Jan/Feb News Round Up


IBC Threat Assessment January 2016 | CBRNe Portal



North Korea carries out fourth nuclear test | IHS Jane’s 360 Key Points North Korea’s fourth nuclear test is unlikely to have been of a hydrogen (thermonuclear) weapon, as claimed by Pyongyang. Other possibilities are that the test involved tritium in a ‘boosted bomb’, or that it was a simple fission weapon. Ultimately, North Korea is unlikely to have



Use of chemical weapons continues in Syria | IHS Jane’s 360 The Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on 23 November 2015 expressed “grave concern” that chemical weapons (CW) had once again been used in Syria after its fact-finding mission (FFM) confirmed “with the utmost confidence” that sulphur mustard had



Syria’s continuing chemical fallout – Al Jazeera English The threat that toxic gas or nerve agents will be deployed in a conflict between countries has been all but eliminated.



Light-activated quantum dots successfully combat drug-resistant bacteria New research being conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder has found that tiny particles known as quantum dots might be useful in tackling antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which cause in excess of 23,000 deaths in the US every year.



Machine-learning could tackle antibiotic-resistant bacteria A team of researchers is using a potent machine-learning system to study an infection that’s highly resistant to antibiotic therapies. With the work already yielding positive results, it could lead to improved understanding of bacterium, and ultimately the discovery of new treatments.



Sweat-sensing wristband monitors the state of your health Eyeing a future where wearables not only track our heart rate and activity, but things like hydration and muscle fatigue as well, Berkeley engineers have developed a flexible sensor that can measure biochemicals in perspiration in real-time for a more complete picture of our well-being. ​​



Hybrid polymer shows promise in self-repairing materials, smart drug delivery, and artificial muscles Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a hybrid polymer that combines soft and hard areas like bones and muscles in animals. According to the team, this breakthrough in nanoengineering opens the door to applications ranging from self-repairing materials to artificial muscles.


AirVisual Node helps users freshen up Despite the impact it can have on our health, we rarely monitor the quality of air that we are breathing. The new AirVisual Node keeps tabs on both indoor and outdoor air quality. It also provides recommendations to help improve the wellbeing of its users.



Natural clay found to kill deadly bacteria A global effort is under way to find treatments for deadly hospital-acquired infections, with many such bacteria proving resistant to antibiotics. Now, help may have been found in an unlikely place, with researchers finding positive results studying an old folk remedy – natural Canadian clay.


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