In 2015, the Department of Defense discovered that one of its laboratories had inadvertently sent live anthrax to almost 200 other labs worldwide over 12 years. Labs routinely inactivate samples of dangerous pathogens so they can be shipped to other labs and safely studied. The samples in this incident were labeled “inactivated” and removed from containment, but the inactivation process was incomplete.
The animated GIF below shows how the anthrax spread in this incident. For more information and recommendations on ways to address the risks of incomplete pathogen inactivation, check out the full report.
When the United States first developed nuclear weapons, no one anticipated that the country would need three ways to deliver them. But, since the 1960s, U.S. nuclear weapons have been deployed by air, land, and sea.
These three modes of delivery (and the vehicles that support them) are collectively known as the strategic triad.
Foreign nationals who make substantial investments in projects that create or sustain U.S. jobs can get a conditional green card and a path to citizenship under the Immigrant Investor Program. Yet the program’s reliance on voluminous paper applications leaves it open to fraud risk. What’s being done about that?
As the U.S. population ages, a growing number of older Americans are expected to need help with routine activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating. Will the caregiver workforce be ready for them?
A team led by Kathleen King, a director in our Health Care team, recently set out to explore this question. Here’s what they found.
New technology is all around—fitness trackers count your steps, navigation apps steer you right, and the internet is everywhere. These and other tech trends have resulted in massive volumes of data being generated, stored, and analyzed at unprecedented rates.
What does all this mean for the economy and society? We convened a forum of representatives from industry, government, academia, and nonprofit organizations to discuss just that. This week we released the results of that discussion and today’s WatchBlog gives a glimpse into what was said. Continue reading →
Be all you can be. The few, the proud. Aim high. Accelerate your life. Each of these slogans has been a part of advertising campaigns for different branches of the armed services (the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Navy, respectively). From a sign on the side of a bus to suggested sites on your Facebook feed, we are all exposed to advertising every day.
With the Department of Defense slated to spend $575 million in the next year to influence your perception of the military and bring in new recruits, today’s WatchBlog takes a look at how that money is being spent.
The current golden age of prestige television has more in common with GAO’s work than you’d think—it turns out that Emmy-nominated TV shows, both comedies and dramas, worry about the same issues we do. Today’s WatchBlog explores how our work could help inform Hollywood about the safety, labor, and cybersecurity threats that make for such riveting TV.
[The title of this post was changed to correct an error in the name.]
Analytics and “big data” seem to be the next frontier in a number of arenas. Data researchers can use the large, real-time data sets that are available today to facilitate scientific discovery, improve the flow of traffic, and increase energy efficiency, among many other things.
Last year, the White House appointed the first federal Chief Data Scientist. And a few months ago, the federal government released a strategy for big data research and development. Also, numerous initiatives are under way across federal agencies to both release data sets for public use and better use data to manage federal programs.
It’s Star Trek’s 50th anniversary—it first took viewers “where no man has gone before” in 1966. Since then, the Enterprise and its sister ships have spent much of their time at warp speeds, saving planets and fending off hostile life forms. To celebrate the journey, check out how our work has helped explore deep space and beyond.
Following NASA to the Final Frontier
NASA recently laid out its goals for human exploration beyond the moon—literally, whereno one has gone before. Continue reading →