• Bomb-sniffing dogs used in Everglades python invasion

    Burmese pythons have invaded the Florida Everglades, adapting well to the Everglades environment; they have also been wreaking havoc with the delicate ecosystem of the area; now, there is a new weapon in the fight against the Burmese python: dogs, trained to sniff out explosives, are being re-trained to locate the Burmese python

  • Smart gas sensors offer better chemical detection

    Smart chemical sensors can detect chemical weapon vapors or indicators of disease better than the current generation of detectors; they also consume less power, crucial for stretching battery life on the battlefield, down a mineshaft, or in isolated clinics

  • Humble bacteria help create self-healing concrete

    Scientists use a ground-borne bacteria — bacilli megaterium — to create calcite, a crystalline form of natural calcium carbonate; this can then be used to block the concrete’s pores, keeping out water and other damaging substances to prolong the life of the concrete

  • Android app for radioactivity detection

    Just-release Android app uses software and the smartphone’s camera to measure radioactivity levels, allowing users to find out whether their environments are safe; the software is the civilian version of technology developed under contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense and with DHS

  • Rapid test strips detect swimming water contamination

    Water-testing technology has never been fast enough to keep up with changing conditions, nor accessible enough to check all waters; researchers have developed a rapid testing method using a simple paper strip that can detect E. coli in water within minutes; the new tool can close the gap between outbreak and detection, improving public safety

  • Oklahoma University gets DHS research grant

    The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC)  was awarded a $490,000 grant from DHS for a 2-year study of how law enforcement officers utilize awareness of their surroundings to collect and then analyze intelligence related to potential terrorist threats

  • Australians told sweeping economic, societal changes needed to cope with severe weather

    The Australian government’s Productivity Commission has just released its much-anticipated report, titled Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation; the report calls for sweeping changes across the Australian economy, including ditching property taxes which discourage people from moving out of areas prone to extreme weather events

  • Feminine math, science role models do not motivate girls

    Women who excel in male-dominated science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) fields are often unjustly stereotyped as unfeminine; if women are perceived as having feminine qualities, however, their success may actually decrease interest in STEM, particularly among young girls, according to a new study

  • New micro helicopters for search and rescue missions

    New micro helicopters have a diameter of about fifty centimeters, weigh only 1,500 grams; they do not rquire GPS or remote control to navigate; they are designed to maneuver in tight or even enclosed spaces, and to detect and fly around any obstacle; possible uses could include protection or rescue missions, and they are ideal for flying over disaster areas and giving a picture of the situation from the air or locating victims

  • New academic homeland security journal launched

    The inaugural issue of a new academic, peer-reviewed journal — the Journal of Homeland Security Education (JHSE)— is out; JHSE will focus on innovative concepts and models, strategies, technical tools, and theoretical and observational analyses; it also provides a platform for translational research that connects education to practice

  • Identifying the sources of global sea level rise

    As the Earth’s climate warms, a melting ice sheet produces a distinct and highly non-uniform pattern of sea-level change, with sea level falling close to the melting ice sheet and rising progressively farther away. The pattern for each ice sheet is unique and is known as its sea level fingerprint; now, geophysicists have found a way to identify the sea level fingerprint left by a particular ice sheet

  • Students need to be “switched on” to maths: researchers

    The decline in children’s participation in mathematics can only be reversed by tackling a complex mix of factors, including positive and negative attitudes of a student’s parents, peers, and teachers

  • New monitoring system clarifies atmospheric CO2 questions

    Most climate scientists believe higher concentrations of the greenhouse gas CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere are leading to rising temperatures on the planet; trouble is, CO2 is derived not only from fossil fuels, but is also being emitted by biological sources like plant respiration; CO2 released from fossil fuels has no carbon-14, while CO2 emitted from biological sources on Earth is relatively rich in carbon-14, allowing scientists to compare emissions from man-made fossil fuels to biologically emitted CO2

  • Border security bill would harm U.S. National Parks: environmentalists

    A bill pending in the U.S. House of Representatives would suspend the enforcement of almost all the U.S. environmental laws on all lands under the jurisdiction of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture within 100 miles of the northern border with Canada and the southern border with Mexico; the 100-mile zone includes fifteen National Parks which cover 21,657,399 acres, or nearly 25 percent of the overall footprint U.S. National Park System; supporters of the bill claim it would bolster border security, while environmentalists say it would gut a century’s worth of proven federal lands protection

  • Scientists: Deepwater Horizon exposed gaps in deepwater oil spill knowledge

    On the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a national team of scientists warns that inadequate knowledge about the effects of deepwater oil well blowouts threatens scientists’ ability to help manage comparable future events