• Origami-inspired paper sensor tests for malaria, HIV for less than 10 cents

    Chemists have developed a 3-D paper sensor that may be able to test for diseases such as malaria and HIV for less than ten cents a pop; such low-cost, point-of-care sensors could be useful in the developing world, where the resources often do not exist to pay for lab-based tests, and where, even if the money is available, the infrastructure often does not exist to transport biological samples to the lab

  • Raytheon launches MathAlive! to encourage math, science education

    Results of a new survey of America’s middle school students show that nearly half of students aged 10-14 enjoy learning math outside of school and consider hands-on activities their favorite method for experiencing new subject material; Raytheon launches MathAlive! to encourage students to study math, science, and engineering

  • Computer spots liars by looking at the way they talk

    Computer scientists are exploring whether machines can read the visual cues of an individual’s conduct to discover whether or not that individual is lying; in a study of forty videotaped conversations, an automated system the researchers developed correctly identified whether interview subjects were lying or telling the truth 82.5 percent of the time

  • Robot for shipboard firefighting

    In both war and peace, fire in the shipboard environment is serious and frequently results in excessive damage and high repair costs because the fire is not detected or controlled adequately; researchershave developed a humanoid robot that could fight fires on the next generation of combatants

  • National Academies calls for expanded nuclear-fusion research

    A report out on Wednesday from the National Academies says university researchers studying nuclear fusion still have a long way to go before overcoming the many scientific hurdles to the commercial generation of what is hoped to be a virtually limitless supply of energy

  • Shift to green energy could mean crunch in rare Earth metals supply

    A large-scale shift from coal-fired electric power plants and gasoline-fueled cars to wind turbines and electric vehicles could increase demand for two already-scarce metals — available almost exclusively in China — by 600-2,600 percent over the next twenty-five years

  • High manganese levels making air breathing dangerous in some areas

    In residential neighborhoods near manufacturing industries, a breath of air may be more hazardous than refreshing; research finds manganese concentrations higher in residential neighborhoods than industrial sites, levels vary by region

  • DARPA sponsors development of deep-sea surveillance robot

    New Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs) to address Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) surveillance needs over large, operationally demanding areas

  • Balancing safety, risk in the debate over the new H5N1 viruses

    This fall, the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) set off a debate when it asked the authors of two recent H5N1 research studies and the scientific journals that planned to publish them to withhold important details of the research in the interest of biosecurity; the scientific community is divided over the issue of best to balance free research and security

  • If Japan-like disaster happened in U.S., results would be far worse

    An estimated 20,000 people died or are still missing after a massive earthquake-induced tsunami struck Japan on 11 March 2011, yet some 200,000 people were in the inundation zone at the time; experts say that if the same magnitude earthquake and tsunami hits the Pacific Northwest, the death toll will be much higher because of the lack of comparable preparation; that 90 percent rate could be the number of victims, not survivors

  • Industry: current chemical safety standards sufficient, should be extended

    DHS’s management of the U.S. chemical plant safety has come under criticism lately, but he Society of Chemical Manufactures and Affiliates (SOCMA) said it strongly supports U.S. chemical security standards; the industry associated noted that since the program’s 2007 launch, more than 2,000 facilities have changed processes or inventories such that they are no longer considered high-risk under the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS)

  • Solving the major problem of renewable energy: intermittency

    Intermittency, sometimes called the Achilles’ heel of renewable energy, has so far limited the penetration of renewable sources in most power grids; engineers imagine an energy future where giant transmission grids are backed up by massive energy storage units

  • Better to use spray rather than a gun in bear encounters

    Carrying a gun in bear country does not mean you are more protected in the event of a bear encounter; researchers say people should behave cautiously and carry bear spray instead

  • National Weather Service budget cuts threaten poor IT infrastructure

    The Obama administration has proposed cutting more than $39 million from the National Weather Service’s (NWS) budget, particularly from its IT department, and critics worry that the cuts could cause the agency’s already crippling infrastructure problems to grow worse

  • Company develops telephone line “fingerprint” detector

    Researchers at Pindrop, a new security company, have developed technology that can read telephone line “fingerprints” to prevent fraud and identify a caller