• Cold-case investigation is helped by forensic artist

    remains on an unidentified person. “Without knowing who the victim is, it is nearly impossible to find a suspect,” said Lance Krout, lead investigator in the case. “I’ve spent several years working on this and it’s kept me up some nights because we’re not able to move into the next phase of the investigation if we don’t identify this victim.” Penn State 3D experts say they can help the police.

  • 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.

  • What we know about the effectiveness of universal gun background checks

    This Tuesday, newly dominant House Democrats revealed legislation that would require all gun buyers go through a background check, regardless of whether they buy a weapon from a licensed dealer, collector at a gun show, or stranger in a parking lot. Universal background checks are popular and enjoy political momentum. Poll after poll shows they win near universal approval. But it’s worth asking how effective universal background checks are at reducing gun violence. And the real-world evidence that they reduce crime is more complicated than the political momentum might suggest.

  • National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research releases first request for research proposals

    The National Collaborative on Gun Violence Research, a philanthropic fund created to support scientific research on gun policy, earlier this week released its first request for proposals to support up to $10 million in projects during its first grantmaking cycle.

  • Cuban lovelorn crickets, not a sonic weapon, made U.S. diplomats ill: Study

    In late 2016, U.S. diplomats in Havana began to report ear pain, dizziness, confusion – and some showed symptoms of mysteriois brain injury. The diplomats said that their symptoms occurred after they repeatedly heard a high-frequency noise. The State Department withdrew half its embassy staff, and several studies concluded that the high-frequency noise was generated by a sonic weapon. A new study argues that the high-frequency noise was created by local crickets.

  • No link found between violent video games and behavior

    Researchers at the University of York have found no evidence to support the theory that video games make players more violent. In a series of experiments, with more than 3,000 participants, the team demonstrated that video game concepts do not ‘prime’ players to behave in certain ways and that increasing the realism of violent video games does not necessarily increase aggression in game players.

  • Many hate crimes never make it into the FBI’s database

    The FBI’s latest numbers showed a 17 percent increase in reported hate crimes in 2017. But what does this actually say about the actual number of hate crimes occurring in the U.S.? Not much. The Hate Crime Statistics Act of 1990 mandates that the FBI publish statistics specifically for crimes motivated by bias, and a broad network of state laws require that hate crimes are both tracked and prosecuted. Despite this, a variety of problems plague the implementation of these laws.

  • Carrying Tasers increases police use of force

    Cambridge University experiment with City of London police found that, while rarely deployed, just the presence of electroshock devices led to greater overall hostility in police-public interactions – an example of what researchers call the “weapons effect.”

  • European far-right groups eschew violence to broaden appeal

    More than seventy years after the defeat of Nazi Germany, ethno-nationalist and white supremacist movements in Europe continue to thrive. They include far-right political parties, neo-Nazi movements, and apolitical protest groups. These groups’ outward rejection of violence expands the reach of their message, and  can increase the potential for radicalization.

  • Firearms play widespread, persistent role in death of children, teens in U.S.

    America lost 20,360 children and teens in 2016 — 60 percent of them to preventable injuries, a new study shows. More than 4,100 of them died in motor vehicle crashes, though prevention efforts and better trauma care have cut the death rate of young people from such crashes in half in less than two decades. Meanwhile, firearms—the No. 2 cause of death in youth—claimed the lives of more than 3,100 children and teens in 2016, according to the new findings from a University of Michigan team.

  • Munitions that go further, much faster

    Researchers discovered a new way to get more energy out of energetic materials containing aluminum, common in battlefield systems, by igniting aluminum micron powders coated with graphene oxide. The discovery coincides with the one of the U.S. Army’s modernization priorities: Long Range Precision Fires. This research could lead to enhanced energetic performance of metal powders as propellant/explosive ingredients in Army’s munitions.

  • Alternatives to open burning, open detonation of conventional waste munitions

    Most of the alternative technologies to open burning and open detonation (OB/OD) of conventional munitions designated for disposal are mature, including contained burn and contained detonation chambers with pollution control equipment, and many are permitted to replace OB/OD of waste munitions, says a new report by the National Academies of Sciences.

  • Weapons experts: Iranian nuclear archive shows that Iran lied about uranium mine

    Nuclear weapons experts, who have reviewed the Iranian nuclear archive that Israel recovered from a Tehran warehouse, concluded that Iran lied that a uranium mine was under control of its civilian atomic energy agency.

  • A note on FISA “verification”

    Last week, former FBI Director James Comey testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees in closed session. When, at Comey’s request, a transcript was released shortly thereafter, mainstream news outlets mostly yawned, but numerous pro-Trump outlets had a different reaction, seizing on Comey’s acknowledgement that the now-notorious “Steele Dossier” was still in the process of being vetted when Comey left in the Bureau. Julian Sanchez writes in Just Security that this provided those who want to protect Trump from the Muller investigation an opportunity to revive a complaint about purported improprieties in the application for a FISA order to intercept the communications of erstwhile Trump campaign advisor Carter Page: The information provided in FISA applications must be “verified” before it is submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and here we have (the objection runs) an apparent admission that the information was not verified! But if the objection to using the material in the Steel Dossier is procedural—an argument that the FBI violated its own requirements—then the complaint is simply wrong, and based on a basic confusion about what FISA “verification” means.

  • Developing concepts for escape respirator

    DHS S&T announced the Escape Respirator Challenge, a $250,000 prize competition that seeks new concepts for an escape respirator solution. This challenge invites the innovation community to submit relevant, useable, effective, and feasible concepts that protects the user against aerosolized chemical, biological, and radiological (CBR) hazards and provides oxygen.