Friday, March 29, 2024

Short Takes – 3-29-24

Homeland Security’s CWMD unit loses 10% of staff, faces continued attrition concerns. article. Pull quote: ““The end of CFATS authorization has, in my opinion, affected our chemical readiness with regard to identifying threats that would be in chemical facilities,” Callahan said. “CFATS and CWMD are siblings. And they work together closely and we are missing them in this whole of government thread.””

Plan to resuscitate beleaguered vulnerability database draws criticism. article. Pull quote: ““They weren’t able to analyze all CVEs before the slowdown, so I hope the consortium can help them get to 100% coverage,” he said via email. “We don’t have new data we can share, but what we are seeing essentially maps to public reporting about the number of CVEs left unanalyzed. We understand that NIST is aware of the problem and the concerns — and is working diligently to modernize NVD.” 

Armor: New American M10 Tank. article. Pull quote: “Before the M10 was developed, M1 tanks would supply artillery support for the infantry using their limited number of high-explosive shells. The M1 normally carries some 120mm armor piercing anti-tank shells plus a variable number of 120mm high-explosive shells for infantry support. The main function of the M1 is destruction of enemy tanks and other vehicles. The M10 is designed to supply infantry support more effectively than the M1 and allow the M1s to concentrate on their anti-tank and anti-vehicle role.”

Rare meningitis and bloodstream infections on the rise in the US, CDC warns. article. Pull quote: “Meningococcal disease most often manifests as meningitis, an infection of the membranes over the brain and spinal cord. However, 64% of people infected with ST-1466 instead had bloodstream infections, and about 4% had septic arthritis, an infection of the joints and surrounding fluid. Doctors should be aware that individuals with these manifestations might not show any telltale signs of meningitis — like headache, stiff neck or altered mental status — but may show other symptoms, such as a purple rash, fever and rapid breathing, in the case of bloodstream infection.”

NASA’s New Asteroid Sample Is Already Rewriting Solar System History. article. Pull quote: “Mathis wants to use Bennu to explore the boundary between chemistry and biology. “There are some molecules that are so complex that only life could have made them,” he says, offering vitamin B12 as an example. He isn’t expecting anyone to find anything like that in the sample. But he wants to find out which molecules can be made by both life and abiotic chemistry and which can only be made by life. “Where should that transition be?””

Ever Larger Cargo Ships Threaten Bridges, Ports and Other Structures. article. Pull quote: “Barriers called fenders and dolphins are commonly placed in port channels to protect bridges and other infrastructure from ship strikes. Dolphins, depending on their design, can reduce the force of a ship strike on a bridge very little or by as much as 60 percent, says structural engineer Bassem Andrawes of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But powerful, sufficiently large ships “can climb over” dolphins, he says, or plow through them. It is not always economically or physically feasible to build barriers large enough to protect port bridges from the biggest ships.”

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