Updates

Radiation-Detecting Plastic Gets Ingredient to Stay in the Clear

Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have identified a straightforward change to the formula for radiation-detecting plastic. The change prevents “fogging,” which reduces the lifetime of the plastics used to detect nuclear material transiting through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s radiation detectors.

Fighting COVID With Computing

The Open Science Grid is a network of organizations that provides computing services for science research. The Department of Energy’s Fermilab partnered with the Open Science Grid to be part of a larger COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium. This consortium is designed to provide access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing resources in support of COVID-19 research.

Self-Powered X-Ray Detector to Revolutionize Imaging for Medicine, Security and Research

A new X-ray detector prototype is on the brink of revolutionizing medical imaging with dramatic reduction in radiation exposure and the associated health risks. The detector also boosts resolution in security scanners and research applications, thanks to a collaboration between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory researchers.

NIH to Launch Public-Private Partnership to Speed COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Options

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Foundation for the NIH are bringing together more than a dozen leading biopharmaceutical companies, the Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to develop an international strategy for a coordinated research response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S.–Israeli Robot Accessory Arm Provides Enhanced Capabilities and Precise Manipulation

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate joined Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and the Israel National Police Bomb Disposal Division to develop a new accessory arm as part of the Upgrade Explosives Ordnance Disposal Robot Project. The robot accessory arm facilitates research, development, testing, and evaluation activities and delivers enhanced capabilities to law enforcement and public safety personnel in both countries.

Safe Paths: A Privacy-First Approach to Contact Tracing

Fast containment is key to halting the progression of pandemics, and rapid determination of a diagnosed patient’s locations and contact history is a vital step for communities and cities. Smartphones can aid in this process. A team led by MIT Media Lab Associate Professor Ramesh Raskar is designing and developing Safe Paths, a citizen-centric, open source, privacy-first set of digital tools and platforms to slow the spread of pandemics, like COVID-19.

Mutual Aid Resource Planner

In the aftermath of a disaster, emergency responders regularly rely on mutual aid support from neighboring towns to help response and to cover the area while recovery efforts continue. In its research on improving mutual aid partnerships, the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate developed an application to help jurisdictions create better mutual aid plans.

New Mathematical Model Can More Effectively Track Epidemics

A new model developed by National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Princeton and Carnegie Mellon improves tracking of epidemics by accounting for mutations in diseases. Now the researchers are advancing their model to allow leaders to evaluate the effects of countermeasures to epidemics ¬– before they deploy them.

HHS Accepts Donations of Medicine to Strategic National Stockpile as Possible Treatments for COVID-19 Patients

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate donated by Bayer Pharmaceuticals, for possible use in treating patients hospitalized with COVID-19 or for use in clinical trials.

NIST Releases Online Economic Decision Tool to Help Communities Plan for Disaster

Preparing a community’s buildings and infrastructure for a hurricane or earthquake can be an incredibly complicated and costly endeavor. A new online tool from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) could streamline this process and help decision makers invest in cost-effective measures to improve their community’s ability to mitigate, adapt to, and recover from hazardous events.