Cyber security concept on virtual screen with a consultant doing presentation in the background

CYBER:

Morale retention problems at NSA degrade national securityLow morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency’s most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part. READ MORE

Fake news is not a technology problemEver since the election, we have heard a chorus of voices, largely in the media, explaining that a key influence on the election results was the spread of “fake news” online. The Guardian, for example, recently published a pointed critique of Google, opening with the claim that “Google must urgently review its search ranking system because of “compelling” evidence that it is being “manipulated and controlled” by rightwing propagandists.” Similar pieces have appeared blaming Facebook for making it too easy to share “fake news.” This critique is wide of the mark: “Fake news” and misinformation are not new problems, and are also not primarily technology problems. READ MORE

Facebook, Microsoft and other internet companies joining forcesFacebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube say they will create a database of terrorist content online to act more quickly whenever videos, imagery or other information appears on their platforms. In a joint statement, the companies said they would share digital fingerprints called “hashes” for videos or images pulled from their platforms. READ MORE

FOOD SAFETY:

Cold plasma technology looks promisingDescribed as a “purple blow torch” by food safety scientists, cold plasma treatment can kill 99.9 percent of norovirus on blueberries without damaging the delicate fruit, giving a food safety boost to the so-called superfood. READ MORE

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE:

Updated Veterinary Feed Directive Rule seeks to protect important antibioticsThe updated veterinary feed directive rule requires that a VFD be issued for all medically important antibiotics administered in feed to poultry and livestock, but it also affects medically important water-administered antibiotics, which will require a veterinary prescription for legal use in food animals. READ MORE

Veterinary Feed Directive Guidelines at a glance

Veterinary Feed Directive overview video

ANIMAL HEALTH:

Microbiome and animal health“Microbiome” is a term used to describe the community of microorganisms that live on the skin and mucosal surfaces of animals. The gut microbiome houses the majority of these microorganisms and is critical for proper immune development and digestion of nutrients. Understanding how the microbiome impacts health and disease of swine is an emerging area of study. READ MORE

Animal research remains critical needIt is hard to put a dollar value on all the research that placed innovation, enhanced technologies and practices at farmers’ and ranchers’ fingertips, helping them to reach new productivity thresholds that our forefathers could never imagine. The return on investment from both private and public sector has returned high yields in productivity and value to the U.S. economy. In 2007, the USDA Economic and Research Service roughly estimated that each dollar spent on agriculture research returned about $10 worth of benefits to the economy. READ MORE

Animal agriculture protesting persistsThe National Hog Farmers blog argues that American agriculture built this nation, but over the years—as many Americans traded the hard work of the farm for a perceived easier life in the city, the knowledge of agriculture gained from getting your hands dirty virtually disappeared. As fewer people farm, the blog argues, opposition to farming practices gets louder and louder. READ MORE

PORT, FISHING AND SHIPPING SECURITY:

Fishing ship mysteryWhen water first began flooding into the Alaska Juris on July 26, a network of bilge alarms should have unleashed a cacophony of sound to alert the crew that something was wrong. But crew testified the alarm did not go off, a troubling development that prompted Coast Guard officials to question Eche about how the system operated. READ MORE

ENVIRONMENT:

California drought kills 100 million treesThe U.S. Forest Service has identified an additional 36 million dead trees across California since its last aerial survey in May 2016. This brings the total number of dead trees since 2010 to over 102 million on 7.7 million acres of California’s drought stricken forests. In 2016 alone, 62 million trees have died, representing more than a 100 percent increase in dead trees across the state from 2015. Millions of additional trees are weakened and expected to die in the coming months and years. READ MORE

CBRNE:

New grasses neutralize toxic pollution from bombs, explosives and munitionsEngineers have developed the first transgenic grass species that can take up and destroy RDX — a toxic compound that has been widely used in explosives since World War II and contaminates military bases across the U.S. and some offsite drinking water wells. READ MORE