• Making rail travel more reliable

    U.K. researchers are collaborating with industry to develop novel optical sensors that detect when overhead power lines are likely to fail; the costly disruption to rail travel caused by the breakdown of overhead power lines could thus become a thing of the past

  • DHS warns copper thefts on the rise

    DHS officials warn that copper thefts from critical infrastructure and key resource sectors in the United States are on the rise; in March, a Port of Houston security guard was arrested for giving his friends and families access to the port, where they allegedly stole more than 22,000 pounds of copper

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  • U.S., Canada to share hazard risk assessment software tool

    Hazus, or “Hazards U.S.” is a risk assessment software tool for emergency management professionals that combines science, engineering, and geospatial information technology to estimate potential loss of life and property damage from disasters and natural hazards; FEMA is using it and now Canada will, too

  • Autonomous multi-target, multi-user tracking capability

    An autonomous multi-sensor motion-tracking and interrogation system reduces the workload for analysts by automatically finding moving objects, then presenting high-resolution images of those objects with no human input

  • Lockheed Martin shows tiny surveillance UAV

    The Samarai UAV is sixteen inches long and weighs less than half a pound; while flying, it can stream live video from a camera that rotated around its center providing a 360 degree view without a gimbal; it can be carried in a backpack and launchedt from the ground or like a boomerang

  • Cheap radiation detector made of PET resin developed

    Researchers develop a revolutionary radiation-sensitive plastic with a performance superior to plastic scintillators used for measuring radiation; the discovery will enable a major reduction in production costs — a step toward an inexpensive radiation detector available to everyone

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  • Day of "solar" soldiers nears

    Researches develop wearable light-weight solar panels which will allow soldiers to generate power in the field and reduce the need for batteries for their electronic devices; they will also establish a power supply that keeps electronic devices operational throughout the duration of missions

  • Portable, super-high-resolution 3-D imaging

    A simple new imaging system could help manufacturers inspect their products, forensics experts identify weapons, and doctors identify cancers.

  • Aussies to clone explosives sniffer dogs

    Two Aussie dog-breeding companies will collaborate with South Korean scientists on cloning explosives and drug sniffer dogs; the first batch of ten dogs will go into service in 2013; the Australians cloned dogs would be made from tissue samples taken from a German shepherd called Hassan von Gruntal, who died in 2001; cloned sniffer dogs have already been used in South Korea and the United States

  • Software successfully predicted spread of West Nile virus in California

    A computer model of the spread of West Nile virus was able to predict areas where human cases would be concentrated, especially around Sacramento in 2005; the success of the model, say researchers, depended on its focus on biological factors and on a high volume of reports from members of the public

  • New material dramatically increases explosive force of weapons

    A revolutionary material that will replace steel in warhead casings will bring added lethality and increase the likelihood of a hit on an enemy target; by combining several metals with standard manufacturing techniques, High-Density Reactive Material (HDRM) has the potential dramatically to increase the explosive impact of most weapons with little or no compromise in strength or design

  • Reversing metabolism to make biofuels at breakneck pace

    Engineers reverse E. coli metabolism for speedy production of fuels, chemicals; a Rice University’s team reversed one of the most efficient of all metabolic pathways — the beta oxidation cycle — to engineer bacteria that produce biofuel at a breakneck pace

  • Self-assembled "micro-robots" designed

    Tiny micro-robots — just half a millimeter wide — assemble themselves into star shapes when an alternating magnetic field is applied; the robots can pick up, transport, and put down other non-magnetic particles — potentially enabling fabrication of precisely designed functional materials in ways not currently possible

  • Storing CO2 underground to extract electricity

    A team of scientists, led by the Berkeley Lab, hopes to become the first in the world to produce electricity from the Earth’s heat using CO2; They also want permanently to store some of the CO2 underground, where it can not contribute to climate change

  • London police use smartphones, social network to identify rioters

    The rioters in London — and now, in other British cities — have been using Blackberries to outmaneuver the police; communicating via BlackBerry instant-message technology, as well as by social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, the rioters repeatedly signaled fresh target areas to those caught up in the mayhem; RIM has now agreed to cooperate with Scotland Yard to turn over protestors using the service to coordinate their assaults; the police is also releasing CCTV images of the rioters to a group using face recognition technology to identify and condemn rioters; the police is also using Flickr, Tublr, and Twitter to spot and identify participants in the riots