• In what might be evidence of a trend 3M and Northrop Grumman announced a $15.8 million contract from DHHS to deliver their integrated diagnostic capability – MDx. Their system will allow rapid, high-throughput surveillance and molecular diagnostics and will see £M receive $6 million and Northrop $9.8 million.

  • Seven died, with many houses affected, when a heavy metal rich sludge affected a 19 mile stretch of the river Danube in Hungary. MAL Hungarian Aluminium’s chemical reservoir burst, resulting in miles of pollution, the company has made 110,000 Euros available as immediate aid to the affected families, but the final bill is likely to be much higher. As the sludge dried in the sun the risk of it becoming airborne increased and officials insisted that people in the vicinity wore face masks to avoid the mild radiological threat.

  • $268 million was the final sum, equating at $7.55 a share, that FLIR paid to turn ICx into a wholly owned subsidiary. FLIR are an thermal imaging and optics company, with little cross over with the ICx business, so their statement that it “represents an opportunity to expand our business into several attractive adjacent technologies” is not idle spin. There is of course speculation as to what bits it might divest itself of – especially once it realises that the ‘flash to bang’ of CBRN contracts is different to other, more commercial, fields – but it will bring both players into the orbit of some very different customers. Watch this space…

  • ICx announced that they had launched the next generation of their IdentiFinder radiation detector – cunningly named identiFinder 2! The system keeps its easy three button interface and adds radionuclide identification, transflective display , Bluetooth, reachback and GPS as well as a web interface. There will be two versions a 1.4” X 2” Nal(Tl) detector with optional neutron detector and a Ultra model with LED stabilisation.

  • Despite sounding like one of Superman’s relatives, kal-azar has continued to spread through Southern Sudan, killing over 300 people. Leishmaniasis, or kal-azar, is spread by a sand fly and spreads into the liver and spleen and the number of cases has increased six fold in one year. WHO reported that it was difficult to contain the outbreak in Africa’s largest country.

  • A new MO has been isolated in suicide bombers after the failed assassination of Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef. The suicide bomber had hidden the explosives in his anal cavity, with it presumably set off by some form of remote control (since the bomber was in a crowd at the time), and while the attempt failed it has raised alarms in aviation security.

  • Smiths Detection, perhaps in timely response to the attempted ass-assassination of Prince bin Nayaf (see below) announced that their B-Scan provided fast, non-intrusive internal and external search for hidden weapons and other contraband. The device uses a smaller dose that backscatter x-ray and in a single pass can do an individual in seven seconds, allowing the operator to evaluate the image for hidden objects. A good piece of kit, but it will be a civil liberties nightmare for aviation security and passengers…

  • General Dynamics Armaments and Technical Products (GDATP) announced that they have launched their I-SCAD, stand off chemical detector. Based on the US Military’s JSLSCAD the I-SCAD will provide customers with on-the-move passive IR detection capability in 360 degrees. Covering a wide spectrum of CWA and TICs the device will also provide a relative position of the detected agent.

  • MSA announced a new product, their PremAire Cadet Escape Responder with Escape Cylinder and APR Conversion Facepiece. Their combination supplied air respirator provides a small size, simplicity and economy, they claim, with a low profile – allowing ingress (and egress) to tight spaces. The PremAire Cadet Supplied-Air Responder with Escape Cylinder is NIOSH-approved as a combination supplied-air respirator and self-contained breathing apparatus.

  • Saint Gobain has launched their first level B hazmat suit – the OneSuit Shield. The suit is made from their high performance barrier membrane, Coretech, and is in testing for NFPA 1992 and 1994.

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