• Long-Duration Energy Storage: The Time Is Now

    How can US states with aggressive decarbonization goals coupled with federal decarbonization goals have energy when they need it? Long-duration energy storage (LDES) is a likely candidate. Planning for LDES needs to start now.

  • The New Water Reuse Consortium Will Address Clean Water Access and Sustainability Challenges

    The Water Reuse Consortium, a collaborative efforts of several academic institutions, is a 3-phase, $38 million program to tackle pressing water challenges through innovative research, education, communication, and collaborative efforts between government, local communities, industry, and academia.

  • New Tool to Improve Forecasting of Extreme Rain Events

    Researchers have identified the factors affecting the likelihood of extreme rain events and have developed a tool that can improve the forecasting of such events. This tool will be made available to the Israel Meteorological Service and its counterpart agencies throughout the world.

  • China Extends Its Lead Over U.S. in Key Technologies

    Western democracies are losing the global technological competition, including the race for scientific and research breakthroughs, and the ability to retain global talent—crucial ingredients that underpin the development and control of the world’s most important technologies, including those that don’t yet exist.A new report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) finds that China’s global lead extends to 37 out of 44 technologies that ASPI is now tracking. These findings should be a wake-up call for democratic nations, who must rapidly pursue a strategic critical technology step-up.

  • U.S. Battle for Technology Standards

    Technology standards have become powerful instruments of geostrategic influence in recent years. Technology standards—which determine how devices, systems and networks operate and interact with each other—influence a nation’s economic competitiveness, national security and military power.

  • Needed: Ground Rules for the Age of AI Warfare

    The time has arrived form an international agreement on autonomous weapons. Lauren Kahn writes in Foreign Affairs that AI is at an inflection point: the technology is maturing and is increasingly suitable for military use, while the exact outlines of future AI military systems, and the degree of disruption they will cause, remain uncertain and, hence, can be, at least somewhat, shaped.

  • How Much Cobalt Can Be Mined in the U.S.? Study Examines Mining Site in Idaho

    Demand for cobalt is projected to increase more than 500% by 2050. Roughly 70% of the cobalt mined globally is from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and then processed in China. Experts note that despite a high projected need for cobalt, battery technologies that use other ingredients have been gaining attention and popularity, such as lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, also called LFPs.

  • For Beleaguered Homeowners and Their Insurers, the Fire Next Time Could Be a Flood

    The data-driven insurance business is in trouble as climate-change-driven disasters arrive with greater fury and frequency. Catastrophic losses are something that insurance companies have long planned and budgeted for. But not this many.

  • The Executive Order on Commercial Spyware: Implications and Prospects

    The growing national security threat from misuse of commercial spyware is increasingly being recognized. The US has been taking the lead in addressing the growing menace of unregulated spyware companies and the proliferation of intrusive tools. The Biden administration’s latest Executive Order will ensure that commercial spyware firms will be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny.

  • Cost of Climate Change-Driven Natural Disasters Includes Losses of Learning, Earnings

    A new study finds that the human capital consequences of natural disasters, linked to climate change, are a significant factor contributing to economic inequality.

  • Construction of New Level-4 Biolab in Manhattan, Kansas Completed

    The new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kansas replaces the old Plum Island, New York biolab. The NBAF is the first U.S. laboratory with biosafety level-4 containment, capable of housing large livestock animals; and one of only a few facilities in the world with these capabilities.

  • How AI Could Take Over Elections – and Undermine Democracy

    Could organizations use artificial intelligence language models such as ChatGPT to induce voters to behave in specific ways? In his 16 May 2023 testimony in a Senate hearings on artificial intelligence OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said that he was concerned that some people might use language models to manipulate, persuade and engage in one-on-one interactions with voters. What would an AI-manipulated election look like?

  • AI Can Identify Patterns in Surface Cracking to Assess Damage in Reinforced Concrete Structures

    Recent structural collapses, including tragedies in Surfside, Florida, Pittsburgh, New York City and Davenport. Iowa, have centered the need for more frequent and thorough inspections of aging buildings and infrastructure across the country.AI, combined with a classic mathematical method for quantifying web-like networks, help determine how damaged a concrete structure is, based solely on its pattern of cracking.

  • Space Tractor Beams May Not Be the Stuff of Sci-fi for Long

    Researchers are drawing on one of the oldest tropes in science fiction: tractor beams like the ones the Starship Enterprise uses to safely move asteroids out of the way. Using devices called “electron beams,” these space dumpster trucks would slowly haul that debris to safety without ever having to touch it—all by tapping into the same kind of physics that make your socks stick to your pants in the dryer.

  • Quantum Technology for Mobile Phone Encryption Nears

    In a few years, protection of communication with quantum encryption may become a permanent fixture in mobile phones and thus protect communication from hacking. The technology has already been demonstrated in large data transfers in the financial sector.