• China syndromeChina’s Campaign Forcibly to Reduce Uighur Births May Amount to Genocide: Reports

    Four years ago, China has launched a broad campaign to reduce birth rates among Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslim populations in Xinjiang province in western China. The Chinese authorities have implemented various population control measures in Xinjiang, including mandatory pregnancy checks and forced insertion of intrauterine devices. Officials and armed police conducted night raids to look for hidden children and pregnant women, fining and detaining parents of three or more children and forcing abortions and sterilizations on women.

  • CyberbiosecurityPreventing Cyberbiosecurity Threats and Protecting Vulnerable Countries

    AI can automate the manipulation of medical datasets, expanding a cyberattack’s impact through health and biotech industries. Cyber- and biosecurity threats can erode trust in technology. Eroded trust in technology is dangerous at any time but especially during a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

  • First respondersGear Treated with “Forever Chemicals” Poses Risk to Firefighters

    Firefighters face occupational hazards on a daily basis. Now, new research shows they face additional risk just by gearing up. Fabric used for firefighter turnout gear tested positive for the presence of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), according to a new study.

  • Public healthResearch Integrity: Why We Should Trust Registered Clinical Trials

    In a time when we have to rely on clinical trials for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, a new study brings good news about the credibility of registered clinical trials.

  • Food securityBreakthrough for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine

    When it comes to livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is probably the most devastating picornavirus on the planet. FMD is a serious and economically devastating livestock disease. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the virus causing FMD, is extremely contagious and afflicts animals with cloven hooves like cows, pigs, sheep and deer.

  • Water securityOilfield Water Can Safely Be Reused for Irrigation in California

    Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a new study finds.

  • PerspectiveAmerica’s Never-Ending Battle Against Flesh-Eating Worms

    Screwworms once killed millions of dollars’ worth of cattle a year in the southern U.S. Their range extended from Florida to California, and they infected any living, warm-blooded animal: not only cattle but deer, squirrels, pets, and even the occasional human. Sarah Zhang writes that to get the screwworms out, the USDA to this day maintains an international screwworm barrier along the Panama-Colombia border. The barrier is an invisible one, and it is kept in place by constant human effort. “The insect is relentless in its search for hosts. Those who fight it must be relentless too.”

  • Climate crisisGlobal Warming Now Pushing Heat into Territory Humans Cannot Tolerate

    By Tom Matthews and Colin Raymond

    The explosive growth and success of human society over the past 10,000 years has been underpinned by a distinct range of climate conditions. But the range of weather humans can encounter on Earth – the “climate envelope” – is shifting as the planet warms, and conditions entirely new to civilization could emerge in the coming decades. Even with modern technology, this should not be taken lightly.

  • Lyme diseaseHow the Lyme Disease Epidemic Is Spreading and Why Ticks Are So Hard to Stop

    By Durland Fish

    I have been following Lyme disease’s spread for nearly four decades. Over that time, Lyme disease cases increased from a few hundred reported in 1982 to more than 33,000 in 2018. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the actual number of Lyme disease cases is about 10 times greater than those reported. Warm weather is arriving and people are beginning to seek outside respite from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. This is the same time that ticks are beginning to search for their next meal, and the risk of getting Lyme disease rises. Its spread to new areas involves a complex interplay among animals that may aid in helping scientists slow its continuing advance.

  • PerspectiveCyber Operations against Medical Facilities During Peacetime

    In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world have tried to compensate for insufficient hospital beds and intensive care units by nationalizing private medical facilities and relying on military ships and improvised evac hospitals. Adina Ponta writes that at a time when overcrowded medical and testing facilities struggle with shortages in supplies and a huge influx of patients, hacker groups have exploited their inattention to cybersecurity.

  • UV lightGerman start-up in global demand with anti-virus escalators

    Tanja Nickel and Katharina Obladen were still in high school when they patented an idea to disinfect escalator handrails using UV light. Michelle Fitzpatrick writes (AFP / Barron’s) that a decade later, their small German start-up UVIS can barely keep up with orders from around the world for their coronavirus-killing escalators and coatings for supermarket trolleys and elevator buttons. “Everybody wants it done yesterday,” Obladen, 28, told AFP at the company’s workshop in central Cologne. “The pandemic has made businesses realise they need to invest in hygiene precautions for staff and customers. It’s gone from nice-to-have to must-have.” As Germany begins to relax some lockdown restrictions, the start-up’s five-person team has been inundated with requests from shops, offices and cafes eager to reopen to a public newly aware of the health risks lurking in shared spaces.

  • SuperbugsCoronavirus Pandemic Is Paving the Way for an Increase in Superbugs

    By Ronan McCarthy

    The heroic efforts of researchers and healthcare professionals globally will eventually help us gain control of the coronavirus pandemic and there will be a decrease in the rate of new infections. The focus is still rightly on the damage this pandemic is causing, the devastating loss of life and the impact on businesses and livelihoods. But we also need to look at other prevalent crises that are affecting our healthcare systems and anticipate the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on them. One of the greatest threats to healthcare systems, around the world, is antibiotic resistance. The lack of effective antibiotics and the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to the drugs we have has resulted in the antibiotic resistance crisis.

  • DetectionSelf-Powered X-Ray Detector Improves Imaging for Medicine, Security, Research

    A new X-ray detector prototype is on the brink of revolutionizing medical imaging, with dramatic reduction in radiation exposure and the associated health risks, while also boosting resolution in security scanners and research applications. 2-D perovskite thin films boost sensitivity 100-fold compared to conventional detectors, require no outside power source, and enable low-dose dental and medical images.

  • Nuclear safetyMaintaining Nuclear Safety and Security During the COVID-19 Crisis

    By William Tobey, Simon Saradzhyan, and Nickolas Roth

    Every major industry on earth is struggling to adapt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes nuclear facilities and nuclear-powered vessels, which count among the critical infrastructure of dozens of nations now struggling with the pandemic, representing more than half the world’s population. Meanwhile, ISIS has already announced its intent to exploit the pandemic while a number of other violent extremist organizations are also taking pains to exploit the crisis. Without implementing extraordinary measures to maintain safety and security, nuclear installations risk compounding the crisis with a large-scale radiation release.

  • Nuclear detectionHow Lasers Can Help with Nuclear Nonproliferation Monitoring

    Scientists developed a new method showing that measuring the light produced in plasmas made from a laser can be used to understand uranium oxidation in nuclear fireballs. This capability gives never-before-seen insight into uranium gas-phase oxidation during nuclear explosions. These insights further progress toward a reliable, non-contact method for remote detection of uranium elements and isotopes, with implications for nonproliferation safeguards, explosion monitoring and treaty verification.