The Birmingham Brief

The Birmingham Brief - intelligent thought on policy issues.

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Thursday 11th November 2010

Development of analytical instruments to detect explosives

Development of analytical instruments to detect explosives
Description
The recent terror plot to transport printers containing the explosive pentaerythritol tetranitrate, or PETN, from Yemen to Chicago synagogues has once again focused attention on the need to detect explosives reliably and in real-time. PETN is the same explosive that the so-called 'shoe-bomber' tried to set off on an American Airlines jet to Miami in 2001.
Date:
Thursday 11th November 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research, Social Sciences
Thursday 28th October 2010

A new discovery in the fight against cholera

Description
Few can have been unaffected by the disturbing scenes following the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January. More than one million displaced survivors are now housed in camps around the capital, Port-au-Prince, with squalid sanitation facilities and little access to clean drinking water. Poor sanitation is known to give rise to disease and so it is unsurprising that, at the time of writing, there are more than 2,600 known cases of cholera in Haiti, with more than 250 people having lost their lives.
Date:
Thursday 28th October 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
Thursday 23rd September 2010

How should we keep the lights on?

Description
This was the question at a debate at the University of Birmingham last week held as part of the British Science Festival. Around one-fifth of the power stations in Great Britain will close within five years as air pollution rules get tougher, and most of our nuclear stations will reach the end of their expected lifetimes soon after 2020.
Date:
Thursday 23rd September 2010
Categories:
Engineering and Physical Sciences, Research
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