December News Round Up



Japan Fukushima nuclear plant ‘clean-up costs double’ Japan’s government estimates the cost of cleaning up radioactive contamination and compensating victims of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster has more than doubled, reports say. The latest estimate from the trade ministry put the expected cost at some 20 trillion yen ($180bn, £142bn). The original estimate was for $50bn, which was increased to $100bn three years later.


Winners | Civil Service Awards: The Project Delivery Excellence Award In August 2013, two rockets containing a chemical warfare agent were launched in Syria resulting in 1,300 civilian deaths. The Chemical, Biological, Radiological & Nuclear team delivered – early and under the £65m budget – a complex and life-saving portfolio of eight projects within 18 months. They made a real difference in Syria and provide a significant longer term CBRN capability for contingent operations.


Viral content: Why the Food Standards Agency is watching what you tweet | Alphr Don’t judge people for tweeting their symptoms – it turns out they’re doing the country a huge favour


Circle of Poison – Al Jazeera English A look at the powerful pesticide industry, its effect on the developing world and how small farmers are fighting back.


Who uses chlorine gas in Syria? – Al Jazeera English The warring sides in Syria stand accused of attacking civilians with chlorine gas.


The Anacortes Refinery Disaster – Al Jazeera English A report on the aftermath of the Anacortes oil refinery explosion and ongoing efforts to hold the company accountable.


ISIL produced military grade weapons in Iraq: report | Iraq News | Al Jazeera Arms monitoring group says ISIL has an extensive and organised war production machine, much like a regular army.


UN: Threat of hacking attack on nuclear plants growing | Inquirer News The “nightmare scenario” is rising for a hacking attack on a nuclear power plant’s computer system that causes the uncontrolled release of radiation, the United Nations’ deputy chief warned Thursday.


The unravelling of Syria’s Eastern Ghouta | News | Al Jazeera Analysts say the Syrian government is planning an operation to either remove or disarm rebel fighters.


Eliminating Weapons of Mass Destruction Only Way to Prevent Non-State Actors from Acquiring Them, Deputy Secretary-General Tells Security Council | Meetings Coverage and Press Releases




Predatory bacteria help fight antibiotic-resistant bugs in the body One of the more likely doomsday scenarios may be a future where our antibiotics become useless against a rising tide of “superbugs.” According to new research, predatory bacteria could be injected into the body to work with the immune system in hunting down harmful, antibiotic-resistant bugs.


Humans and Viruses: Bumper load of new viruses identified Research teams from Australia and China have discovered almost 1,500 new viruses. Yes, that’s right: 1,500. These viruses were found in invertebrates. These viruses may have been around for billions of years.


Injections of Predatory Bacteria Work Alongside Host Immune Cells to Treat Shigella Infection in Zebrafish Larvae
Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus are predatory bacteria that invade and kill a range of Gram-negative bacterial pathogens in natural environments and in vitro [ 1, 2 ]. In this study, we investigated Bdellovibrio as an injected, antibacterial treatment in vivo, using zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae infected with an antibiotic-resistant strain of the human pathogen Shigella flexneri.


Clot-busting skin patch keeps the blood flowing with microneedles According to the CDC, every year 60,000-100,000 people die in the US alone from blood clots formed from conditions known as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolisms. Now, a new patch developed by researchers in North Carolina could help battle these life-threateners in a novel way.


Why dogs’ noses out-sniff the most advanced bomb detectors In 2010, after spending billions on research, Pentagon officials admitted that there was no better bomb detector than a dog’s nose. Now scientists say the reason for this might lie simply in the way they sniff.


Glowing crystals detect and trap contaminants in drinking water Researchers have developed tiny, glowing crystals that can both detect and trap toxic heavy metals at the same time. Similar research has been done on structures to either detect or remove such nasty substances, but this appears to be the first capable of doing both.


From bombs to bananas: A dose of radiation reality ​Ever since Henri Becquerel noticed that certain minerals blurred photograph plates, radiation has fascinated and frightened the public. To clear away the fog in the cloud chamber, New Atlas looks at the truth about radiation in our everyday lives.


Two-tone microneedle patch is built for comfort We have seen numerous takes on microneedle technology, but researchers in Sweden believe they have come with a design to top them all, with a patch that combines soft and hard materials for better performance and comfort. ​


Man-flu is real: Viruses can evolve to affect men and women differently Why are men hit harder than women when infected with the same virus? Researchers say you can thank evolution for this – viruses tend to be “kinder” to women to ensure they are passed on to their offspring.​


Man-flu is real: Viruses can evolve to affect men and women differentlyWhy are men hit harder than women when infected with the same virus? Researchers say you can thank evolution for this – viruses tend to be “kinder” to women to ensure they are passed on to their offspring.​


Threat Analysis:


Global Security CBRN Assessment – News and Defence Headlines | IHS Jane’s 360 Global Security CBRN Assessment News and Defence Headlines


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