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Frank Leonard

Top Articles by Frank Leonard
The 'smart' material breaks down into non-toxic particles in response to NIR light (Image:...

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have conducted initial testing of a new “smart” plastic material which may bring about new uses in medicine for near-infrared light (NIR). According to early experiments, the plastic material will break down into non-toxic particles in response to lower-power NIR. This may lead to improved treatment of, for example, tumors, or improvements in the release of tracing compounds and imaging agents for improved medical diagnostics applications.  Read More

Left: Natural control mechanism blocks the enzyme's zinc active site Right: Novel antibody...

Researchers of Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science have achieved a significant new development which may have far reaching implications for the treatment of autoimmune diseases which attack the body's own tissue by mistake. The scientists have managed to convince the immune systems of mice to instead attack an enzyme significant to the body's autoimmune process known as matrix metallopeptidase 9 (MMP9).  Read More

JAGM fit check (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

With the announcement of the successful testing of a sophisticated Pneumatic Cooling System (PCS) by Lockheed Martin and industry partner Marotta Controls in December, the highly versatile Joint Air-to-Ground Missile (JAGM) weapons system is a step closer to deployment in the field.  Read More

A test of a U.S. Harpoon anti-shipping missile (Photo: Jason C. Winn)

Last month U.S. Military, government and industry officials witnessed a demonstration of a new missile warhead casing material at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) in Dahlgren, Virginia. The material, known as High-Density Reactive Material (HDRM), is the result of collaboration between the Office of Naval Research (ONR), NSWC Dahlgren and NSWC Indian Head Divisioncan and can be employed within existing designs, but with added destructive power.  Read More

A test firing of Lockheed Martin's GMLRS (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

Aerojet has conducted a successful demonstration of its "scalable effects" warhead. The recent flight test was carried out at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico using Lockheed Martin's new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System-Plus (GMLRS+). As the name suggests, the scalable effects warhead allows the user to select the explosive yield of the weapon depending on the nature of its intended target.  Read More

Scientists at Northwestern University have published details of a new method for detection...

Scientists at Northwestern University, Illinois, have outlined a new method for detecting electromagnetic radiation at the high energy end of the spectrum. The work could lead to the development of a small, hand held device able to detect this "hard radiation" and has implications for the detection of radioactive materials which could potentially be employed in terrorist weapons, such as nuclear bombs or radiological dispersion devices, as well as materials employed in clandestine nuclear programs.  Read More

Are 'suitcase nukes' a genuine concern?

On the 7th September 1997, 60 Minutes broadcast an alarming news item featuring the allegations of former Russian National Security Advisor, General Aleksander Lebed. Lebed claimed that the former Soviet Union had not only manufactured but had lost track of perhaps 100 of a very frightening weapon: a nuclear bomb in a casing which made it appear to be a small suitcase. The claim was hotly denied and none of these weapons have never surfaced, but that hasn't stopped the idea of "suitcase nukes" gaining a grip on the public imagination through popular fiction and TV shows. So is it even possible to fabricate a nuclear weapon so small? If so, is it likely that such devices exist and are even missing?  Read More

Thorium could provide a cleaner and more abundant alternative to uranium (Photo: Three Mil...

The world's growing need for energy, the limits of our supply of fossil fuels and concern about the effects of carbon emissions on the environment have all prompted interest in the increased use of nuclear power. Yet the very word "nuclear" carries with it an association of fear. People are concerned about the waste produced by reactors, the possibility of catastrophic accidents as highlighted by recent events in Japan and the link between nuclear power and nuclear weapons. Yet what if there existed a means of nuclear power generation with which these risks were drastically reduced?  Read More

A new technique for regenerating blood vessels has implications for victims of coronary ar...

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario have discovered a new strategy for helping the body make blood vessels in vulnerable or damaged tissue. The approach, which has implications for the treatment of victims of coronary artery disease, involves the use of a protein named fibroblast growth factor 9 (FGF9) to assist the "supporting" cells of new blood vessels as they are formed by the body.  Read More

April 12 marks the 50th anniversary of the first man in space (Photo: NASA)

A remarkable milestone in human history took place exactly 50 years ago today when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space. During the flight of Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961, Gagarin, then 27, completed a single orbit of Earth in approximately 108 minutes. His flight begun at Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan and ended with his safe arrival by parachute in the Saratov region of central Russia, where he was famously welcomed back to our planet with a hospitable offer of bread and milk by Anna Takhtarova and her four-year-old granddaughter Margarita.  Read More

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