• Universal Virus Detection Platform to Expedite Viral Diagnosis

    The prompt, precise, and massive detection of a virus is the key to combat infectious diseases such as Covid-19. A new viral diagnostic strategy using reactive polymer-grafted, double-stranded RNAs will serve as a pre-screening tester for a wide range of viruses with enhanced sensitivity. KAIST says that currently, the most widely using viral detection methodology is polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis, which amplifies and detects a piece of the viral genome. Prior knowledge of the relevant primer nucleic acids of the virus is quintessential for this test.  The detection platform developed by KAIST researchers identifies viral activities without amplifying specific nucleic acid targets.

  • IoT: Which Devices Are Spying on You?

    When hungry consumers want to know how many calories are in a bag of chips, they can check the nutrition label on the bag. When those same consumers want to check the security and privacy practices of a new IoT device, they aren’t able to find even the most basic facts. Not yet, at least.

  • Tightening Up Facial Biometrics

    Facial biometrics for security applications is an important modern technology. Unfortunately, there is the possibility of “spoofing” a person’s face to the sensor or detection system through the use of a photograph or even video presented to the security system. Researchers have now developed a way to thwart spoofing.

  • Drones, Machine Learning to Detect Dangerous “Butterfly” Landmines

    It is estimated that there are at least 100 million military munitions and explosives of concern devices in the world, of various size, shape and composition. Millions of these are surface plastic landmines with low-pressure triggers, such as the mass-produced Soviet PFM-1 “butterfly” landmine. Nicknamed for their small size and butterfly-like shape, these mines are extremely difficult to locate and clear. Using advanced machine learning, drones could be used to detect these dangerous “butterfly” landmines in remote regions of post-conflict countries.

  • Taking a Cue from Nature to Create Bulletproof Coatings

    Shrimp, lobsters and mushrooms may not seem like great tools for the battlefield, but three engineers from the University of Houston are using chitin – a derivative of glucose found in the cellular walls of arthropods and fungi – and 3D printing techniques to produce high-impact multilayered coatings that can protect soldiers against bullets, lasers, toxic gas and other dangers.

  • Wildfires New Algorithm Predicts the Difficulty in Fighting Fire

    When facing an uncontrolled fire blazing through hundreds of hectares, many questions arise that need urgent answers: Where should we start? What place presents less difficulty? What areas are already lost? How can we prioritize management tasks? Researchers have developed an algorithm which is able to respond to these questions and has turned mathematics into a real ally for firefighting.

  • High-Security Identification that Cannot Be Counterfeited

    High-security identification should be exceptionally resistant to counterfeiting. Unfortunately, identity thieves eventually learn how to duplicate even highly complex patterns. The only way to permanently defeat identity thieves is to create a pattern that is impossible to duplicate.

  • Oilfield 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.

  • New Technology Can Detect Antivirus Antibody in 20 Minutes

    Researchers have succeeded in detecting anti-avian influenza virus antibody in blood serum within 20 minutes, using a portable analyzer they have developed to conduct rapid on-site bio tests. Hokkaido University says that if a suitable reagent is developed, this technology could be used to detect antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the causative virus of COVID-19.

  • Rwanda Has Enlisted Anti-Epidemic Robots in Its Fight against Coronavirus

    Rwanda has introduced robots as part of its fight against coronavirus. With 314 confirmed cases of the virus as of May 22, the East African country has enlisted the help of five anti-epidemic robots to battle the virus. Aisha Salaudeen writes for CNN that the robots were donated by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to the Kanyinya treatment center that treats Covid-19 patients in the capital city, Kigali. The robots — named Akazuba, Ikirezi, Mwiza, Ngabo, and Urumuri — were received by the country’s Minister of Health and Minister of ICT and Innovation last week. hey will be used for mass temperature screening, monitoring patient status, and keeping medical records of Covid-19 patients, according to Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation.

  • Separating Industrial Noise from Natural Seismic Signals

    For the first time, seismologists can characterize signals as a result of some industrial human activity on a continent-wide scale using cloud computing. A transformative, cloud-computing approach to analyzing data helps researchers better understand seismic activity.

  • Game-Changing Technologies to Transform Food Systems

    In the next three decades, the world will need a 30–70 percent increase in food availability to meet the demand from an increasing population. In addition, the global food system will need to change profoundly if it is going to provide humanity with healthy food that is grown sustainably in ways that are not only resilient in the face of climate change but also do not surpass planetary boundaries. According to new research, a pipeline of disruptive technologies could transform our food systems, ecosystems, and human health, but attention to the enabling environment is needed to realize their potential.

  • Increased Extraterrestrial Ambitions Threaten the Future of Space

    As the number of nations and businesses across sectors look outward to space for new opportunities — and commercial space activities grow — the sustainability of space exploration is more important than ever. as more private sector entities get involved in commercial space activities, the more important it becomes for stakeholders to agree on norms and rules if we are to coordinate space activities to the benefit of everyone.

  • U.S. Seeks to Change the Rules for Mining the Moon

    At the moment, no company – or nation – is yet ready to claim or take advantage of private property in space. But the $350 billion space industry could change quickly. Several companies are already planning to explore the Moon to find raw materials like water; Helium-3, which is potentially useful in fusion nuclear reactors; and rare earth elements, which are invaluable for manufacturing electronics. Anticipating additional commercial interest, the Trump administration has created new rules through an executive order following a 2015 law change for how those companies might profit from operations on the Moon, asteroids and other planets. Those rules conflict with a longstanding international treaty the U.S. has generally followed but never formally joined.

  • Governments Shouldn’t Use “Centralized” Proximity Tracking Technology

    Companies and governments across the world are building and deploying a dizzying number of systems and apps to fight COVID-19. Many groups have converged on using Bluetooth-assisted proximity tracking for the purpose of exposure notification. Even so, there are many ways to approach the problem, and dozens of proposals have emerged. One way to categorize them is based on how much trust each proposal places in a central authority.