• Science and the anthrax case: Case closed?

    The authoritative scientific journal Nature says that the FBI’s evidence against Bruce Ivins is impressive, but that the case is not closed as many important questions remain unanswered

  • Salmonella-suspect Mexican peppers still being sold in U.S.

    The CDC and FDA now suspect the Mexican jalapeño peppers are the cause of the outbreak of salmonella poisoning which has sickened 1,434 people in the United States so far, but these peppers are still being sold in the to U.S., if for a lower price

  • Mexicans turn to radio implants as kidnapping for ransom soar

    Kidnapping for ransom has become a growth industry in Mexico; in response, more and more Mexicans are having tiny radio transmitters implanted under their skin so they can be quickly tracked and rescued

  • EAGLE task order opportunities

    With the federal fourth quarter underway, vendors are wondering where end-of-year spending will happen; task order vehicles are an obvious place to look because task orders can be competed and awarded quickly; DHS’s EAGLE task order is one example

  • Legal skirmish over Defcon talk shows divide on disclosing security flaws

    Gag order slapped on MIT students who prepared a talk about Boston transit authority security flaw reignites debate over what “responsible disclosure” of security flaw means

  • Aussies to create private-public partnership to strengthen infrastructure

    The Australian federal government has established a $20 billion Building Australia Fund to help finance critical infrastructure projects; trouble is, the country’s tender process is erratic and complicated; new measure aims to correct this

  • Kiwis plan for critical infrastructure investment

    New Zealand’s government plans massive increase in investment in infrastructure; Finance Minister Michael Cullen: “We will deliver more investment…. You will be hearing a lot more about infrastructure from the Labor-led government in the months ahead”

  • Nuclear fuel cycle echnology R&D, $15 million awarded

    U.S. Department of Energy awards funding ranging in value from $200,000 to $2,000,000 to 34 organizations to do reasearch into spent fuel separations technology, advanced nuclear fuel development, fast burner reactors, and advanced transmutation systems, advanced fuel cycle systems analysis, advanced computing and simulation, safeguards, and advanced waste forms

  • Report calls for long-term homeland security capacity

    The U.S. homeland security effort should be long-term in nature and less dependent on the political vagaries of the annual budgeting process; security efforts will be more sustainable if they are “dual use” and offer broader societal benefits beyond just security

  • DHS prepares for attack during transition

    Elaine Duke, DHS’s undersecretary for management: “A lot of acts of terror take place in times of political change, and there’s an awareness of that…. So we’re looking at — when our political employees leave — who acts in their place … in case of an incident”

  • Microchips in e-passports easily forged

    Dutch researcher uses his own software, a publicly available programming code, a £40 card reader, and two £10 RFID chips to clone and manipulate two passport chips to a point at which they were ready to be planted inside fake or stolen paper passports; the altered chips were then passed as genuine by passport reader software used by the UN agency that sets standards for e-passports; the researcher took less than an hour to alter the chips

  • Calls for tougher debit card regulation

    On Tuesday the Justice Department announced the indictment of eleven people for stealing and selling more than 40 million credit card and debit card numbers; watchgroups say this is evidence, if one were needed, that federal laws governing debit cards should be tougher — and more uniform

  • Backed against the wall

    The very term “having one’s back against the wall” implies that one is in a tight spot; this is not necessarily the case, as the wall may often be used as a tool or weapon allowing the individual being attacked to defend himself and gain control of the situation

  • New DNA sequencing techniques convince FBI of Ivins's culpability

    Since 2001 techniques for sequencing microbial DNA have vastly improved and there has been a massive effort to sequence more anthrax samples

  • IG says delays in bioterrorism lab threatened D.C.'s capabilities

    Washington, D.C. took ownership of the 5,285-square-foot Biosafety Level 3 lab, in which dangerous pathogens such as anthrax, tuberculosis, typhus, and yellow fever can be quickly analyzed; trouble is, the project is nine years behind schedule