Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Short Takes – 11-1-22

Who Sees What You Flush? Wastewater Surveillance for Public Health is on the Rise, but a new Survey Reveals Many US Adults are Still Unaware. NextGov.com article. Implies that sewer surveillance could be targeted at individual households. Pull quote: “We found more support for monitoring external threats in wastewater, such as diseases, environmental toxins and terrorist threats like anthrax. Fewer people expressed support for tracking lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking or use of birth control, diet, and indicators of mental health, including stress hormones, which are emerging areas of monitoring not yet tracked in many local areas.”

Agencies Shouldn’t 'Just Trust' Software Vendors' Security Assurances, IG Warns. NextGov.com article. The check is in the mail… Pull quote: “Asked how agencies might select vendors to audit, Lipner said, “even random is not bad, but you can do better than that.” He pointed to the value of security researchers for detecting inconsistencies in vendors' stated security practices and a record of cybersecurity incidents as factors that could prompt an audit.” Another reason not to report breaches.

‘Planet Killer’ Asteroid Spotted That Poses Distant Risk to Earth. NYTimes.com article. Pull quote: “Detecting uncharted space rocks relies on spying sunlight glinting off their surfaces. But some asteroids occupy corners of the sky in which the sun’s glare smothers them, and, like embers flitting in front of a thermonuclear bonfire, they fade from view.”

New Catalyst Can Turn Smelly Hydrogen Sulfide Into a Cash Cow. NewsWise.com article. H2S + light/catalyst = H2 + S Pull quote: “In a published study in the American Chemical Society’s high-impact journal ACS Energy LettersRice engineer, physicist and chemist Naomi Halas and collaborators describe a method that uses gold nanoparticles to convert hydrogen sulfide into high-demand hydrogen gas and sulfur in a single step. Better yet, the one-step process gets all its energy from light. Study co-authors include Rice’s Peter Nordlander, Princeton University’s Emily Carter and Syzygy Plasmonics’ Hossein Robatjazi.”

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