• Army to request proposals for biological agent detection system

    The Army is set to begin requesting proposals for the initial phase of its Joint Biological Standoff Detection System Increment 2 (JBSDS 2) program at the end of March; the program’s objective is to procure fully functional biological detection systems; JBSDS 2 is designed to provide devices capable of detecting, tracking, and identifying biological warfare clouds; the program specifies that the devices should be capable of identifying any biological agent, organism, or poison that is capable of killing, incapacitating, or impeding a large force

  • Archie is U.K.'s first mouse detection dog

    Cats have traditionally been used for mouse control; a Welsh company argues that dogs can be better mouse detectors than cats, and to prove it has trained a three-year-old springer spaniel named Archie to become the U.K.’s first muse detection dog; his test scores were so impressive that property management company Mitie will be using Archie in the company’s pest control section

  • New pathogen detection test dramatically reduces wait times

    An Illinois based pharmaceutical company, recently introduced Plex-ID, a new detection system that can accurately identify seventeen different dangerous biological pathogens; the system fills a critical gap in detection capabilities as it can analyze direct samples like blood, food, water, or air filters and provide results in less than eight hours; current blood and tissue tests take three or more days; in the event of a biological attack, detecting pathogens in infected persons is critical as these people will continue to spread the disease unless quarantined; the Plex-ID system has already helped identify an unknown disease in Afghanistan; after eighty-three people became sick with a mysterious disease and seventeen people died, the Plex-ID system accurately identified the disease as bubonic plague when other tests failed

  • U.S. urged to update chem-bio defense efforts

    A new report highlights one of the major problems in preparing defenses against chemical and biological (CB) agents: “Given the inherent secrecy with which states and other actors will conduct CB agent development, adversary programs could acquire new CB agents years before U.S. defense planners recognize those agents—- And, after the U.S. intelligence community recognizes those CB agents as threats, the United States will probably need many more years to establish a comprehensive defense against them. Such gaps in CB agent defense capabilities pose a potentially serious risk to U.S. military operations”

  • ICx Technologies: comprehensive, layered approach to security

    At the recent ASIS exhibition and seminar, Homeland Security Newswire took the time to walk through the ICx Technologies booth and speak to some of their subject matter experts; CommandSpace® & ThreatSense™, solutions which provide a comprehensive, layered approach to perimeter security and chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security for critical facilities, respectively, were on display

  • New detector tests for illegal drugs, superbugs in minutes

    A new method of detecting illegal drugs and super bugs will be used in a U.K. government-backed handheld device that analyzes saliva; the testing takes minutes and costs as little as £1.50 per test; it works by measuring the electric charge generated when the substances in the saliva react with an electrode coated with antibodies

  • University lab tech's suicide by cyanide prompts safety fears

    A Northeastern University lab technician stole cyanide from the lab, which she then used to kill herself; suicide raises public safety fears over easy access to deadly chemicals; one terrorism expert, though, says that many incidents of dangerous chemicals stolen from college labs are used by the thief against themselves and not others; “It’s the jilted lover, the disgruntled employee, it’s the suicide not the suicide attack”

  • New detection technology identifies bacteria, viruses, other organisms within 24 hours

    In the area of biodefense, current systems are centered on the detection of smaller prioritized sets of high-risk pathogens, rather than testing for a much broader spectrum of organisms; a new detection method from Lawrence Livermore allows not only the identification of the biological pathogens on a priority screening list, but also any other already-sequenced bacteria or virus in a sample that first responders, doctors, or regulatory agencies might not have been expecting to find, including possible novel or emerging pathogens

  • Non-toxic cleaners for terrorist attacks

    Traditional chlorine- and lye-based cleaning agents are potentially hazardous and can react with chemical weapons and other materials in the environment to form new toxic substances; military researchers non-toxic, ultra-strength cleaners that could be used in the aftermath of a terrorist attack; the peroxide-based “green” decontaminants are tough enough to get rid of nerve gas, mustard gas, radioactive isotopes, and anthrax

  • New sensor speeds water analysis

    New sensor creates a single procedure for in-situ monitoring of chlorinated hydrocarbons in water, obviating the need for laboratory-based technologies for the analysis of water contaminants, which are time consuming, labor intensive and expensive

  • Planned security network for Lower Manhattan would not have identified bomber

    New York City plans to install a protection system in Lower Manhattan which will consist of surveillance cameras, license plate readers, and chemical sensors; the system will be able to record and track every vehicle moving between 34th and 59th Streets, river to river; because neither the S.U.V. used in the attempt last Saturday nor the license plate on it had been reported stolen, it would not have raised any immediate red flags

  • Laser decontamination for post-chemical attacks, accident clean-up

    Many building materials — like cement and brick — are extremely porous; getting contaminants off surfaces like these is difficult, since they can inhabit cracks and pores; cleaning up chemical-contaminated structures can be difficult, costly, and time-consuming; what if terrorists attacked an urban center with chemicals? Researchers say the answer is to use laser to decontaminate an area after a terrorist attack or an industrial accident

  • Tularemia bacteria detected in Columbus, Ohio; no bioterror attack suspected

    BioWatch sensors in Columbus, Ohio, last week picked up higher than normal presence of the bacteria tularemia — a bacteria which may be used in bioterror attacks; Columbus Public Health officials continued to emphasize that people are not at risk and there is no suspicion that bioterrorism was attempted here

  • New technology enables machines to detect microscopic pathogens in water

    Detecting common pathogens in drinking water soon may no longer be bottle-necked under a laboratory microscope; Texas A&M researchers found a way to substitute humans with automatic image analysis systems

  • Students design innovative wastewater treatment process for removing pharmaceuticals

    More and more pharmaceuticals end up in countries’ water supply; four Canadian chemical engineering students have designed an advanced wastewater treatment system which would remove 90 percent of pharmaceuticals and endocrine-disrupting compounds (EDCs) using commercially available technology