• Ethical Red Flags Fly as Russian Biologist Pushes Boundaries of Gene Editing

    As the number of scientists engaged in gene editing grows, the questions about the technology are becoming more urgent. “I worry about the evident hubris on the part of those who act as if it is reasonable for a small group of elite scientists to direct our human future. With human genome-editing technology we are on the cusp of taking over the human evolutionary story,” says one scientist.

  • Safe Genes Tool Kit Takes Shape

    DARPA launched the Safe Genes program in 2017 to establish a “safety by design” strategy for guiding the development of an array of powerful, emergent genome editing technologies. DARPA says that DARPA’s goals for Safe Genes are to mitigate the risks and security concerns related to the accidental or intentional misuse of such technologies and, at the same time, enable the pursuit of novel genetic solutions that support public health and military force protection and readiness.

  • Using the Internet of Things for Water Security

    A cluster of internet-enabled devices, including a water-flow sensor, pH sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and “PIC” microcontroller, may be used together as a watchdog system for water quality.The simple and low-cost system being developed by the team of researchers in India makes water quality assessment and water security widely available without the need for sophisticated technical knowledge.

  • Interim Report on U.S. and AI Released to Congress

    The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) released its Interim Report last week. “As NSCAI’s report conveys, U.S. leadership in promoting trust and innovation in artificial intelligence is imperative to the future of our nation’s security and economy,” said Michael Kratsios, Chief Technology Officer of the United States.

  • Misguided Immigration Policies Are Endangering America’s AI Edge

    The efforts to foster America’s development of artificial intelligence, including for military use, typically overlook how the U.S. current advantage depends on immigrants. “Without immigration reforms, this country’s days as the world’s AI leader may be numbered,” Zachary Arnold writes. “Immigration reform of any sort may be a tall order nowadays, but the dawn of the AI age is reason enough to redouble those efforts,” he adds.

  • Beijing Will Give You Cold War Nostalgia

    America’s twenty-first-century competition with China is likely to be more dangerous and more complex than the U.S. Cold War with the Soviet Union. Walter Russell Mean writes that this is the result of two factors: First, China’s economic power makes it a much more formidable and resourceful opponent than the Soviet Union was., and, second, the technological environment has changed dramatically in the past generation.

  • Promoting Cooperation Between Humans, Autonomous Machines

    The trust between humans and autonomous machines is a top priority for U.S. Army researchers — as machines become integral to society, it is critical to understand the impact on human decision-making.

  • What Causes Steel Corrosion in Reinforced Concrete

    Since the Egyptian pyramids and the Roman Coliseum were built, mankind has been searching for an affordable, versatile building material, that can be easily manufactured and transported, and, above all, which is durable. Concrete has all these characteristics, but there is a problem: the corrosion of steel bars that internally strengthen structures made of reinforced concrete. This situation causes rapid, internal deterioration of frames and may even lead to buildings collapsing.

  • New Reactor Designs Will Degrade Waste More Rapidly

    Renewed interest in nuclear power as a viable option for generating electricity has been accompanied by steady progress in reactor design. Advanced reactors offer the promise of greater fuel efficiency and less radioactive waste generation compared with the water-cooled models that have dominated the nuclear power landscape for decades. Newer designs, however, will operate at higher temperatures and use highly corrosive coolants — like liquid metal, molten salt, or high-temperature gas — all of which would rapidly degrade many of the materials used in conventional nuclear reactors.

  • Browser Tool Helps Researchers ID Malicious Websites, Code

    Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed an open-source tool that allows users to track and record the behavior of JavaScript programs without alerting the websites that run those programs. The tool, called VisibleV8, runs in the Chrome browser and is designed to detect malicious programs that are capable of evading existing malware detection systems.

  • Bio-Inspired Theoretical Research May Improve Robots’ Effectiveness on Battlefield

    In an effort to make robots more effective and versatile teammates for soldiers in combat, Army researchers are on a mission to understand the value of the molecular living functionality of muscle, and the fundamental mechanics that would need to be replicated in order to artificially achieve the capabilities arising from the proteins responsible for muscle contraction.

  • First Statewide Testing of ShakeAlert in the United States

    Earlier this month, the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of California pressed the “go” button to allow the first-ever statewide public testing of the California Early Earthquake Warning System, which is powered by USGS’s earthquake early warning alerts, called ShakeAlerts. Alerts will be delivered by two independent methods, first over the federal Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system and second through the University of California Berkeley’s MyShake smartphone app.

  • Techno-Fix Futures Will Only Accelerate Climate Chaos – Don’t Believe the Hype

    Thanks to the efforts of climate activists, the climate and ecological emergency has never been more prominent. But acknowledging the problem is just a starting point. Now this momentum must be harnessed to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reverse habitat destruction.

  • Why Did Microsoft Fund an Israeli Firm that Surveils West Bank Palestinians?

    Microsoft has invested in AnyVision, an Israeli startup which has developed a facial recognition technology used by Israel’s military and intelligence services to surveil Palestinians throughout the West Bank, in spite of the tech giant’s public pledge to avoid using the technology if it encroaches on democratic freedoms. The surveillance technology lets customers identify individuals and objects in any live camera feed, such as a security camera or a smartphone, and then track targets as they move between different feeds. The Israeli surveillance project is similar to China’s surveillance of its Uighur minority population. China is using artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology for a pervasive, intrusive monitoring of the Uighurs, a Muslim group living in western China.

  • Israeli Solution Prevents Bridge and Tunnel Disasters

    People responsible for the health of bridges, tunnels and elevated highways can now see a real-time, cloud-based, 3D “medical report” thanks to technology invented at Israeli startup Dynamic Infrastructure. The company’s proprietary deep-learning image analysis compares daily images of the structure with older images extracted from past periodic inspections.