• Portable ultrasound scanner identifies underage victims, border-crossers

    Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, and a serious crime. Researchers have developed a portable, non-invasive, ultrasound scanning device to identify underage victims trying to cross borders illegally. It was specifically designed as a means of uncovering, fighting and preventing human trafficking, but the German government is now exploring the use of the scanner to identify the age of asylum seekers.

  • New decision-making tool for oil spill clean-up

    Engineers have created an interactive decision tree aimed at finding the best solution for specific oil spill scenarios. Numerous chemical dispersant technologies are available to address different types of oil spills and countless variables and external conditions can play into the effectiveness of any given dispersant. The decision-making tool helps bridge this gap to determine how a dispersant technology will perform under different spill scenarios.

  • Near-term climate prediction “coming of age”

    The quest for climate scientists to be able to bridge the gap between shorter-term seasonal forecasts and long-term climate projections is “coming of age,” a study shows. The research has shown the true capabilities of near-term climate predictions, out to just a few years ahead.

  • Benefits of next-generation wargames

    Technological advances for game engines and cloud architectures are fueling the development of next-generation wargames that can increase insights for policymakers. Researchers say that the new technologies are making wargame tools more accessible and providing strategists with more insights.

  • Sierra snowpack could drop by nearly 80% by end of century

    A future warmer world will almost certainly feature a decline in fresh water from the Sierra Nevada mountain snowpack. Now a new study that analyzed the headwater regions of California’s 10 major reservoirs, representing nearly half of the state’s surface storage, found they could see on average a 79 percent drop in peak snowpack water volume by 2100.

  • Connected vehicles’ windshield wipers could help prevent flooding

    We’ve been promised all kinds of benefits from a future of connected vehicles, but flood control? One of your car’s oldest features has been put to a new, high-tech use by University of Michigan researchers. Utilizing a test fleet in the city of Ann Arbor, engineers tracked when wipers were being used and matched it with video from onboard cameras to document rainfall. They found that tracking windshield wiper activity can provide faster, more accurate rainfall data than radar and rain gauge systems we currently have in place.

  • Preparing for extreme weather

    From high winds and heavy rainfall to droughts and plummeting temperatures, people in Europe have already begun to feel the effects of extreme weather. As we get used to this new reality, scientists are investigating how it will affect how we get around and whether our infrastructure can cope.

  • Administration unveils its Missile Defense Review

    Thirty-five years after Ronald Reagan vowed to make nuclear weapons “impotent and obsolete,” the administration has today unveiled its Missile Defense Review – the latest iteration of U.S. efforts to build an effective ballistic missile defense. The Pentagon says that its search for more effective missile defense technologies is the result of its focus on near-peer adversaries such as China and Russia, but the administration’s Missile Defense Review appears more suitable for defending the United States against more limited attacks, such as those likely to come from North Korea or, perhaps, Iran.

  • Producing vaccines without the use of chemicals

    Producing vaccines is a tricky task – especially in the case of inactivated vaccines, in which pathogens must be killed without altering their structure. Until now, this task has generally involved the use of toxic chemicals. Now, however, an innovative new technology developed by Fraunhofer researchers – the first solution of its kind – will use electron beams to produce inactivated vaccines quickly, reproducibly and without the use of chemicals.

  • Coastal wetlands need to move inland in fight against climate change

    Up to 30 percent of coastal wetlands could be lost globally as a result of rising sea levels, with a dramatic effect on global warming and coastal flooding, if action is not taken to protect them, new research warns. The global study suggests that the future of global coastal wetlands, including tidal marshes and mangroves, could be secured if they were able to migrate further inland.

  • Drone jamming system to protect European airports, public spaces

    Airports could be equipped with technology capable of detecting and bringing down drones that stray into their air space, according to Dan Hermansen, chief technology officer of Danish anti-drone firm MyDefence. The company has developed a drone alarm and protection system that is being installed at a number of prominent sites around Europe, including an airport. It has the potential to prevent the kind of costly disruption that hit London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports recently.

  • Americans’ attitude to AI

    The impact of artificial intelligence technology on society is likely to be large. While the technology industry and governments currently predominate policy conversations on AI, the authors of a new report expect the public to become more influential over time. Understanding the public’s views on artificial intelligence will, therefore, be vital to future AI governance.

  • New policy design required to tackle global environmental threat: Report

    A pioneering new report has devised a seven-point plan to help policymakers devise new, coherent and collaborative strategies to tackle the greatest global environmental threats. A team of international researchers has examined how politicians and legislators can develop a new way to tackle the growing threat of climate change. comes in response to advice from leading scientists, suggesting that the human impact on the environment are already tipping the world into a new geologically significant era.

  • The group dynamics that make terrorist teams work

    Acts of terrorism are harrowing and can cause extensive damage and tragic deaths, and they have been occurring with alarming frequency over the last decade. Scholars, governments and analysts have spent a lot of time exploring individual motivations of terrorists. However, terrorist activities are typically performed by groups, not isolated individuals. Examining the role of team dynamics in terrorist activities can elucidate how terrorist teams radicalize, organize and make decisions. There is a common misconception in the West that leaders of terrorist groups are recruiting and brainwashing people into giving up their lives to establish a new political order. This is an incorrect model that has been vastly exaggerated in the media, based on a Western understanding of leadership.

  • Droughts boost emissions as hydropower dries up

    Recent droughts caused increases in emissions of carbon dioxide and harmful air pollutants from power generation in several western states as fossil fuels came online to replace hampered hydroelectric power. A new study quantifies the impact.