• Cyber-attackers think as regular crooks

    An engineer and a criminologist are applying criminological concepts and research methods in the study of cybercrime; their work has produced recommendations for IT managers to use in the prevention of cyber attacks on their networks

  • Chicago emergency officials preparing for harsh winter

    As Chicago braces for an especially brutal winter, the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is doing its best to prepare residents, emergency responders, and work crews for the worst weather in the nation

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  • Persistent undersea surveillance by autonomous robots

    The U.S. military plans to deploy squadrons of air, surface, and undersea robotic vehicles later this decade, and wants to make these vehicles more autonomous; researchers develop an algorithm that helps sea gliders decide when to spend more time looking at regions that have changes in activity or environmental factors; without the control algorithm, gliders paid equal attention to all areas and acquired less information

  • Portable wastewater system generates energy, produces drinking water

    Researchers are working to develop a portable wastewater treatment system that could improve the military’s efficiency; the solar-bio-nano project also will generate energy and produce drinking water, thus providing a potential blueprint for the future of municipal/agricultural wastewater treatment systems

  • Chinese rare earth embargo would be “disastrous,” says mining executive

    Mike Parnell, the CEO of U.S. Rare Earths, Inc., recently took the time to chat with Homeland Security NewsWire’s executive editor Eugene K. Chow; in the interview Parnell discusses the potential consequences of a full Chinese rare earth metal embargo, efforts to develop alternatives to rare earth metals, and the progress made in making the drilling process more environmentally friendly

  • Soft robots wiggle and worm in tight spaces

    Researchers have demonstrated a unique class of locomotive robot: a soft robot, composed exclusively of soft materials, which is inspired by animals (for example, squid, starfish, worms) that do not have hard internal skeletons

  • Large-scale power storage for the energy grid

    The sun does not always shine and the wind does not always blow; Stanford University researchers have used nanoparticles of a copper compound to develop a high-power battery electrode that is inexpensive to make, efficient and durable that it could be used to build batteries big enough for economical large-scale energy storage on the electrical grid

  • Insects to become first responders, aid in search and rescue

    Researchers are finding ways to harvest energy from insects, holding the promise of using insects to aid in first response and search and rescue, and monitor hazardous situations before sending in humans

  • Harvard-designed swarm robots licensed to Swiss company

    Harvard researchers developed Kilobot — a low-cost, easy-to-use robotic system for advancing development of “swarms” of robots; robot swarms might one day tunnel through rubble to find survivors, monitor the environment and remove contaminants, and self-assemble to form support structures in collapsed buildings

  • Jellyfish-like robot for underwater surveillance

    Researchers at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech built an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) inspired by jellyfish morphology and propulsion mechanism

  • The navigational skills of bacteria inspire robotics researchers

    Humans may regret this, but bacteria have superior survival skills; bacteria are not the only organisms that travel in swarms — fish, bees, and birds also exhibit collective navigation; bacteria, however, have superior survival tactics and such tactics may be inspire better robot design

  • Double whammy: dinosaurs killed by massive volcanoes, meteorite impacts

    The mass extinction of the dinosaurs, which occurred at the end of the Cretaceous period sixty-five million years ago, was the result not of one catastrophic event (meteorite strike) but rather the result of a catastrophic one-two punch: colossal volcanic eruptions and meteorite strikes

  • Game to improve defense, homeland security decision making

    Raytheon BBN Technologies has been awarded a $10.5 million multi-year contract to develop serious games that result in better decision-making by teaching participants to recognize and mitigate the effects of their own biases when analyzing information used to make decisions

  • Europe faces rare Earth metal shortages

    The EU’s ambitious low-carbon energy production goal depends on five technologies: nuclear, solar, wind, bio-energy, and carbon capture; these technologies, in turn, depend on rare Earth metals; the EU estimates that a large-scale deployment of only one of these technologies — solar energy — will require half the current world supply of tellurium and 25 percent of the supply of indium

  • Ionized plasmas as cheap sterilizer in tough places

    Scientists show that ionized plasmas like those in neon lights and plasma TVs not only can sterilize water, but make it antimicrobial; these plasma devices could be life-savers in developing countries, disaster areas, or on the battlefield where sterile water for medical use is in short supply and expensive to produce