State of Cloud Security in Australia 2021

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Cloud computing continues to transform the way organisations operate, delivering agility, scale, cost, and innovative benefits. COVID-19 has accelerated the shift to digital technologies that were already underway. However, doing so has created new avenues for malicious attacks and misconfigurations.

Organisations need to understand the security implications associated with the benefits of cloud. This includes how to best prepare, securely manage the transition of secure workloads to the cloud, and then have assurance in ongoing cloud management.

This whitepaper provides executives with a new perspective on the state of cloud security in Australia. It leverages a large primary research study calibrated against global expertise and insights from Omdia’s global cyber security practice.

It concludes with specific recommendations to help CISO’s, IT directors, and other leaders responsible for cloud and cyber security within their organisation. We hope that the paper accelerates your journey to a secure cloud – balancing its benefits with security considerations.

Download this report now to get up to speed on these topics and more:

  • Cloud security on high alert. Why cloud security is a growing cause of concern.
  • Clo

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Hexbyte Glen Cove NASA pushes back crewed Moon landing to 2025 or later

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Nasa’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), in its Block 1 crew vehicle configuration that will send astronauts to the Moon on the Artemis missions.

The United States will send a crewed mission to the Moon “no earlier than 2025,” NASA chief Bill Nelson told reporters on Tuesday, officially pushing back the launch by at least a year.

A target of 2024 was set by the administration of former president Donald Trump when it launched the Artemis program.

But the program has since faced numerous development delays ranging from its vehicles to the space suits required.

Last week, NASA won a court case brought by Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin which sued after losing a lander contract to Elon Musk’s SpaceX.

“We lost nearly seven months in litigation and that likely has pushed the first human landing likely to no earlier than 2025,” Nelson said on a call.

“The good news is that NASA is making solid progress,” said Nelson, citing the fact that the mission’s Orion crew capsule has since last week been stacked atop the giant Space Launch System rocket at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA is targeting a first uncrewed mission, Artemis 1, in February 2022, and Artemis 2, the first crewed mission that will perform a flyby of the Moon, in 2024.

Separately, SpaceX needs to carry out an uncrewed landing to test out the lunar version of its Starship rocket, before the same vehicle is used for the crewed landing.

Nelson revealed NASA was committed to a total development cost for Orion of $9.3 billion, which encompasses the period between 2012 and 2024, up from the previous estimate of $6.7 billion.

Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson speaks during a visit to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland.

New space race with China

But he warned more funding would be required from Congress to meet the new timelines, adding: “The Chinese space program is increasingly capable of landing Chinese taikonauts much earlier than originally expected.”

“We are facing a very aggressive and good Chinese space program,” he continued.

“It’s the position of NASA, and I believe the United States government, that we want to be there first back on the Moon after half a century.”

China, the world’s second-largest economy, has put billions into its military-run space program, with hopes of having a permanently crewed space station by 2022.

It has already sent rovers to the Moon, including one to the far side, and is aiming for a first crewed lunar mission by 2029.

Humans last landed on the Moon in 1972 on America’s Apollo 17 mission.

NASA says the Artemis program will include the first woman and first person of color to set foot on the surface of Earth’s natural satellite.

The agency wants to build a sustained habitat on the Moon and use the lessons learned from long expeditions there to develop a crewed mission to Mars by the 2030s.



© 2021 AFP

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Going for gold to reduce antibiotic resistance

Hexbyte Glen Cove

The gold nanoclusters in their “molecular envelope.” The ligands in blue are the zwitterionic ones while those in red are positively charged ones. They are bound to the Au25 cluster (in brown) via thiol molecules (yellow). Credit: University of Leeds

Tiny particles of gold could be the new weapon in the fight against bacterial antibiotic resistance, according to research just published.

Scientists have been investigating the use of gold nanoclusters—each made up of about 25 atoms of gold—to target and disrupt , making them more susceptible to standard antibiotic treatments.

A report from the World Health Organization last year said, “Antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world,” and called for greater investment in ways to tackle the problem.

For several years, researchers have recognized the antimicrobial properties of specially-adapted gold nanoparticles, but they have struggled to find a way of getting the nanoparticles to the site of a bacterial infection without harming healthy host mammalian .

Now a study by an international team of scientists from the University of Leeds, Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen and Fudan University, Shanghai, both in China, has identified a way of packaging the gold nanoclusters in a molecular envelope that makes them less toxic to healthy tissue without affecting their antibacterial properties.

Laboratory studies have shown that the approach has had a “strong effect” in terms of killing a range of bacteria, some linked to hospital acquired infections and resistant to standard antibiotic treatments.

The findings, which are based on laboratory investigations and not patient trials, have been published in the journal Chemical Science.

Forces of nature

The scientists’ solution exploits electrostatic forces in nature.

Bacterial cell walls are more strongly negatively charged than the cells of mammals. Using the idea that opposite charges attract, the gold nanoclusters are wrapped in a molecule called a ligand that is positively charged. Like a carrier pigeon, it finds and delivers the nanoclusters to the wall of bacteria cells, where they disrupt the bacterial cell membrane.

The disruption to the cell membrane increases the permeability of the bacterial cell to standard antibiotic treatments, giving a new lease of life to that are either ineffective or have waning effectiveness against resistant bacteria.

The problem, though, is the positively charged molecule wrapped around each is also toxic to healthy host mammalian cells.

Reducing toxicity

To protect host cells, the scientists have added a second ligand to the envelope around each nanocluster. These molecules have both positive and negative charges and are called zwitterionic groups, which are also found in the lipids of cell membranes in mammals. This makes the gold nanoclusters more compatible with host mammalian cells, and easier for the gold nanoclusters to pass through the kidney and be excreted from the body.

In , the scientists investigated whether the gold nanoclusters would be effective in reducing the defenses of the bacterial cells—and make them more susceptible to antibiotic treatment.

They used a bacterial strain called methicillin resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE), which is responsible for some hospital-acquired infections.

They tested three antibiotics—each representing a class of antibiotics—against MRSE with and without the gold nanoclusters.

In those cases where the antibiotic was used in combination with the gold nanoclusters, there was an improved antimicrobial effect. With one class of antibiotics, there was a 128-fold decrease in the amount of antibiotic needed to inhibit growth of MRSE.

Dejian Zhou, Professor at Nanochemistry at the University of Leeds and one of the supervisors of the research, said, “Despite extensive research in antibacterial nanomaterials, most of the research has only focused on boosting antibacterial potency without considering their biocompatibility, stability and ability to be excreted from the body. These are essential requirements for clinical approval. As a result, many of the promising antibacterial nanomaterials will not progress to become therapeutic agents to be used in medicine.

“By systematically tuning the ratio of the two ligands, we have identified a way of using gold nanoclusters not only to act as effective antimicrobial agents, but as a mechanism to enhance the potency of antibiotics which have become ineffective because of bacterial drug resistance.

“The research has a significance on the way we should be thinking about responding to antimicrobial resistance.”

Professor Zhou hopes that the research findings will be picked up by the pharmaceutical industry. He believes combing nanoclusters with existing antibiotics will be a faster and cheaper alternative to developing a host of new antibiotics in response to .



More information:
Zeyang Pang et al, Controlling the pyridinium–zwitterionic ligand ratio on atomically precise gold nanoclusters allowing for eradicating Gram-positive drug-resistant bacteria and retaining biocompatibility, Chemical Science (2021). DOI: 10.1039/D1SC03056F

Citation:
Going for gold to reduce antibiotic resistance (2021, November 9)
retrieved 9 November 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-gold-antibiotic-resistance.html

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