• ESPIONAGEResearch Espionage Is a Real Threat – but a Drastic Crackdown Could Stifle Vital International Collaboration

    By James Laurenceson

    In 2024, China is a peer of the US in research and knowledge creation. We must be clear-eyed about threats to “research security”. But a one-eyed focus on China, and adopting a simplistic and heavy-handed approach to managing these threats, will only leave us worse off.

  • Anne J. Manning Potential New Weapon in Battle Against Superbugs

    By Anne J. Manning

    Harvard researchers have created an antibiotic that can overcome many drug-resistant infections, which have become a growing, deadly global health menace. The synthetic molecule is highly effective against drug-resistant bacteria.

  • GAIN-OF-FUNCTION RESEARCHU.S. House Approves Federal Funding Ban on GoF Research

    The House of Representatives approved HR 5894, which includes a measure banning federal funding for studies that include gain-of-function research. Though the bill in question still requires Senate approval to have a chance to take effect, this move will likely be worrying to many in the scientific community.

  • MONSTERSWhy the Search for the Loch Ness Monster (and Other Beasts) Continues 90 Years After That First Blurry Photograph

    By Neil J. Gostling

    It’s 90 years since Hugh Gray, in April 1933, took his blurry picture — and the beginning of the obsession with finding the Loch Ness monster. As a paleobiologist, I want to explore whether the type of monster we believe Nessy to be could exist and if we should continue looking.

  • CHINA WATCHThe U.S. and China May Be Ending an Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation − a Policy Expert Explains What This Means for Research

    By Caroline Wagner

    A decades-old science and technology cooperative agreement between the United States and China was set to expire on Aug. 27, 2023, but was extended, at the last minute, by six months to allow more negotiations between the two countries. On the surface, an expiring diplomatic agreement may not seem significant. But unless it’s renewed, the quiet end to a cooperative era may have consequences for scientific research and technological innovation, as the U.S. risks being cut off from top know-how as China forges ahead.

  • UFOsCrashed UFOs? Non-Human “Biologics”? Professor Asks: Where’s the Evidence?

    By Cynthia McCormick Hibbert

    Congressional testimony this week about reverse engineering from crashed UFOs and the recovery of non-human “biologics” sounds like science fiction. And that’s the realm in which it will remain unless scientific and other hard evidence enters the picture, says an expert.

  • CHINA WATCHChina’s Push for Science and Technology Collaboration with BRI Countries

    By Opangmeren Jamir

    China is aiming to make science and technology (S&T) cooperation a significant component of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). There are complaints over Chinese approach of sharing data and protection of intellectual property. Maintaining accountability and transparency is vital for progress and can ensure win-win cooperation with member countries of BRI. A key fundamental is to uphold the principle of “open science,” making scientific process more transparent, inclusive and democratic.

  • COVID ORIGINSWhat If China Really Did Develop COVID as a Bioweapon? Here Are the Issues Involved

    By Michelle Bentley

    A recent report by the Sunday Times claims the newspaper has seen evidence that China was developing dangerous coronaviruses in collaboration with the Chinese military for the alleged purposes of biowarfare. This research program was the likely source of the pandemic, the report asserts.So, what could the rest of the world do about these new allegations – if anything? There is no easy answer, because, given the nature of biological research, we may never be able to reach a conclusive answer about the bioweapon question.

  • TECHNOLOGYWith $1.4 Billion investment, Texas Hopes to Sprint to the Front of the Microchip Manufacturing

    By Francisco Uranga

    Microchips are increasingly present in every day life, from phones and laptops to cars and washing machines. Gov. Greg Abbott approved last week a stimulus package in an effort to shore up the supply chain after the pandemic’s disruptions.

  • TECHNOLOGYResearch Agenda Prepares for the Future of Science and Technology

    By Melanie Cummings

    DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) works to prepare DHS for  the future of science and technology. The requires remaining aware (and ahead) of emerging science and technology threats along with harnessing the latest advancements in science and technology as cutting-edge solutions for homeland security operational challenges.

  • TECHNOLOGY RACEChina 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.

  • BIOLABSConstruction 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.

  • PLANETARY SECURITYAstronomers Seek Your Help in Hunting for Asteroids

    By Kylianne Chadwick

    Anyone with an internet connection can become an asteroid hunter and join University of Arizona researchers as they work to discover asteroids hurtling through our solar system.

  • OUTBREAKSWhy Scientists Have a Hard Time Getting Money to Study the Root Causes of Outbreaks

    By Caroline Chen

    Government and nonprofit groups that award grants to scientists favor research that’s high tech and treatment oriented rather than studies that seek to understand why contagions leap from animals to people in the first place.

  • ARGUMENT: SAFER VIROLOGICAL RESEARCHWe 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.”