Category Archives: Science and Technology

Is Your Project’s Technology Up to the Job? Our New Draft Tech Readiness Assessment Guide Can Help Answer That

Technology can help solve some of the thorniest problems. But immature tech can create more problems than it solves. NASA, the Department of Defense, and others originally conceived of the idea of “technology readiness assessments” to determine technology maturity—whether the … Continue reading

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NASA’s Plans for Human Space Exploration (podcast)

In the 1960s, NASA had Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo to get humans to the moon. Today, the agency has the Orion multipurpose crew capsule and the Space Launch System, which could potentially get humans to Mars. Listen to Cristina … Continue reading

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Eyes in the Sky | Could We Be Headed for Less Accurate Weather Forecasts?

Satellites are critical for timely forecasts and warnings of extreme weather events. But, as we’ve discussed before, some of these satellites are aging and should be replaced. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration oversees key weather satellites, and today we’re … Continue reading

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Examining Ocean Acidification on World Oceans Day

Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and oceans are resulting in chemical changes known as “ocean acidification.” These changes may pose risks for some marine species and ecosystems, as well as for the coastal communities that rely on them … Continue reading

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Expanding Drinking Water Options

Providing clean and fresh water is one of the most essential municipal services. Recent reports about lead-contaminated drinking water in Flint, Michigan and ongoing drought in several parts of the nation, highlight the importance of ensuring the public has a … Continue reading

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Science and Technology at GAO

Readers of the WatchBlog know that GAO is more than financial audits. Our mission has grown over the years to include performance audits, bid protest adjudication, and other professional services for Congress. And the federal government has also changed. From … Continue reading

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Electromagnetic Risks to the Nation’s Electric Grid (podcast)

A world without electricity sounds like the setting of a summer blockbuster, but electromagnetic events could pose real risks to the national power grid. These risks can be the result of a man-made explosion high above the ground creating an … Continue reading

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Vehicle Cybersecurity (podcast)

You may not have noticed, but your car is turning into a computer on wheels. Software now controls things like braking and steering, as well as hands-free calling and keyless entry. But if your car is like a computer, is … Continue reading

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High-Containment Labs (podcast)

To protect the public’s health, scientists working on things like anthrax and bird flu keep those diseases in “high-containment labs.” Yet, government agencies have mistakenly shipped live samples of anthrax from such labs, raising some serious management questions. A team … Continue reading

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Bee Health (podcast)

Bees are critical to our food supply by pollinating crops that are worth billions of dollars to U.S. agriculture. Commercial beekeepers manage about 2 million honey bee colonies, and many beekeepers transport their hives around the country to pollinate crops … Continue reading

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