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Drones for Radiation Detection, Google Glass, EMS Mental Health

Topics in this issue include dealing with mass panic during terrorist attacks, how the human body reacts to radiation exposure, and using drones for radiation detection.

What Causes Mass Panic in Emergency Situations?

In emergency situations such as terrorist attacks, natural catastrophes, and fires, there is always a risk of mass panic leading to deadly crowd disasters. But what causes mass panic and where are the danger zones? Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Disney Research Zurich, ETH Zurich, and Rutgers University have examined these questions in a virtual environment. Science Daily >>

Pipe Bomb Explodes Near Jersey Shore 5km Run in Support of US Marines

A pipe bomb exploded in a Jersey Shore town on Saturday, shortly before thousands of runners were due to participate in a charity 5km race to benefit US Marines and sailors. Authorities immediately cleared the boardwalk and beach area and bomb-sniffing dogs were used to search the area. The Guardian >>

Tardigrade Protein Helps Human DNA Withstand Radiation

Tardigrades, or water bears, are pudgy, microscopic animals that look like a cross between a caterpillar and a naked mole rat. These aquatic invertebrates are consummate survivors, capable of withstanding a host of extremes, including near total dehydration and the insults of space. Nature >>

CSES Supports Minelab’s C-IED Work

Chemring Sensors & Electronic Systems (CSES) will support Minelab Electronics in its work to develop a counter improvised explosive device (C-IED) handheld detector for the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Minelab is working under a $6.7 million collaboration agreement with the Australian Department of Defence to deliver a production-ready prototype of a new C-IED handheld detector for the ADF. Shepard Media >>

The Virtues of Nuclear Ignorance

If a U.S. scientist were allowed to dismantle a Russian warhead personally, he or she could identify it as legitimate fairly easily, even if it differed in design from American models. But, in doing so, the scientist would necessarily learn many classified details about the weapon, something that the Russians would never consent to. (Nor would the Americans, if their roles were swapped.) This problem has shaped the form of arms-control agreements. New Yorker >>

National Survey on EMS Mental Health Services

EMS is an inherently stressful job. On any given shift, EMTs and paramedics may be called on to render care to people in horrific circumstances. Many EMS practitioners can tell stories of answering calls involving violence, death, or abuse that continue to haunt them. Even on more routine calls, EMS practitioners face the risks of being exposed to infectious disease, bloodborne pathogens, or other hazardous substances. And then there is the stress of being subjected to threats or violence from a would-be patient who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, suffering from a mental health disorder, or has criminal intent. NAEMT >>

Flying Robots with Radiation Detectors Could Detect Toxic Leaks Safely

Drones can go where people shouldn’t. When it comes to finding radioactive material, hazardous gases, or even just normal fuel leaks, flying a robot in to detect the danger could be faster than having a person put on protective gear and explore for themself. Dronemakers FlyCam UAV partnered with US Nuclear Corp., a radiation detection company, to put just such a sensor on a drone and use it to look for radiation. Popular Science >>

Manhattan Explosion: New York on Full Alert After City Rocked by Blast

New York was placed on full alert after 29 people were injured in an explosion in the Chelsea area of Manhattan on Saturday evening, with at least one other device being investigated by police in the city. The Guardian >>

The Bombings of America That We Forgot

It may be hard to recall now, but there was a time when most Americans were decidedly more blasé about bombing attacks. This was during the 1970s, when protest bombings in America were commonplace, especially in hard-hit cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco. Nearly a dozen radical underground groups, dimly remembered outfits such as the Weather Underground, the New World Liberation Front and the Symbionese Liberation Army, set off hundreds of bombs during that tumultuous decade. Time >>

India’s Nuclear Security in Aftermath of Uri Attack – Analysis

Indian army infantry base in Uri came under terrorist attack in the wee hours of September 18, 2016. Four terrorists entered the base and managed to kill 20 soldiers. It apparently took place amidst the change of shifts and caught them off guard. These attacks raise concerns also about the security of India’s vital installations, especially nuclear ones. Eurasia Review >>

New York City Repurposes Text Emergency Alert System to Warn About Chelsea Bomber

New Yorkers throughout the city were alerted Monday morning to the name of the Chelsea bombing suspect when the city activated its emergency alert system, the first time it has done so for a wanted suspect. The system, which utilizes cellphone towers to disseminate the message, blasted out Ahmad Khan Rahami’s name and age at 7:54 a.m., asking people to call 911 if they saw him. Rahami was captured less than three hours later in Linden, New Jersey. Emergency Management >>

First Responders Give Google Glass a Second Life

When first responders enter the scene of an active shooting or chemical spill, they must rapidly decide how to prioritize patient care. The current triage system uses color-coded tags corresponding to the seriousness of a patient’s injuries. The problem is, first responders don’t always have the medical expertise to accurately identify who needs the most pressing attention. Popular Science >>

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