• Science Helps Improve Eyewitness Testimony

    As we move through the world, looking at objects and people, we generally trust that we are accurately perceiving what’s out there. But research has shown that part of what we see sometimes originates in our own minds — that our brains fill in blanks in our vision based on our expectations or past experiences. Now science — and the insights it provides about the pitfalls in our vision and memory — is improving the way eyewitness testimony is taken and used.

  • It Is Now 100 Seconds to Midnight

    The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Doomsday Clock is now closer to midnight than ever in its history. The Bulletin cites worsening nuclear threat, lack of climate action, and rise of “cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns” in moving the clock hand. December 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the first edition of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, initially a six-page, black-and-white bulletin and later a magazine, created in anticipation that the atom bomb would be “only the first of many dangerous presents from the Pandora’s Box of modern science.”

  • Nuclear Waste Recycled for Diamond Battery Power

    A team of physicists and chemists hope to recycle radioactive material directly from a former nuclear power plant in Gloucestershire, U.K., to generate ultra-long-lasting power sources.

  • Researcher Tests “Vaccine” Against Hate

    Amid a spike in violent extremism around the world, a communications researcher is experimenting with a novel idea: whether people can be “inoculated” against hate with a little exposure to extremist propaganda, in the same manner vaccines enable human bodies to fight disease.

  • Edible “Security Tag” Protects Drugs from Counterfeit

    Manufacturing prescription drugs with distinct markings, colors, shapes or packaging isn’t enough to protect them from counterfeiting, DEA reports have shown. Researchers are aiming to stump counterfeiters with an edible “security tag” embedded into medicine. To imitate the drug, a counterfeiter would have to uncrack a complicated puzzle of patterns not fully visible to the naked eye.

  • The Prospects of Climate Engineering

    Climate engineering may offer a last-ditch technological solution to catastrophic climate change, but who makes the decisions on which solutions to implement, and who the beneficiaries will be? Once we start fiddling with the Earth’s fundamental processes, where will it end?

  • DHS S&T, BIRD Foundation Announce Awards for Advanced Homeland Security Technologies

    The Israel – U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation the other day announced three awards for collaborative projects totaling $2.3 million to develop advanced technologies for the homeland security mission.

  • Countering Hate Speech by Detecting, Highlighting “Help Speech”

    Researchers have developed a system that leverages artificial intelligence to rapidly analyze hundreds of thousands of comments on social media and identify the fraction that defend or sympathize with disenfranchised minorities such as the Rohingya community. Human social media moderators, who couldn’t possibly manually sift through so many comments, would then have the option to highlight this “help speech” in comment sections.

  • Things Are about to Get a Lot More Confusing for Cybercriminals

    While cyberdeception is not totally new as a way to fend off cybercriminals – researchers have been looking into this technique for a few years now – researchers are now taking a unique approach: using cognitive science to inform how to deceive attackers effectively.

  • Stockpiles of Nuclear Waste Could Be More Useful than We Might Think

    Chemists have found a new use for the waste product of nuclear power - transforming an unused stockpile into a versatile compound which could be used to create valuable commodity chemicals as well as new energy sources.

  • International Effort to Improve Urban Resilience

    Extreme climate events are severely affecting communities in the U.S. and around the world. The examples are plenty. Bushfires in Australia, wildfires in California, flooding on both U.S. coasts and inland, and much more. In the face of extreme climate events, experts explore developing nature-based solutions.

  • The Risks Posed by Deepfakes

    This use of a deepfake video is becoming more prevalent. While pornography currently accounts for the vast majority of deepfake videos, the technique can also be used to defraud, to defame, to spread fake news or to steal someone’s identity.

  • New Technique to Transform Anti-Venom Production

    Snake bites kill more than 120,000 people a year, more than a third of them in India. About 400,000 lose limbs after amputations become necessary to prevent the spread of the venom. The number of people bitten by snakes is increasing as a result of more people living near areas which are snake habitats, but the production of venom antidotes has not changed much since anti-venom was first produced in 1896. Scientists are ready to transform the production of anti-venom after mapping the DNA of the Indian cobra for the first time.

  • ResponderCQ Measures Disaster Resilience, Response Capabilities

    Disaster response has dominated headlines for years, and technologies to enhance disaster response capabilities are rapidly emerging. Now, a new global dialogue is centering on resilience—how we not only come together to help communities quickly recover, and even thrive, post-disaster, but how we strengthen their defenses against future threats. DHS S&T funded the development of guidance and tools to help communities measure their “Capability Quotient (CQ),” which is the readiness to respond to risk and to respond to disruptions of any kind.

  • Artificial Intelligence: China “Uses Taiwan for Target Practice” as It Perfects Cyber-Warfare Techniques

    China has already deployed its expertise in artificial intelligence to make China into a surveillance state, power its economy, and develop its military. Phil Sherwell writes that now Taiwan’s cybersecurity chiefs have identified signs that Beijing is using AI to interfere in an overseas election for the first time. It is “a laboratory for China for adaptation and improvement on political warfare instruments which can then be unleashed against other targeted democratic societies,” Michael Cole, editor of the Taiwan Sentinel, said