• Artificial Intelligence Could Secure the Power Supply

    The future European power system – based primarily on renewable energy sources – will be much more weather dependent than the power system today. The two researchers believe that consumption patterns will also change. All these factors contribute to creating uncertainty around the energy supply, causing decision-making to be far more complicated.

  • Architecture After COVID: How the Pandemic Inspired Building Designers

    As a greater awareness of hygiene in cities emerged, urban spaces and buildings were reorganized in order to minimize physical surface contact. The public became afraid or skeptical of touching handrails, door handles, elevator buttons or any leaning support. Architects have had to adapt to these new design priorities and instincts.

  • COVID-19’s Total Cost to the U.S. Economy Will Reach $14 Trillion by End of 2023: New Research

    Putting a price tag on all the pain, suffering and upheaval Americans and people around the world have experienced because of COVID-19 is hard to do. To come up with estimates, researchers used economic modeling to approximate the revenue lost due to mandatory business closures at the beginning of the pandemic, and the cost of the many changes in personal behavior that continued long after the lockdown orders were lifted.

  • We Could Easily Make Risky Virological Research Safer

    Lab Accidents happen, and they aren’t especially rare. A new book — appropriately titled Pandora’s Gamble — offers a shocking accounting of the problem, identifying more than a thousand accidents reported to federal regulators from 2008 to 2012. David Wallace-Wells, referring to the recommendations from the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity on how to minimize the risks from research biolabs, writes: “These suggestions would not eliminate the risk of lab accidents, but they would reduce the risk — and fairly simply.”

  • Benefits of Lead- and Copper-Clean Drinking Water Far Exceed Initial Estimates

    The cost-benefit analysis of the EPA’s Lead and Copper Drinking Water Rule Revision (LCRR) far exceeds the EPA’s public estimates and could help inform improvements to current regulations. (LCRR) costs $335 million to implement while generating $9 billion in health benefits annually, exceeding the EPA’s public statements that the LCRR generates $645 million in annual health benefits.

  • New Tool Optimizes Irrigation

    A new tool for designing and managing irrigation for farms advances the implementation of smart agriculture, an approach that leverages data and modern technologies to boost crop yields while conserving natural resources.

  • Enhancing Advanced Nuclear Reactor Analysis

    Nuclear power is a significant source of steady carbon-neutral electricity, and advanced reactors can add more of it to the U.S. grid, which is vital for the environment and economy. Sandia Lab researchers have developed a standardized screening method to determine the most important radioactive isotopes that could leave an advanced reactor site in the unlikely event of an accident.

  • Outsmarting Superbugs, One Germ at a Time

    It’s an old story: Pathogen sickens humans. Humans create medicine. Pathogen evolves a way around the medicine. Humans are back to square one.

  • Pandemic Preparedness Policy

    A new report from CSET assesses the U.S. preparedness for families of viral pathogens of pandemic potential and offers recommendations for steps the U.S. government can take to prepare for future pandemics.

  • Senate Republicans Release COVID Origins Report

    Senate Republicans have released their report exploring the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, building on the short interim report released in October 2022. Critics note that as was the case with the interim report, this fuller version relies on circumstantial evidence, not scientific facts, and that it contains many factual errors, in addition to poor understanding of the Chinese language.

  • Poorly Understood Environmental Trends Could Become Tomorrow’s Security Threats

    There is an urgent need to understand how a range of emerging ecological challenges could trigger catastrophic instability and insecurity, argues a new report. The authors stress that uncertainty and knowledge gaps should galvanize rather than delay both research and action to prevent, mitigate or adapt to consequences that could be catastrophic.

  • Vaccine Could Improve Herd Immunity Around the World

    A low-cost, protein-based COVID-19 vaccine tested in rhesus monkeys offered immunity against known variants for at least one year. Researchers hope the vaccine, which can remain unrefrigerated for up to two weeks and may be especially beneficial for infants, will help alleviate the need for boosters while improving herd immunity around the world.

  • As States Replace Lead Pipes, Plastic Alternatives Could Bring New Risks

    Across the country, states and cities are replacing lead pipes to address concerns over lead-contaminated drinking water, an urgent health threat. But critics say that substituting PVC for lead pipes “may well be leaping from the frying pan into the fire.”

  • Fentanyl and the U.S. Opioid Epidemic

    Opioid addiction and abuse in the United States has become a prolonged epidemic, endangering public health, economic output, and national security. Since 2000, more than a million people in the United States have died of drug overdoses, the majority of which were due to opioids.

  • “Flash Droughts” More Frequent as Climate Warms

    ‘Flash droughts’ have become more frequent due to human-caused climate change, and this trend is predicted to accelerate in a warmer future. Flash droughts, which start and develop rapidly, are becoming ‘the new normal’ for droughts, making forecasting and preparing for their impact more difficult.