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September/October News Round Up

News:

 

Man versus virus | The Economist Donald Ainslie (“D.A.”) Henderson, epidemiologist, died on August 19th, aged 87

 

ISIL chemical attacks ‘expected’ as Mosul battle nears – News from Al Jazeera Kurdish forces say they fear an increase in ISIL’s chemical attacks to weaken the frontlines as Mosul offensive looms.

 

Suspected Aleppo chlorine attack chokes dozens, rescue workers, monitors say | Reuters A suspected chlorine gas attack on an opposition-held neighborhood in the Syrian city of Aleppo caused dozens of cases of suffocation on Tuesday, rescue workers and a monitoring group said.

 

Russia blocks UN move to sanction Syria for chemical attacks | Middle East Eye The Russian UN ambassador questioned whether a UN report had provided enough evidence of President Assad’s chemical weapons attacks

 

Syria’s war: Use of chemical gas to be investigated – News from Al Jazeera Probe announcement by chemical-weapons watchdog comes as bombing kills at least 29 people in Tadif and al-Sukkari.

 

US to destroy 2,600 tonnes of mustard gas stockpile – News from Al Jazeera Robots will dismantle 78,000 chemical-filled shells in compliance with an international treaty banning such weapons.

 

IS ‘chemical bomb factory’ destroyed in US-led attack in Iraq | Middle East Eye US says its coalition bombed pharmaceutical factory near Mosul converted to make chlorine and mustard gas

 

Technology:

 

US Army tests drones that sniff out clouds of chemical agents Drones are proving their worth in dangerous situations we don’t want to expose humans to. Now a team from the US Army’s Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center have tested a new pair of unmanned vehicles that can be used to detect chemical and biological agents on the battlefield or in an attack.

 

Scientists put “five-second rule” to the test Most people would have used the “five-second rule” at some point in their lives, but is there any truth to it? Researchers at Rutgers University have tested the rate that bacteria transfers from various surfaces to various foods, and their findings may be hard to stomach.

 

High-tech sensor detects E. coli ASAP Detection of E. coli bacteria involves tests that typically take several hours, and must be performed in a lab. That could soon change, however, as scientists have developed a portable sensor that can do the job in 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Fear the superbug: Watch bacteria develop high-level drug-resistance in a giant Petri dish Crafty bacteria that evade the forces of current drugs are a real concern. Scientists have built a new tool to study how the microscopic killers operate, developing a giant Petri dish where they can be seen evolving resistance to rising concentrations of antibiotics in a matter of days.

 

Radiation’s cancer-causing fingerprint lifted from broken DNA Researchers say that for the first time, they’ve spotted radiation’s exact effect on the DNA in cancerous cells, which could help them distinguish which cancers are caused by radiation and perhaps develop cures specific to that form of the disease.

 

New sensor chip will give you quick analysis of your drinking water The new AquaDx chip will work with the hand-held MyDx portable analyzer to test for the presence of toxic chemicals or elements in water in about six minutes.

 

US scientists test tiny water purifier powered by light – News from Al Jazeera Stanford University team says device harnesses UV rays and visible light at unprecedented rate to kill bacteria.

 

Threat Analysis:

Lloyds: Use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Weapons by Non-State Actors

United States Army Combined Arms Centre: http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20161031_art012.pdf

Janes CBRN Assessment: http://www.janes.com/security/cbrn-assessment
 

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