USIP's Science, Technology & Peacebuilding Roundup

United States Institute of Peace

Center of Innovation for Science, Technology and Peacebuilding

Weekly News Roundup, January 13 - 19, 2011

Table of Contents

Predeployment Mental Health Screening May Help Troops
Stringent mental health screening before deployment appeared to reduce the rate of psychiatric and behavioral problems among U.S. Army soldiers in Iraq by 78 percent, a new study has found. Among other things, suicidal thoughts and actions fell by half, according to the results of the study, which were released online Tuesday in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
See the full article (Business Week, 1/18/11)
[Return to top]

U.S. Shifts Focus to Press China for Market Access
A series of trade restrictions imposed by the Chinese government within China, including administrative controls, requirements to transfer sophisticated technology, state subsidies to favored domestic companies and so-called indigenous laws meant to favor homegrown businesses, have angered many American manufacturing and high-tech companies, which are rapidly finding themselves cut out of the world's fastest growing market.
See the full article (New York Times, Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, 1/18/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
Click to read about USIP's upcoming training session "Engaging with Identity-Based Differences" on January 24 at 9:00am.
[Return to top]

Laser Beams Can Now Deliver Energy to Machines through Thin Air
A laser, aimed continuously from the ground at photovoltaic cells on the Pelican's underside, a remotely controlled helicopter drone, charged the chopper's battery, keeping her aloft for an unprecedented 12 hours and 27 minutes. LaserMotive reports that American army officials, including some responsible for special-forces kit, have expressed a desire to obtain power-beaming systems for drones. DARPA, the American Defence Department's technology agency, is also sponsoring research into power beaming.
See the full article (Economist, 1/18/11)
[Return to top]

Did a U.S. Government Lab Help Israel Develop Stuxnet?
Questions are being raised about the involvement of U.S. government researchers in the creation of a digital weapon that experts believe may have sabotaged centrifuges at a uranium-enrichment plant in Iran. Researchers at the Idaho National Laboratory, which is overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy, may have passed critical information to Israel about vulnerabilities in a system that controls Iran's enrichment plant at Natanz.
See the full article (Wired, Kim Zetter, 1/17/11)
[Return to top]

In New Military, Data Overload Can Be Deadly
Data is among the most potent weapons of the 21st century. Unprecedented amounts of raw information help the military determine what targets to hit and what to avoid. And drone-based sensors have given rise to a new class of wired warriors who must filter the information sea. But sometimes they are drowning.
See the full article (New York Times, Thom Shanker and Matt Richtel, 1/16/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Israeli Test on Worm Called Crucial in Iran Nuclear Delay
The Dimona complex in the Negev desert is famous as the heavily guarded heart of Israel's never-acknowledged nuclear arms program. Behind Dimona's barbed wire, the experts say, Israel has spun nuclear centrifuges virtually identical to Iran's at Natanz, where Iranian scientists are struggling to enrich uranium. They say Dimona tested the effectiveness of the Stuxnet computer worm, a destructive program that appears to have wiped out roughly a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges.
See the full article (New York Times, William J. Broad, John Markoff and David E. Sanger, 1/15/11) *NYT sign-up may be required to view the full article
[Return to top]

Did we miss anything?

Share this: FacebookDeliciousDiggMySpaceStumbleUponGoogleMicrosoftYahoo! BookmarksLinkedIn| Forward this to a Friend