• COVID THERAPIESThe WHO Has Advised Against the Use of Two Antibody Therapies Against COVID – Here’s What That Means

    By Zania Stamataki

    New guidance from WHO strongly advises against using the antibody therapies sotrovimab and casirivimab-imdevimab to treat patients with COVID-19. This means that, at least for the time being, there are no recommended antibody therapies to treat COVID. There are, however, still other treatment options.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGYU.S. Plans to Boost US Biotechnology Manufacturing

    The administration announced Monday steps to bolster the “bioeconomy” in the United States, a classification that covers research and development across a broad swath of products, including medical supplies, sustainable new fuels and food, as well as technologies meant to help fight climate change. The order comes barely a month after President Biden signed a major piece of legislation, the CHIPS Act, meant to supercharge U.S. manufacturing of semiconductors, an area in which the U.S. has lost its once-dominant global position.

  • GEOEGINEERINGArtificial Ocean Cooling to Weaken Hurricanes Is Futile: Study

    A new study found that even if we did have the infinite power to artificially cool enough of the oceans to weaken a hurricane, the benefits would be minimal. The researchers suggest that ocean cooling is an effectively impossible solution to mitigate disasters.

  • DISASTERSLearning from Disaster: Mental Health Researchers Offer Insights on Overcoming Trauma

    On a December morning in 1988, a massive earthquake tore through northern Armenia, devastating the small Caucasus country. Over 25,000 died – two-thirds of whom were children. As part of the international relief efforts that followed, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals from all over the world traveled to Armenia to kick off a remarkable and sustained mental health relief and research program which would last for two decades.

  • CHINA WATCHUK Biobank and China’s Access to Foreign Genetic Information

    A UK research outfit studying the genetic predisposition and environmental exposure of millions of Britons was recently urged to reconsider how it handles information transfers to Chinese researchers for medical research.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGYRegenerate: Biotechnology and U.S. Industrial Policy

    By Ryan Fedasiuk

    A revolution in biotechnology is dawning at the precise moment the world needs it most. Amid an ongoing climate crisis, fast-paced technological maturation, and a global pandemic, humans must find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve food security, develop new vaccines and therapeutics, recycle waste, synthesize new materials, and adapt to a changing world. The United States needs some form of industrial policy to promote its bioeconomy—one that is enshrined in democratic values and focused on improving access to four key drivers of bioeconomic growth: equipment, personnel, information, and capital.

  • NETWROKSLocal Focus Can Prevent Failures in Large Networks

    We live in an increasingly connected world, a fact underscored by the swift spread of the coronavirus around the globe. Underlying this connectivity are complex networks — global air transportation, the internet, power grids, financial systems and ecological networks, to name just a few. The need to ensure the proper functioning of these systems also is increasing, but control is difficult.

  • CHINA WATCHDon't Cut Research Ties with China: U.K. Academics

    A new study involving more than 80 U.K.-based academics from a range of disciplines and institutions finds a resounding appetite for continued collaboration with Chinese colleagues, despite acknowledged tension over security concerns.

  • ENCRYPTIONRandomly Moving Electrons Can Improve Cybersecurity

    Researchers have developed a record-breaking true random number generator (TRNG), which can improve data encryption and provide improved security for sensitive digital data such as credit card details, passwords and other personal information.

  • CHINA WATCHHow a Fellow of Germany’s Humboldt Foundation Joined China's Military Commission

    By Sandra Petersmann, Esther Felden, Naomi Conrad

    Germany’s Humboldt Research Fellowships are very popular with visiting Chinese scientists. Back in China, some of them go on to do research for the Chinese military. According to the Max Planck Society, “around one-third” of all scientific management positions in China today are held by people who were trained in Germany.

  • CHINA WATCHEuropean Academics Helping China's Military

    By Naomi Conrad, Esther Felden, and Sandra Petersmann

    European researchers have cooperated with China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). The NUDT’s purpose is to “Strengthen the Armed Forces and the Nation.” An investigation by 10 European news outlets has found nearly 3,000 scientific publications by researchers affiliated with European universities and their counterparts at military-linked institutions in China — most notably the NUDT.

  • CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIESStrengthen Advanced Manufacturing for Critical and Emerging Technologies

    NIST has awarded a total of $2.08 million to seven organizations in six states to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen U.S. innovation and productivity. Each award will fund projects for up to 18 months to address national priorities such as manufacturing of critical infrastructure, communication, and transformative approaches and technologies in construction.

  • BIORISKSGain-of-Function Studies Need Stricter Guidance: Researchers

    Researchers and biosecurity specialists are calling on the U.S. government to issue clearer guidance about experiments the government might fund which would make pathogens more transmissible or deadly.

  • BIORISKSAs Science Evolves, Policy Framework Needs to as Well

    In late February, the NIH and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy asked the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity NSABB to make swift progress on its long-overdue review. The panel plans to draft a report outlining its recommendations by the end of the year.

  • ARGUMENT: AI & WMDsArtificial Intelligence and Chemical and Biological Weapons

    A recent article in Nature offers a disturbing look at the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of chemical and biological weapons. “Anyone unfamiliar with recent innovations in the use of AI to model new drugs will be unpleasantly surprised,” Paul Rosenzweig writes. “The benefits of these innovations are clear. Unfortunately, the possibilities for malicious uses are also becoming clear.”