Drones

Presented by Dr. Cliff Bragdon

Center for Aeronautics and Innovation
March 22, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.

Drone technology is rapidly becoming an aerial threat to transportation systems. We are developing an inventory of drone swarming and its potential impact on our 500+ FAA-certified air carrier airports in the U.S. is significant. If properly executed by terrorist groups from certain countries (which are aggressively developing advanced delivery systems), this could seriously affect airports in three areas: fuel farms or storage facilities on or near airports, communications and IT systems and air traffic control (ATC) networks. Effective countermeasures and a drone management plan need to be instituted to protect our potentially at-risk transportation-based infrastructure, critical for safe, secure and efficient mobility.

Cliff Bragdon is president of the Global Center for Preparedness and Resilience. He is an Emeritus Professor, past Dean, and former Vice-President at the Florida Institute of Technology. He is the author of "Transportation Security" (Butterworth-Heinemann Homeland Security, 2008).

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Genetic Engineering

Presented by Dr. Scott Tilley (Biography)

Harris Auditorium
April 26, 2018 | 6:00 p.m.

Scientists have successfully edited the DNA of human embryos to remove a potentially fatal heart condition. This means that, for the first time, humans are able to change their own genome. Technically, this development is an incredible scientific advancement. The tool used for genome editing is called CRISPR-Cas9. The potential medical benefits from genome editing are significant, but so are the ethical implications. Performing experiments on human embryos is already the subject of much debate. If genome editing becomes commonplace, couples could procure "designer babies," with all the physical traits they desire. Genome editing has also been done on animals, such as pigs, to make them organ donors for humans. Are we on the path of improved health and increased longevity? Or are we revisiting the Island of Doctor Moreau?

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