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Tracking forest threats

Alerts from an early warning system developed in part by DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could help protect forests across the U.S. from the threats of insects, disease and wildfire. Led by the USDA Forest Service, the multi-agency project uses h...

6 years after the tsunami disaster

Six years after the tsunami disaster of 26/12/2004, the set-up of the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System for the Indian Ocean (GITEWS) has been completed. The project ends on 31 March 2011. After that, Indonesia accepts the sole respon...

Warning lights mark shellfish that aren’t safe to eat

Red tides and similar blooms can render some seafood unsafe to eat, though it can be difficult to tell whether a particular batch harbors toxins that cause food poisoning. A new kind of marker developed by chemists at the University of California,...

Quebec City researchers pave the way for novel treatment of pulmonary...

Montreal - A Heart and Stroke Foundation researcher has discovered what could be the first truly effective breakthrough in the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension, a devastating, life-threatening condition which results in an enlargemen...

The sound of the underground! New acoustic early warning system for...

A new type of sound sensor system has been developed to predict the likelihood of a landslide. Thought to be the first system of its kind in the world, it works by measuring and analysing the acoustic behaviour of soil to establish when a landsli...

On guard: Sentinel plants could warn of bioterror

U.S. soldiers walk down a trail in a war zone. One of them pulls out a hand-held electronic device and points it at a native plant. The readings on the device indicate the plant was exposed to nerve gas sometime in the last 48 hours, allowing the soldiers to don protective gear before they suffer a lethal dose. Although such a device does not exist, it's not as far-fetched as it may sound. As concerns grow over the threat of bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction, university researchers are working on an early warning system -- the figurative canary in the mineshaft -- that could be as unobtrusive and ubiquitous as plants in a landscape.

Tiny Cell-Based Chemical Detectors Have Protection Potential

A highly sensitive, inexpensive "lab-on-a-chip" that provides warning within seconds of even trace amounts of toxic chemicals in water was designed and demonstrated recently by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists and collaborators. The prototype sensor system monitors the natural response of bacterial cells bound within the microscopic channels of a plastic microfluidics device -- a miniaturized chemical and biochemical analysis system. In the presence of certain chemicals, the cells eject large amounts of potassium, which is detected with an optical sensor that changes color. The prototype was demonstrated as part of an early warning system for industrial pollutants that interfere with sewage treatment, but it also has potential homeland security applications.

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