bacteria in the environment; developing new antibiotics, vaccines, and diagnostics; enhancing data collection and sharing; and improving infection prevention and control.

  • U.S. among top nations to suffer economic damage from climate change

    For the first time, researchers have developed a data set quantifying what the social cost of carbon—the measure of the economic harm from carbon dioxide emissions—will be for the globe’s nearly 200 countries, and the results are surprising. New study indicates global warming is costing U.S. economy about $250 billion per year.

  • U.S. carbon-capture network could double global CO2 headed underground

    With the right public infrastructure investment, the United States could as much as double the amount of carbon dioxide emissions currently captured and stored worldwide within the next six years, according to researchers.

  • Something’s going on here: Building a comprehensive profile of conspiracy thinkers

    By and large, people gravitate toward conspiracy theories that seem to affirm or validate their political views. Republicans are vastly more likely than Democrats to believe the Obama “birther” theory or that climate change is a hoax. Democrats are more likely to believe that Trump’s campaign “colluded” with the Russians. But some people are habitual conspiracists who entertain a variety of generic conspiracy theories.

  • A bridge over the Strait of Gibraltar? New bridge forms span farther

    A bridge’s span is the distance of suspended roadway between towers, with the current world record standing at just under 2km. Newly identified bridge forms could enable significantly longer bridge spans to be achieved in the future, potentially making a crossing over the Strait of Gibraltar, from the Iberian Peninsula to Morocco, feasible.

  • Climate change: we need to start moving people away from some coastal areas, warns scientist

    Climate change has forced a paradigm shift in the way coastal flooding and erosion risks are managed. In areas of lower risk, adaptation plans are being devised, often with provisions to make properties and infrastructure more resilient. Adaptation may involve requiring raised foundations in flood-prone areas or the installation of mitigating measures, such as sustainable drainage systems. Building codes may also be established to make structures more disaster-proof and to control the types of constructions within risk zones. But such adaptation options are often of limited use or unsuitable for high-risk areas. In such areas relocation is the only safe climate-proof response.

  • Beyond deep fakes: Automatically transforming video content into another video's style

    Researchers have created a method that automatically transforms the content of one video into the style of another. For instance, Barack Obama’s style can be transformed into Donald Trump. Because the data-driven method does not require human intervention, it can rapidly transform large amounts of video, making it a boon to movie production, as well as to the conversion of black-and-white films to color and to the creation of content for virtual reality experiences.

  • Paris climate targets may be exceeded sooner than expected

    A new study has for the first time comprehensively accounted for permafrost carbon release when estimating emission budgets for climate targets. The results show that the world might be closer to exceeding the budget for the long-term target of the Paris climate agreement than previously thought.

  • S&T awards $11.6 million to defend against network, internet disruptions

    Five research organizations were awarded separate contracts totaling $11,511,565 to develop new methods to identify and attribute Network/Internet-scale Disruptive Events (NIDEs), the DHS S&T announced last week.

  • An elevator tech that could save lives in a high-rise fire

    When there’s a fire in a high-rise building, safety rules dictate that you don’t take the elevator. You head for the stairs instead. But what if using the elevator could actually be the fastest – and safest – way to evacuate a building on fire? Seventeen years after 9/11, an Israeli startup is testing its solution to turn the elevator into a traveling ‘safe room’ that can facilitate rescue operations.

  • Either cover 89 percent of the U.S. with trees, or go solar

    How many fields of switchgrass and forests of trees would be needed to offset the energy produced by burning coal? A lot, it turns out. While demand for energy isn’t dropping, alarms raised by burning fossil fuels in order to get that energy are getting louder.

  • Improving X-ray detection technology

    DHS S&T has awarded a total of nearly $3.5 million in funding to three new research and development (R&D) projects designed to improve the threat detection capabilities of current X-ray technologies for checked baggage systems.

  • Technology favors tyranny

    The emergence of liberal democracies is associated with ideals of liberty and equality that may seem self-evident and irreversible. But these ideals are far more fragile than we believe. Their success in the twentieth century depended on unique technological conditions that may prove ephemeral, says Yuval Noah Harari, author of the new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. The biggest and most frightening impact of the Artificial Intelligence revolution might be on the relative efficiency of democracies and dictatorships, Harari writes.

  • Henry Kissinger on the promise and peril of artificial intelligence

    Henry Kissinger offers sober reflections on human society and artificial intelligence. Kissinger writes that “Philosophically, intellectually—in every way—human society is unprepared for the rise of artificial intelligence.” Kissinger concludes: “AI developers, as inexperienced in politics and philosophy as I am in technology, should ask themselves some of the questions I have raised here in order to build answers into their engineering efforts. The U.S. government should consider a presidential commission of eminent thinkers to help develop a national vision. This much is certain: If we do not start his effort soon, before long we shall discover that we started too late.”