Friday, September 23, 2016



New insights into ‘plant memories’

Artist's impression of a long, non-coding RNA system, LANL image.

A special stretch of ribonucleic acid (RNA) called COOLAIR is revealing its inner structure and function to scientists, displaying a striking resemblance to an RNA molecular machine, territory previously understood to be limited to the cells’ protein factory (the ‘ribosome’) and not a skill set given to mere strings of RNA.

"We are uncovering the nuts and bolts of plant memories," said Karissa Sanbonmatsu of Los Alamos National Laboratory, lead author on a new article in the journal Cell Reports. (Full Story)

Also from PhysOrg

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A revolution in supercomputing is coming. From a remote mountain town. In New Mexico.

Trinity first phase installation, LANL photo.

While a remote mountain town might seem to be an odd place for this computer to call home, it makes sense when you consider Los Alamos’ history. Founded during World War II as the location of the top-secret Manhattan Project, scientists toiled away to build the first atomic bomb. What they didn’t realize is that, in the process, they were pioneering the advent of Big Science. Today, Big Science brings together theory, modeling, experiments that produce massive amounts of data, and supercomputers to run incredibly sophisticated simulations providing feedback and validation to those theories and models. (Full Story)



LANL cleanup agreement a model for the complex, DOE says

Excavation of waste from MDA-B, completed in 2011, LANL photo.

With its budget for legacy nuclear cleanup squeezed, the Energy Department thinks remediation projects across the country could benefit from a change in strategy similar to what was laid out this summer in an expansive new framework approved for the Los Alamos National Laboratory, senior agency officials said last week at a major industry meeting. (Full Story)



Summer Reading Program encourages elementary students to read

The student who read the most books, Lennox Chung of McCurdy School, Daily Post photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory in partnership with New Mexico’s own award winning author Rudolfo Anaya and the Christopher Montalvo Memorial recently sponsored a Summer Reading Program for students in grades 9-6 from Los Alamos, Pojoaque, Santa Fe and Rio Arriba County.

The goal of the program was to encourage students to read during the summer months. Those who read the most books were awarded prizes at a recent party for those students who participated. (Full Story)




Projects advance Native economic diversification

Reanna Agunio is president of Tsay Professional Services, Tsay photo.          

Founded in 1994, Tsay focuses on federal contracting. It does work all over the country, including with Los Alamos National Lab, in areas such as construction and building maintenance.

“LANL gave us a shot when we had no track record,” said Ron Lovato, Tsay Corp.’s CEO. “We’ve been able to leverage this business relationship nationwide.”

He said there are 3,000 enrolled members, with 2,000 living in New Mexico. In addition to the casino, the Ohkay Owingeh also own and lease several office buildings off the reservation in Rio Rancho, said Lovato. (Full Story)

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Friday, September 16, 2016



Science on the Hill: Trinity ushers in new age of supercomputing


Gary Grider and the new Trinity super-
computer, LANL photo.

As Los Alamos National Laboratory begins testing the second half of its new supercomputer, Trinity, the occasion highlights how intertwined scientific breakthroughs and computer innovations have become — and what a seminal and central role the lab has played in that synergy.

Big Science, which today brings together theory, modeling, experiments that produce massive amounts of data and supercomputers to run incredibly sophisticated simulations providing feedback and validation to those theories and models, was largely pioneered at Los Alamos more than 70 years ago. (Full story)



Get ready for a sky ride


Lockheed Martin technicians
prepare OSIRIS-REx for launch. LockMart photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists in collaboration with colleagues around the country have been interested  for some time in issues involving planetary defense against the low-probability, high consequence hazard of an asteroid or meteor strike. As a preliminary measure, LANL theoretical physicist C.S. Plesko has been working with counterparts at sister laboratory Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to study how such hazards might be mitigated. (Full story)

  

Funding boosts Exascale research
at Los Alamos







In a recent DOE announcement from the Exascale Computing Project, six Los Alamos National Laboratory partnership projects were tagged for full funding and one for seed money. The projects, all collaborations with other national laboratories and universities, target advanced modeling and simulation solutions to specific challenges supporting key DOE missions in science, clean energy and national security, as well as collaborations such as the National Cancer Institute’s Precision Medicine Initiative. (Full story)


 
Entrepreneurs discuss starting a business based on LANL technology


Panel includes entrepreneurs who started
businesses with Lab technology. Monitor photo.

Vladimir Matias stated that of the four companies he had negotiated with for patents, LANL was the easiest. “Yes, there are delays. It takes six months for bureaucracy to go through,” Matias said. “But in our case it was very simple, very easy, very good terms.”

“Los Alamos was quite accommodating. I have nothing but best things to say about TT in Los Alamos. They were very good to us. They helped us with our whole bailment agreement and everything else and supported us since then." (Full story)


 
Beyond balloons



The Bradbury Science Museum, LANL photo.

Less than 100 miles from Albuquerque is Los Alamos, made world-famous for its secret role in the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bombs credited with ending World War II.

There’s a fascinating self-guided Historic Walking Tour that includes iconic sites from that era, public art, an ancestral Pueblo dwelling dating from 1225 B.C. and the Bradbury Science Museum, with more than 60 interactive exhibits focusing on the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full story)
  
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Friday, September 9, 2016



Breakthrough research could lead to new weapon against cancer

Isotope Production Facility at Los Alamos, LANL photo.

A new weapon against cancer could be just around the corner now that a Cal Poly Pomona professor and her colleagues from Stanford, Cornell and Los Alamos National Laboratory have unlocked some of the secrets of a fickle radioactive element.

To learn more about how actinium bonds with other atoms to create chemical compounds, the team made use of X-ray absorption spectroscopy, a technique in which the sample being analyzed is bombarded with powerful X-rays, causing its atoms to absorb the rays in a way that reveals information about their atomic structure. (Full Story)



The Exascale Computing Project awards $39.8M to 22 projects

The Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) hit an important milestone today with the announcement of its first round of funding, moving the nation closer to its goal of reaching capable exascale computing by 2023. As part of a $39.8 million award round, the ECP will provide full funding to 15 application development proposals and seed funding for seven more proposals, impacting 22 total projects and 45 research and academic organizations, including Los Alamos National Laboratory.  (Full Story)


LANL and SFCC partner to build work place skills

Los Alamos Laboratory is partnering with Santa Fe Community College and Innovate+Educate to offer an Engineered Systems Technician course beginning Saturday, Sept. 10. The course offers workplace skills that will prepare students for level 1 or 2 engineered systems technicians at the Laboratory.

"Creating pipelines to address future workforce needs is crucial to ensuring that the Laboratory meets its mission needs and continues to serve the nation," said C.J. Bacino of the Laboratory's Office of Diversity and Strategic Staffing. " (Full Story)



LANL Foundation provides funds for school program


Two people, Mathilde Schaumberg and her husband Joseph, recently came forward to publicly thank the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation for helping the kids in their program have a great time this summer.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the grant for transportation from the LANL Foundation,” Joseph Schaumberg said. The LANL Foundation has annually provided $1,500 in support for the program through the foundation’s “Education and Community Grants Program. (Full Story)

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Friday, September 2, 2016



Plants regulate leaf temperature to 
boost carbon uptake

Thermal image of plant leaves, LANL photo.

A new study has found that plants regulate their leaf temperature with some independence from the surrounding air temperature, a trait that increases carbon uptake through photosynthesis.

"This research combines theory for leaf energy flows with globally distributed temperature data for diverse plant taxa to show that leaves generally do not match air temperature, but instead thermoregulate," said Sean Michaletz, a plant ecologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which led the study. (Full story)



Los Alamos lab is among top 50 employers for Latinas





Latina Style magazine has named Los Alamos National Laboratory as a top 50 employer for Latina women, the first national laboratory to achieve the distinction.

“This recognition from Latina Style magazine speaks to our commitment to making the Laboratory an employer of choice for Latinas and other women who are considering careers at scientific and technical institutions,” lab director Charlie McMillan said in a news release. (Full story) 



 
Eight finalists for 2016 R&D Awards from LANL

Eight Los Alamos National Laboratory innovations were selected as finalists for the 2016 R&D 100 Awards, which honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year as determined by a panel selected by R&D Magazine.

The finalists, with projects covering energy, computing, health care, and materials, demonstrate the continued success of Laboratory researchers in technical innovation for national security science. (Full story)






Los Alamos to investigate solar dangers to the power grid

Next month Los Alamos National Laboratory launches a new investigation of how those solar events could affect a grid like a long string of Christmas lights – increasingly long and susceptible to a cascade of problems.

The three-year Los Alamos program will be funded internally for about $5 million – and will determine what transformers, circuits, stations and conduits could be fried by a flare-up from the sun, said Mike Henderson, leader of the national security-focused program. (Full story) 


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