Protection Equipment Demonstration: Something for Everyone

Under rows of tents and inside large aircraft hangars, more than 2,600 force protection products were demonstrated and exhibited for Defense Department, federal and local agencies at Force Protection Equipment Demonstration IV May 6-8. Among the highlights: Geocell Systems, which demonstrated how to build sand barriers using a foldable plastic device. The modular and collapsible plastic grids require no special tools and can be assembled in seconds to hold sand horizontally to any desired length. The grids are also stackable to hold sand vertically. Barney Greinke, director of marketing for the company, said the sand-filled wall can act as a barrier against vehicles, and can help stop small-arms fire and blast fragments from small bombs. “You have to understand that a wall of sand 4 feet wide by 8 feet tall weighs around 12,000 pounds,” Greinke said, “So it can be quite effective. It’s basically replaces the sandbag.”

$150M for Hydrogen Vehicle, Infrastructure Project

Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today the release of a $150 million solicitation for a project that will spur the development of both hydrogen vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure needed to support them. This solicitation represents a critical step in implementing President Bush’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and supports his FreedomCAR Initiative.

Noisy inner life of cells

Within the smoothly operating factory that is the cell, tiny molecular machines carry out their tasks with order and certainty. Or at least that’s what many scientists once believed. In a recent issue of Science, researchers report the first demonstration that bacterial cells intrinsically possess a significant degree of randomness or “noise.” More precisely, they show that key “gene-reading” machines may operate unpredictably, resulting in randomly fluctuating amounts of individual proteins.

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

From anti-aging to the search for alien life, we promise to never bore.