• Booz Allen calls for greater critical infrastructure investment

    In advance of President Obama’s State of the Union Address, defense contractor Booz Allen is urging the president to focus on critical infrastructure investment

  • GAO: critical infrastructure operators need more coherent regulations

    A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that the bulk of U.S. critical infrastructure is inadequately protected as operators lack a coherent set of guidelines

  • Mysterious flotsam in Gulf came from Deepwater Horizon rig

    Scientists track debris from damaged oil rigs, helping forecast coastal impacts in the future

  • Slowing down sea-level rise vs. reducing surface temperature change rate

    Scientists say that reducing the amount of solar radiation hitting Earth (for example, by satellites that block the sun, making the Earth’s surface more reflective, or emulating the effects of volcanoes by placing aerosol particles in the upper atmosphere) would be a cheaper way to halt or reverse climate change than reducing carbon dioxide emissions

  • Water pumps and terrorism-related information sharing systems

    With thousands of local law enforcement agencies, critical infrastructure operators, and concerned citizens reporting suspicious incidents, Homeland Security officials are inundated with data; effectively sorting through that information is a problem, as was illustrated last November by a report that a water pump at an Illinois water utility was broken by Russian hackers; the preliminary report caused panic about U.S. infrastructure vulnerability, but ultimately proved incorrect; it took more than a week for federal investigators to reach its conclusion, showing DHS ongoing problems with streamlining information sharing processes with its Fusion Centers

  • Stuxnet and Duqu part of assembly line: researchers

    Stuxnet, the highly sophisticated piece of malicious code that was the first to cause physical damage, could just be the tip of the iceberg in a massive cyberweapon manufacturing operation; according to cybersecurity researchers at Kaspersky Labs and Symantec, Stuxnet appears to be part of a larger cybersecurity weapons program with fully operational and easily modified malicious code that can be aimed at different targets with minimal costs or effort

  • One step closer to controlling nuclear fusion

    Nuclear fusion – heating gas to several million degrees so it becomes plasma — holds the promise of abundant energy, but controlling the fusion process inside a nuclear reactor is exceedingly difficult; scientists achieve a breakthrough in controlling instability in the plasma

  • Innovative method of water purification

    The UN estimates that about 1.1 billion people currently lack access to safe water; forecasts suggest that freshwater may become the “oil” of the twenty-first century — expensive, scarce, and the cause of geo-political conflicts; scientists show a new method for purifying water

  • Fukushima decontamination efforts proves to be daunting task

    For the past several months Japan has been steadily recovering from the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that ravaged the country on 11 March, but now cleanup crews have begun to tackle one of their most difficult jobs yet – decontaminating areas hit by radioactive fallout

  • Digital images used to prevent bridge failures

    A new/old method has been developed to assure the safety of hundreds of truss bridges across the United States; researchers have been testing the use of a thoroughly modern version of an old technique — photographic measurement or “photogrammetry” — to watch the failure of a key bridge component in exquisite detail

  • New Orleans flood defense system nears completion

    The Army Corps of Engineers is rapidly nearing the completion of its upgrades to the massive levee and flood defense system designed to protect the greater New Orleans area from another Hurricane Katrina

  • New material for building thermonuclear fusion reactors

    Two European projects – ITER and DEMO — propose development of fusion reactors that are economically viable; this work depends on the development of new structural materials capable of withstanding damage by irradiation and elevated temperatures resulting from the fusion reaction

  • ETrade cyberattack shuts down trading

    Over the holiday season, Australia’s second-largest online brokering service, ANZ Bank’s ETrade was hit by a series of cyberattacks, temporarily locking out customers

  • Depleted gas reservoirs used for carbon storage

    One way to keep CO2 from accumulating in the atmosphere is to bury (or “sequester”) it under ground; a demonstration project in Australia verified that depleted natural gas reservoirs can be used for geologic carbon sequestration; the carbon sequestration approach involves pumping CO2 deep underground for permanent storages

  • Japanese government, Tokyo Electric blasted for handling of Fukushima

    A recent report revealed that Japan’s response to the nuclear crises at the Fukushima Daiichi atomic energy plant following the devastating 11 March earthquake and tsunami was riddled with false assumptions, miscommunication, and poor planning