Friday, January 25, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Jan. 22-25
See Los Alamos Report on-line at:

Meeting of minds (Santa Fe New Mexican)
Cafe Scientifique offers forum for youth to come together and talk science
By Eli Garduno

Dozens of Santa Fe teens poured into a classroom Jan. 17 at Santa Fe Community College, drawn by the promise of free food, money for carpooling and, most important, a chance to learn about and discuss one of the most important scientific issues of our time, the race for an HIV vaccine. It was the birth of Santa Fe Café Scientifique. At the Jan. 17 meeting, teenagers representing a variety of Santa Fe middle and high schools attended and to listen to speaker Ruy Ribeiro, who has his Ph.D. in mathematical biology from the Oxford University andwho works at Los Alamos National Laboratory, researching different viruses and creating models and simulations based on experiments. The turnout exceeded the expectations of the youth leaders. See story here

Free search tool scans net alerts (Techworld)
By Bryan Betts

Start-up software developer Packet Analytics is offering a free downloadable search engine, designed to collect network and system alerts, and help admins and security analysts dig through them. Called Net/FSE, for network forensic search engine, the browser-based tool requires a standard x86 server running Linux or Unix. It is based on work done at the US Los Alamos National Laboratory to detect intruders on its network, and can aggregate data from a range of sources, including NetFlow (v5 only), syslogs, Snort and Cisco PIX. See story here

MESSENGER Snaps Pix of Mercury,
Messenger of the Gods

The MESSENGER (MErcury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry, and Ranging) spacecraft performed its first fly-by of Mercury on January 14, passing within 125 miles of the planet's surface. Los Alamos provided the conceptual design for the neutron spectrometer sensor on the Gamma-Ray and Neutron Spectrometer (GRNS) instrument on MESSENGER and contributed to its calibration. The spacecraft produced unprecedented close-up images of a large portion of the planet's surface. Los Alamos scientist David Lawrence, who recently left the Laboratory's International, Space & Response Division, is a member of the GRNS team. MESSENGER will perform two more fly-bys of Mercury (in Oct. 2008 and Sept. 2009) before settling into orbit around the planet in March of 2011.


Uranyl Ion Persuaded To React
(Chemical & Engineering News)

Rigid framework makes normally inert (UO2)2+ reactive
By Elizabeth Wilson

The frustratingly unreactive oxygen atoms in the water-soluble uranyl ion (UO2)2+ have now been shown to be capable of powerful chemistry - in the right environment. The discovery has potential for helping to solve problems of pervasive uranium contamination around nuclear power plants and might be generalized to include the uranyl ion's cousins, the radioactive plutonyl and neptunyl ions. "This represents a sea change in uranium chemistry," notes James M. Boncella, an inorganic chemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. See story here

Climate change work wins supercomputer time

(Los Alamos Monitor)
By Roger Snodgrass

One of the largest allocations of supercomputer time under a Department of Energy program will go to a multi-lab project on climate change that includes Phil Jones, a team leader in the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s theoretical division. The project, titled, “Climate-science Computational End Station Development and Grand Challenge Team,” is headed by Warren Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, with co-investigators from five DOE laboratories, along with NASA and Georgia Tech University. The award bestows a total of 18,026,000 processor-hours on three DOE high performance supercomputers to help improve climate models. Los Alamos Monitor

LANL Daily NewsBulletin

Congressman Udall addresses employees
Pledges support for Laboratory

New Mexico Congressman Tom Udall told Laboratory employees Thursday that he is "staunchly behind them" and pledged to work with Laboratory managers to ensure that Los Alamos's important role is not diminished. "I will be doing all I can in the coming years to protect funding the Lab's core mission," said Udall, D-New Mexico. See story here