NewsBrief March 13, 2020

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Cost Estimating NewsBrief: March 13, 2020

How industry and government can partner for more secure systems

(Fifth Domain) Industry needs to be able to tell government how software was developed and how security measures were integrated into it, a top official at the National Institute of Standards and Technology said March 10. “Give us some evidence that those security features are actually in place and doing what they’re supposed to do,” said Ron Ross, a fellow at NIST who leads a new DevSecOps project. Ross, speaking at an Advanced Technology Academic Research Center event on DevOps, said that the future of U.S. national and economic security hinges on industry and government getting the transition to DevOps and DevSecOps, two different software development approaches where collaboration and security considered from the beginning, because they are critical to national and economic security. Read More

SECDEF issues global travel restrictions to help stop coronavirus spread

(Military Times) APentagon officials announced significant restrictions on service member and family travel worldwide amid a series of new White House initiatives released Wednesday to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus throughout the United States. Effective Friday, all troops, military civilian employees and family members traveling to or from locations with widespread transmission of the illness, designated “Warning Level 3” (which at the moment include Italy, South Korea and China) will “stop movement” for the next 60 days, per a memo signed by Defense Secretary Mark Esper. (Update: After Esper’s announcement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention greatly expanded the list of Level 3 countries to more than two dozen that includes most of Europe). Read More

Trump restricts travel between US and Europe for 30 days; DoD implements 60-day travel restrictions

(Military Times) WASHINGTON — Taking dramatic action Wednesday, President Donald Trump announced he is sharply restricting passenger travel from 26 European nations to the U.S. and moving to ease the economic cost of a viral pandemic that is roiling global financial markets and disrupting the daily lives of Americans. Trump made the announcement during a rare Oval Office address to the nation that he is suspending all travel from Europe to the U.S. for 30 days beginning at 11:59 p.m. Friday. After days of playing down the threat, he blamed Europe for not acting quickly enough to address the novel coronavirus and claimed that U.S. clusters were “seeded” by European travelers. “We made a lifesaving move with early action on China,” Trump said. “Now we must take the same action with Europe.” Read More

Agencies expand, loosen telework requirements amid coronavirus spread

(Federal News Network) More agencies are launching, expanding or loosening prior restrictions on telework, as COVID-19, the illness caused by the current strain of the coronavirus, reached a “pandemic” levels Wednesday. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services will implement a nationwide “remote work program,” the agency said in a March 9 letter to the American Federation of Government Employees. Though USCIS’ “remote work” announcement certainly coincides with growing concerns over COVID-19, the agency’s letter makes no mention of the coronavirus. The launch of a nationwide “remote work” program stems from the agency’s collective bargaining agreements with AFGE, Judy McLaughlin, chief of USCIS’ Labor and Employee Relations Division, said. Read More

Transforming healthcare with AI: The impact on the workforce and organizations

(McKinsey & Company) Healthcare is one of the major success stories of our times. Medical science has improved rapidly, raising life expectancy around the world, but as longevity increases, healthcare systems face growing demand for their services, rising costs and a workforce that is struggling to meet the needs of its patients. Demand is driven by a combination of unstoppable forces: population aging, changing patient expectations, a shift in lifestyle choices, and the never-ending cycle of innovation being but a few. Of these, the implications from an aging population stand out. By 2050, one in four people in Europe and North America will be over the age of 65—this means the health systems will have to deal with more patients with complex needs. Managing such patients is expensive and requires systems to shift from an episodic care-based philosophy to one that is much more proactive and focused on long-term care management. Read More

AI is Being Used to Discover New Antibiotics and Genes Linked to Disease

(AI Trends) New types of antibiotics are being developed using an AI machine-learning approach that scans a pool of more than 100 million molecules, including one that works against strains of bacteria previously considered untreatable, according to a recent account in Nature. The antibiotic, called halicin (named after the HAL 9000 computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey), is believed to be the first discovered with AI. While AI had been applied to parts of the antibiotic-discovery process, the researchers said this was the first time AI had helped to identify a completely new kind of antibiotic from scratch. Led by synthetic biologist Jim Collins at MIT, the paper is published in Cell. Read More

Sailing down ‘Satan’s Throat’: Go inside the Navy’s $20m combat simulator

(Fifth Domain) SAN DIEGO – Lt. Cmdr. Kyle Sullivan will join the rest of his shipmates from the guided-missile destroyer Benfold when they sail the waters of U.S. 7th Fleet later this year. The Japan-based ship and others like it are tasked with patrolling a rough neighborhood, including disputed waters contested by a rising China or bellicose North Korea. But Benfold is finishing up 15 months of repairs in the yard. With its combat system turned off, Sullivan and other shipmates arrived at Naval Base San Diego late last month to sharpen their battle skills in one of the sea service’s most technologically advanced trainers. Read More