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Posted inSci/Tech

Study links urbanization to poor ecological knowledge, less environmental action

May 4, 2022 – A new study by researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and collaborators highlights a sharp contrast between urban and suburban ways of thinking about coastal ecosystems. The authors of the study used statistical and cognitive science techniques to analyze data from a survey of 1,400 residents across […]

Posted inEnviro

Using citizen science data to investigate unseasonal flowering in Joshua trees

In November 2019, visitors to Joshua Tree National Park in California encountered a strange sight. Joshua trees and the closely related Mojave yuccas, which normally remain reproductively dormant until late spring, were in full bloom at the tail end of autumn. In a new study published in Scientific Reports, U.S. National Science Foundation-funded researchers at the Florida Museum of Natural […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Inspired by Prehistoric Creatures, NIST Researchers Make Record-Setting Lenses

Five hundred million years ago, the oceans teemed with trillions of trilobites — creatures that were distant cousins of horseshoe crabs.  All trilobites had a wide range of vision, thanks to compound eyes — single eyes composed of tens to thousands of tiny independent units, each with their own cornea, lens and light-sensitive cells. But […]

Posted inLife

From the Noggin to the Butt: Quirky Measurement Units Throughout Human History

When we talk about measurement units here at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), you’ll typically hear us rattling off the official ones — such as the meter, the second and the kilogram. These official measurements, which are part of the International System of Units (SI), have evolved from quantities that people mostly defined […]

Posted inSci/Tech

There’s more to AI Bias than biased data, NIST report highlights

As a step toward improving our ability to identify and manage the harmful effects of bias in artificial intelligence (AI) systems, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommend widening the scope of where we look for the source of these biases — beyond the machine learning processes and data used to […]

Posted inCalifornia

NIST Offers First-of-a-Kind Guidance for Holistic Home and Community Wildfire Protection

Once they have a foothold, severe wildfires can quickly overwhelm a community, particularly one that is densely packed. To shield houses against such a fierce threat, a thorough defense is key.  Establishing a deep and multifaceted defense in and around homes is the basis of a new report that offers direction for safeguarding residences from external fire […]

Posted inSci/Tech

NIST’s Emberometer Could Gauge Threat of Wildfire-Spreading Embers

As wildfire fronts advance through landscapes or communities on the ground, they also attack from above, launching volleys of glowing embers into the air. Also known as firebrands, these specks of burning debris can glide for up to 40 kilometers (approximately 24 miles) before landing and can cause up to 90% of home and business fires during wildfires. Guidance […]

Posted inSci/Tech

Low-Cost NIST Demo Links Public Safety Radios to Broadband Wireless Network

April 12, 2021 – Engineers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have built a low-cost computer system that connects older public safety radios with the latest wireless communications networks, showing how first responders might easily take advantage of broadband technology offering voice, text, instant messages, video and data capabilities. NIST’s prototype system could help […]

Posted inRegional

New timeline of deadliest California wildfire could guide lifesaving research and action

February 8, 2021 – On a brisk November morning in 2018, a fire sparked in a remote stretch of canyon in Butte County, California, a region nestled against the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Fueled by a sea of tinder created by drought, and propelled by powerful gusts, the flames grew and traveled […]

Posted inSci/Tech

New Airflow Videos Show Why Masks With Exhalation Valves Do Not Slow the Spread of COVID-19

November 10, 2020 – Many people wear masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, masks with exhalation valves do not slow the spread of the disease, and now, new videos from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) show why.  The videos, […]

Posted inSci/Tech

The Phish Scale: NIST-Developed Method Helps IT Staff See Why Users Click on Fraudulent Emails

September 21, 2020 – Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a new method called the Phish Scale that could help organizations better train their employees to avoid a particularly dangerous form of cyberattack known as phishing. By 2021, global cybercrime damages will cost $6 trillion annually, up from $3 trillion […]

Posted inSci/Tech

The Periodic Table: It’s More than Just Chemistry and Physics

May 28, 2019 – This is the International Year of the Periodic Table, and while I’ve been (accurately) accused of being a physics fanboy, I’m here to tell you that this famous chart isn’t just about physics, chemistry and the other sciences. It’s also about mathematics and engineering and even nonscientific areas of knowledge including history, […]

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