May News Round Up



Syria’s Civil War Explained – AJE News The Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed thus far.


Minamata patients speak out on anniversary of disease – AJE News Sunday marks 60 years since the Minamata disease, a neurological condition caused by toxic dumping, was discovered.


Return to Chernobyl with Ukraine’s ‘liquidators’ – Al Jazeera English The remaining members of a brigade of firefighters return to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone 30 years after the disaster.


This year has shown that terrorism is again coming closer to Europe. After Madrid in 2003 and London in 2005, this year it has already visited Paris, Brussels and Verviers. Tomorrow it could be Frankfurt, Berlin or Rome.


UK terror threat: Nato and EU say ‘justified concerns’ Isis planning chemical and nuclear attacks The news comes as German spy agency BND warns beach resorts across Europe could become targets.


Army brings back sniffer vehicles for chemical weapons threat


Threat Analysis:


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




Screening existing drugs to uncover new weapons against antibiotic-resistant bacteria Bacteria that are resistant to standard antibiotics represent one of the biggest threats to global health today. Help might just be at hand though, with researchers using a screening method to identify existing drugs that might well prove effective against the dangerous bacteria.


Testing proves the worth of Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode When Elon Musk announced the Tesla Model X would be fitted with a Bioweapon Defense Mode, we wondered how well the system would work. Tesla’s preliminary tests suggest the answer is pretty damn well, which is good news for early-adopting hypochondriacs keen to hum around in an exclusion zone.


Material that thickens when stretched may lead to better body armor Chemists at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) have just engineered a substance that thickens when stretched. It could lead to better bullet-proof materials or improved running shoes.



New low-cost Zika test looks good on paper Researchers have developed a low-cost, paper-based method of detecting viruses like Zika and Ebola, and can even identify a specific strain. The team believes the test can be used in the field to quickly and easily detect the presence of a virus, and be used to slow the spread of future outbreaks.


NASA is observing how microbes adapt aboard the ISS The International Space Station (ISS) is packed with cutting-edge research, including efforts to understand vision change caused by microgravity, and work to see how stays on the station affect the human immune system. A new study, known as Microbial Tracking-1, is looking to study microbes.





Glued-together virus-like particles make for simple and effective vaccines Developing vaccines is a difficult and time-consuming endeavor, but a new technique developed by researchers at the University of Copenhagen could revolutionize the practice. The simple method could have a big impact, with the potential to create vaccines for everything from asthma to cancer.


Portable device detects Ebola on the spot The sooner the Ebola virus is detected in blood samples, the better. Unfortunately, those samples currently have to be shipped off to labs for analysis. That could soon change, though, as a compact new device can identify Ebola in under half an hour.