• Energy SecurityPowerful Clean Energy Available in Our Oceans

    Marine energy—clean power generated from ocean currents, waves, tides, and water temperature changes—is still young, but it has the potential to deliver clean, renewable electricity to coastal communities where nearly 40 percent of Americans live. Before that can happen, scientists need to pinpoint which oceanic arteries host the most reliable energy.

  • Water securityLowering the High Cost of Desalination

    Removing salt and other impurities from sea-, ground- and wastewater could solve the world’s looming freshwater crisis. A suite of analytical tools makes it easier for innovators to identify promising research directions in making saltwater potable.

  • Land minesHarnessing Drones, Geophysics and Artificial Intelligence to Remove Land Mines

    By Kevin Krajick

    Mines and other unexploded ordinance are a worldwide menace; about 100 million devices are thought to be currently scattered across dozens of countries. Aside from putting both wartime and postwar areas off limits to travel, agriculture or anything else, they caused at least 5,500 recorded casualties in 2019; totals in many previous years have been much higher. Some 80 percent of the victims are civilians, and of those, nearly half are children.

  • Water securityChanging Climate Increases Need for Water Diplomacy

    The dispute between Ethiopia and its neighbors over the massive Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile is but one example of how the climate change-driven growing scarcity of water may soon lead countries to engage in what, a decade ago, British intelligence called “water wars.” These growing tensions need to be tackled in new ways.

  • Climate challengesBlocking the Sun to Control Global Warming

    By Nancy Bazilchuk

    It sounds like something out of a bad science fiction movie — artificially blocking sunlight to keep global warming from overheating the Earth. Nevertheless, a small cadre of researchers is studying the option — so that if humankind ever needs to use it, it will be an informed decision.

  • FloodsScience’s Answers to Flood Disaster

    On 14 July 2021, between 60 and 180 mm of rain fell in the Eifel region in just 22 hours - an amount that would otherwise have fallen in several months and which led to catastrophic flooding. The events were far more destructive than existing models had predicted.

  • PathogenCritical Shortcut to Detect, Identify Known and Emerging Pathogens

    Researchers have developed a sophisticated new tool which could help provide early warning of rare and unknown viruses in the environment and identify potentially deadly bacterial pathogens which cause sepsis, among other uses.

  • PathogensThe Risk of Lab-Created, Potentially Pandemic Pathogens

    In 20212, researchers published studies on making avian influenza contagious through the air among mammals. This debate on developing pathogenic threats for research purposes led the U.S. government to impose a moratorium on funding gain-of-function research. The threat of an accidental release of lab-enhanced pathogens remains high.

  • Infrastructure protectionStudying Road Resilience to Sea Level Rise

    After a summer of high heat, steady sea level rise and devastating hurricanes, coastal roads have continued to take a severe beating resulting in endless wear and tear. Because these roadways have become increasingly vulnerable, study how and why coastal hazards like excessive flooding are causing roads to crack and crumble and find ways to protect them.

  • CybersecurityCybercriminals Use Pandemic to Attack Schools and Colleges

    By Nir Kshetri

    From Aug. 14 to Sept. 12, 2021, educational organizations were the target of over 5.8 million malware attacks, or 63% of all such attacks. Ransomware attacks alone impacted 1,681 U.S. schools, colleges and universities in 2020. Globally 44% of educational institutions were targeted by such attacks.

  • Cybersecurity educationTeaching Vehicle Cybersecurity

    University of Detroit Mercy recently received a $1.12-million award from the United States Department of Defense (DoD) to establish the Regional Vehicle Cybersecurity Institute, a regional-based, cybersecurity consortium. “Without an increase to the workforce now, the cybersecurity risk to DoD and commercial ground vehicles will keep falling further behind the increasing threats from actors in multi-domain contested environments,” said one expert.

  • DronesDetecting, Identifying Small Drones in Urban Environment

    DHS has awarded $750K to a Texas company to develop a detection and tracking sensor system that can identify nefarious small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in an urban environment.

  • Infrastructure protectionHelping Communities Avoid the Climate Crosshairs

    By Jared Sagoff, Carolyn Steeele, and Andrea Manning

    Scientists are addressing the vulnerabilities of infrastructure systems through the lens of climate impacts by creating and adapting climate maps to infrastructure as a way for communities to protect themselves from the effects of climate change.

  • Radiation detectionRedesigning Radiation Monitors at U.S. Ports of Entry

    Every day at ports of entry around the country, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities, and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. The time has come to replace and upgrade the aging radiation detection systems.

  • Killer robotsNew Armed Robot to Patrol Battlefield, Border

    An Israeli defense contractor on Monday unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot which can patrol battle zones, borders, track infiltrators, and open fire. The robot can also be programmed to make decisions on its own, without human intervention, about opening fire.