• Earthquake's trampoline effect

    During earthquakes the ground not only shakes from side to side, but also bounces up and down; this has important implications for designing quake-proof structures

  • Better ground radar to find land mines

    There are more than 100 million land mines buried in 68 countries around the world; more than 2,000 people are killed or injured by land mine explosions each month; University of Missouri engineer creates more sensitive, safer land mine detectors

  • ESA's gamma-ray technology used to detect dirty bombs

    The European Space Agency has licensed its gamma-ray detection technology to a U.K. company; the latter has signed a contract worth $222 million with DHS to next-generation radiation gamma-ray detection and identification system

  • Where is James Bond when we need him?

    The villains James Bond was fighting — Dr. No, Goldfinger, and Blofeld — looked improbable in the 1960s; these miscreants of globalization — part master criminal, part arms smuggler, part terrorist, part warlord —are now the stuff of reality

  • Better chemical sensor emulates animals' noses

    A new “electronic nose” is more adept than conventional methodologies at recognizing molecular features even for chemicals it has not been trained to detect

  • Using laptops to detect earthquakes

    Laptops have a small accelerometer chip built into them in order to protect the delicate moving parts of the hard disk from sudden jolts; same chip is a pretty good earthquake sensor, too

  • Tiny gas sensor to detect explosive vapors and chemical agents

    EU-funded project aims to develop a tiny sensor — sensor will be less than two centimeters in length and at least twice as sensitive as other sensors of its size

  • Small hand-held detector for security, health threats

    Researchers develop the world’s smallest detection system: The size of a shoe box, the complete mass spectrometer identifies tiny amounts of chemicals in the environment

  • U.K. project examines the idea of a nuclear-powered passenger aircraft

    As worries about the rising price of oil and climate change grow, so grows the interest in nuclear power — but not only for ground-based power generation; a U.K. government-funded project examines the idea of nuclear-powered passenger plane

  • Sun's growing brightness a threat to Earth

    The Sun is slowly getting brighter and warmer; in seven billion years it will engulf Earth — but much sooner, in 1.1 billion years, the Sun will grow 11 percent brighter, raising average terrestrial temperatures to around 50 °C, causing oceans to evaporate; the solution: move Earth away from the Sun

  • Messaging pictures as a safety device

    A Pittsburgh-based startup allows you to take pictures of threatening individuals you may encounter in hairy situations, and message these pictures to a secure “vault”; if you do not come back to your home or office by a specified time, the date- and time-stamped pictures are made available to the police

  • Pentagon interested in submersible aircraft

    DARPA asks for proposals for a submersible airplane; the agency admits that this has never been done before, and that many of the design requirements of airplanes contradict the design requirements of submarines; still, the agency says that we may solve the contradiction if we were to think not of a flying submarine, but of a submersible aircraft

  • EU votes down millimeter wave scanners

    Millimeter wave scanners offer a new level of security at airport checkpoints, but they also offer anatomically correct images of people’s private parts; EU votes against using them

  • New technique to detect individual molecules

    Even very small numbers of deadly infectious agents or allergenic pollen molecules can cause major problems for humans — but detecting such trace amounts has been difficult to accomplish with enough speed to do any good; new detection technique solves the problem

  • Better baggage security through simulation

    Aussie researcher develops software which allows airport managers to examine how baggage handling operations at a typical airport would cope with upgrades to security systems