April 2018 News Round Up


Nuclear Material Meant for $70 Million Sale to Mystery Black Market Buyer Seized in Turkey Turkish authorities have detained four men they claim are part of a criminal gang in possession of large quantities of a radioactive nuclear element they had hoped to sell on the black market for over $70 million.
Nerve agent: Who controls the world’s most toxic chemicals? International experts are due in the UK, to test samples of the nerve agent used in the attempted murder of a spy and his daughter. How do they keep track of the world’s most toxic chemicals?
Russian spy: UK brands offer of joint inquiry ‘perverse’ Russia’s call for a joint inquiry into the poisoning of an ex-spy and his daughter in England is “perverse”, the UK has told the international chemical weapons watchdog in the Hague.
http://time.com/5177454/timothy-cunningham-cdc-missing-found/ The body of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention employee who mysteriously vanished almost two months ago was recovered this week from a river in Atlanta, police said Thursday.
Body found in Ipswich ‘chemical incident’ Emergency service workers wearing protective suits were last night investigating the death of a man at an Ipswich home where there was a strong smell of chemicals.
100 years of chemical weapons Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, the former commander of the UK Chemical, Biological and Nuclear Regiment, takes us through the history of chemical weapons – starting with chlorine, a choking agent that was first used in battle a century ago.
Learn more about Novichok agents The relentless campaign to find and sink Germany’s WWII battleship, the Tirpitz, left its mark on the landscape that is evident even today.
Clean-up work underway in Salisbury in next phase of recovery Work is beginning in Salisbury to decontaminate potentially affected sites for the city and its visitors.
Novichok nerve agent use in Salisbury: UK government response This link from GOV.UK sets out the government’s response to the Salisbury attack, where a military-grade nerve agent was deployed in the UK on 4 March 2018.


How “out of body experiences” help proteins neutralize chemical agents In a breakthrough that could lead to a new class of materials with functions found only in living systems, scientists at UC Berkeley have figured out a way to keep certain proteins active outside of the cell
Soak and destroy: Titanium nanoparticles trap and kill contaminants in water A polymer mat developed at Rice University has the ability to fish biologically harmful contaminants from water through a strategy known as “bait, hook and destroy.”
Robot crawls through pipes to locate uranium pair of autonomous robots developed by Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute will soon be driving through miles of pipes at the U.S. Department of Energy’s former uranium enrichment plant in Piketon, Ohio, to identify uranium deposits on pipe walls.
Chip detects Legionnaires’ bacteria in minutes, not days In an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, finding the exact source as quickly as possible is essential to preventing further infections.
“Game-changing” synthesized antibiotic successfully treats infections for the first time A “game changing” new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesised and used to treat an infection for the first time and could lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years.
Large study finds global antibiotic use is skyrocketing, driving drug resistance fears A startling new study has found that between 2000 and 2015, global consumption of antibiotics jumped 65 percent. An international team of researchers generated the results from data gathered from 76 countries, finding that while antibiotic use soared in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), consumption in high-income countries (HICs) was static but still considerably higher per capita than LIMCs.
Remotely monitoring suspect nuclear reactors using antineutrinos Harnessing the unusual characteristics of the elusive subatomic particles known as antineutrinos, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will lead a new international multi-laboratory and university collaboration for nonproliferation research. The program will support the development of detection hardware and algorithms to enable improved nonproliferation detector capabilities for remote monitoring of nuclear reactors.
Newly discovered metabolic mechanism could be an off-switch for inflammation Scientists have discovered a new metabolic process in the body that can switch off inflammation. They have discovered that ‘itaconate’ – a molecule derived from glucose – acts as a powerful off-switch for macrophages, which are the cells in the immune system that lie at the heart of many inflammatory diseases including arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and heart disease.
Injectable bandages promise to stop bleeding and speed wound healing RA team from Texas A&M University has created a novel injectable bandage that blends a commonly used food thickening agent with nanoparticles. The result is an injectable hydrogel than can rapidly stop bleeding and potentially promote wound healing.
Oil-eating bacterium could help slurp up spills An enzyme derived from a bacterium cleans soil contaminated by petroleum-based products in a simple, effective, and environmentally-friendly manner.
Clear, durable “omniphobic” coating repels almost any liquid In an advance that could grime-proof phone screens, countertops, camera lenses and countless other everyday items, a materials science researcher at the University of Michigan has demonstrated a smooth, durable, clear coating that swiftly sheds water, oils, alcohols and, yes, peanut butter.
Bacteria-killing graphene flakes may prevent implant infections A tiny layer of graphene flakes becomes a deadly weapon and kills bacteria, stopping infections during procedures such as implant surgery. This is the findings of new research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, recently published in the scientific journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.
Aquatic moss could clean up arsenic from contaminated waterways A moss capable of removing arsenic from contaminated water has been discovered by researchers from Stockholm University. And it happens quickly – in just one hour, the arsenic level is so low that the water is no longer harmful for people to drink.