• Wastewater Can Help Tackle Water Shortages

    Europe has experienced severe heat and drought over the last few summers, and 2023 has been no different. Vast swathes of Central and Southern Europe are simply too dry from a lack of rainfall. Water shortages are causing tensions in some countries. But, for now, there’s enough water to go around. Using the precious resource more efficiently is key.

  • Scientists Are Helping Cities Adapt to Extreme Heat

    Extreme heat is dangerous and is one of the leading causes of weather-related deaths, and in a warming world, extreme heat is becoming the norm, not the exception. Scientists are working to mitigate the effects of extreme heat by developing strategies to build heat resilience which would allow communities to adapt to and thrive in a warming climate.

  • Malicious AI Arrives on the Dark Web

    Nefarious non-state actors are already harnessing AI to scale up their malicious activities. Just as legitimate users have moved on from exploring ChatGPT to building similar tools, the same has happened in the shadowy world of cybercrime.

  • AI Cyber Challenge Aims to Secure Nation’s Most Critical Software

    In an increasingly interconnected world, software undergirds everything from financial systems to public utilities. As software enables modern life and drives productivity, it also creates an expanding attack surface for malicious actors. This surface includes critical infrastructure, which is especially vulnerable to cyberattacks given the lack of tools capable of securing systems at scale. New competition challenges the nation’s top AI and cybersecurity talent to automatically find and fix software vulnerabilities, defend critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.

  • AI-Controlled Weapons Should Be Banned from the Battlefield: Experts

    AI expert says autonomous systems being used in the current Ukraine conflict need to be prohibited in the same way as chemical and biological weapons. “I’m quite hopeful that we will, at some point, decide that autonomous weapons also be added to the lists of terrible ways to fight war like chemical weapons, like biological weapons. What worries me is that in most cases, we’ve only regulated various technologies for fighting after we’ve seen the horrors of them being misused in battle,” he says.

  • New Tidal Energy Project for Carbon Emission Reduction and Energy Security

    New £7 million project aims to deliver scalable, affordable and sustainable tidal stream energy. Besides boosting energy security, this could help enable tidal stream energy make a meaningful contribution to achieving U.K. Net Zero goals.

  • Geoengineering Sounds Like a Quick Climate Fix, but Without More Research and Guardrails, It’s a Costly Gamble − with Potentially Harmful Results

    The underlying problem has been known for decades: Fossil-fuel vehicles and power plants, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices have been putting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the Earth’s systems can naturally remove, and that’s heating up the planet. Geoengineering, theoretically, aims to restore that balance, either by removing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or reflecting solar energy away from Earth. But changing Earth’s complex and interconnected climate system may have unintended consequences.

  • Training Students to Succeed in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution”

    Transformational changes are already underway in the manufacturing industry as technological advancements, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart devices from the “fourth industrial revolution” or Industry 4.0., inspire a digital-first approach to engineering. University of Missouri researchers are using a $1 million grant to support the development of an Industry 4.0 lab, training engineering students for the future of digitization in manufacturing.

  • Using Hydrogen to Power Disaster Relief

    A new vehicle will not only get emergency responders safely to the site of an emergency, but also directly provide power at the scene for up to 72 hours as they assess next steps. And it does all this running on hydrogen—a much more sustainable solution for our environment.

  • NREL Analysis Reveals Benefits of Hydropower for Grid-Scale Energy Storage

    Closed-loop pumped storage hydropower systems rank as having the lowest potential to add to the problem of global warming for energy storage when accounting for the full impacts of materials and construction, according to new analysis. These systems rely on water flowing between two reservoirs to generate and store power.

  • As Competition with China Heats Up, Japan Turns to Africa for Critical Minerals

    Demand for such minerals is expected to grow sharply in the coming years. There are, however, supply constraints, as only a limited number of countries produce them. Tokyo has signed agreements with a number of African countries as competition with China for key raw materials and minerals heats up.

  • We Could Soon Be Getting Energy from Solar Power Harvested in Space

    The idea of space-based solar power (SBSP) – using satellites to collect energy from the sun and “beam” it to collection points on Earth – has been around since at least the late 1960s. Despite its huge potential, the concept has not gained sufficient traction due to cost and technological hurdles. space-based solar power is technologically feasible, but to be economically viable, it requires large-scale engineering, and therefore long-term and decisive commitment from governments and space agencies.

  • Using Quantum Computing to Protect AI from Attack

    Despite their incredible successes and increasingly widespread deployment, machine learning-based frameworks such as AI remain highly susceptible to adversarial attacks – that is, malicious tampering with their data causing them to fail in surprising ways. AI can thus be fooled into making mistakes, sometimes risking lives — but quantum computing could provide a strong defense.

  • Tech Breakthrough Could Increase States’ Use of Geothermal Power

    Lawmakers in some states have been laying the groundwork to add geothermal power to the electrical grid and pump underground heat into buildings. Now, a technological breakthrough could dramatically expand those ambitions — and perhaps unleash a new wave of policies to tap into geothermal sources. If the technology’s promise is fulfilled, geothermal could power as much as 20% of the U.S. grid.

  • What Is Most Likely Going on in Area 51? A National Security Historian Explains Why You Won’t Find Aliens There

    One of the reasons people can never be entirely sure about what is going on at Area 51 is that it is a highly classified secret military facility. It was not until 2013 that the U.S. government even acknowledged the existence and name “Area 51.” As a national security historian, I know there’s a long history of secrets at Area 51. I also know that none of those secrets have anything to do with space aliens.