Friday, December 18, 2009

Unique LANL pathogen detector gains corporate partner

Los Alamos National Laboratory has executed an agreement with Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corporation for the further development of a diagnostic tool known as an optical biosensor.

Los Alamos, whose staff developed the prototype bench-top and hand-held biosensors for the detection of human and animal pathogens, has provided Biomagnetics with a nonexclusive, field-of-use patent license agreement to expand the Laboratory’s Triggered Optical Biosensor and Integrated Optical Biosensor System technology. (Whole story)

Anastasio briefs Vice President Biden
White House meeting focused on U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio participated in a White House briefing Wednesday (Whole story)

Also this week in the Monitor:

LANS earns $72.1 million for FY2009

Los Alamos National Security, LLC, earned $72.1 million in fees for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2009, according to a brief summary released Tuesday.

The lab earned 90 percent of the $80.2 million overall available fee. (Whole story)

Local hero packed a global wallop

Louis Rosen’s role as hero, mentor and prophet of nuclear policy was the subject of an affectionate tribute Wednesday night. Rosen, one of the last of the great Manhattan Project physicists, died Aug. 15 at the age of 91, but his memory lives on in the hearts of his friends.

At a meeting of the Los Alamos Committee on Arms Control and International Security, four colleagues who knew Rosen exceptionally well shared their insights. (Whole story)

LANL will track Santa's journey

Los Alamos National Laboratory will show its light side on Dec. 24 when it begins tracking Santa's path with satellite technology, beginning at 6 a.m. Los Alamos scientists will mark the reindeers' course online here.

While various scientific theories have been offered on how Santa manages his deliveries, none has been proven, although ion shielding, personal magnetic fields and multidimensional travel concepts show promise, according to a LANL news release. (whole story)

Recovery Act accelerates cleanup at LANL

Los Alamos National Laboratory on Dec. 1, 2009 began full-scale demolition at TA-21, the Cold War-era complex of buildings that once housed plutonium production and historic, nonweapons research. (Watch it!)

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Lab conducts first X-ray test on mock weapon

The DARHT second axis. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory on Thursday evening, Dec. 3, 2009, took the first ever three-dimensional X-ray movie of a mock nuclear weapon detonation, a milestone two decades in the making. Full Story, subscription or viewing an ad is required.

Lightning strikes could help map hurricanes

The frequency of lightning bursts can be an indicator of a storm's strength. Getty Images

Eighteen low and high-frequency detectors make up the Los Alamos Dual-Band Lightning Mapping Array. The network uses multiple listening stations to zero in on every flash of lightning, providing instantaneous information on each bolt's exact location, including its altitude inside a cloud. Full Story.

You'll Never Guess Who Walked In!

LANL’s Woldegabriel in Ethiopia. From Nature Magazine.

Ardi redefines the branch between apes and hominins -- Surprises certainly have been sprung by, and on, the international team of paleoanthropologists and paleontologists that looks for fossils in the remote Aramis region of Ethiopia where the Afar people live. The team is co-led by LANL's Giday Woldegabriel. Full Story.

AGU fall meeting: The Arctic's changing climate, Improving the forecast

AGU News Conference, Monday, Dec. 14. The Arctic, perhaps more than any region on Earth, is feeling the impacts of climate change. But how can scientists better forecast the future of this vulnerable region? Participants include LANL's Scott Elliott.
Full Story.

Magnetic power revealed in gamma-ray burst jet

NASA’s Swift satellite observed the burst and immediately notified telescopes all over the world via the Internet. When it received the trigger from Swift, the robotic Liverpool Telescope on the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands automatically swung to observe the burst. Swift is a collaboration that includes Los Alamos National Laboratory. Full Story.

Lab makes solid material transparent to terahertz waves

Paper appears in the journal Nature Physics. Co-authors include Texas A&M theoretical physicist Alexey Belyanin, Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist Scott Crooker and Daniel Mittleman, a Rice professor in electrical and computer engineering. Full Story.

Employees to place wreaths at cemetery

To help honor the nation's veterans Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are volunteering to place wreaths at gravesites in Santa Fe National. Volunteers are asked to meet at the cemetery at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, to be assigned sections within the cemetery. Full Story.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

LANL computer joins HIV battle

In the deadly game of cat and mouse between HIV and the human immune system, the immune system has acquired an unusual ally.

A New Mexico supercomputer built for nuclear weapons research, using computer chips originally designed for video games, has been used to build a sort of family tree of the remarkably diverse and dangerous virus that causes AIDS (Read more).

Also in the Albuquerque Journal this week:

Geologist returns to Ethiopia

The Rift Valley, a scar left as the [African] continent is being torn apart, runs through the heart of the human evolutionary story. Its complex geology also runs through the life of Giday WoldeGabriel, an Ethiopian-born Los Alamos National Laboratory geologist who returns to his native country each year to grapple with science's and life's hard questions (Read more).

LANL begins razing Cold War-era buildings

Metal met mortar at Los Alamos National Laboratory on Tuesday morning, as dozens of officials watched a monstrous excavator start tearing apart lab buildings that date back to the 1940s (Read more).

And watch a really cool video clip here.

Peta-flogging HIV

A cutting-edge, petascale supercomputer called Roadrunner, developed by IBM in partnership with the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Nuclear Security Administration, is being put to work analyzing vast quantities of genetic sequences from HIV-infected people in the hope of zeroing in on possible vaccine target areas (Read more).

Surfing the shores of time

Herbert Van de Sompel is a computer scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, team leader of research and prototyping in the lab’s Research Library. Working with a colleague from Old Dominion University, Van de Sompel has decided to do something about this missing time dimension on the Internet (Read more).

Also from the Monitor this week:

Sharpening the bionic eye

During a recent ceremony for employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory, a group of local scientists were recognized for their work on the Artificial Retina Project, which was honored this year with one of R&D Magazine’s annual awards (Read more).

LANL employees have the spirit of giving

By Kurt Steinhaus -- Los Alamos National Laboratory employees' exceptional spirit of giving and generosity can be seen throughout the year in their participation in Laboratory community drives, campaigns and volunteerism (Read more).

ORNL, Los Alamos pioneer new approach to assist scientists, farmers

Sustainable farming, initially adopted to preserve soil quality for future generations, may also play a role in maintaining a healthy climate, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge and Los Alamos national laboratories (Read more).

Biomagnetics to market LANL technology

Los Alamos National Laboratory has signed a license agreement with Biomagnetics Diagnostics Corp. to market breakthrough pathogen detection technology (Read more).

LANL charity pledges hit record

Los Alamos National Laboratory says its employees have pledged a record $1.3 million to United Way and other local nonprofit programs (Read more).

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Friday, November 20, 2009

Los Alamos Lab tackles surveillance, space protection issues

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists are evaluating novel approaches to satellite situational awareness, including lowering the cost of space surveillance radars and optically monitoring the growing spread of orbital debris. (Full story)

Time-traveling browsers navigate the web's past

Finding old versions of web pages could become far simpler thanks to a "time-traveling" web browsing technology being pioneered at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Another story about the “time-traveling” Web browser also appeared in Popular Science. Read it here!

Using CO2 to extract geothermal energy

As part of developing new energy resources that don't emit carbon dioxide, the DOE is funding 9 trials that use supercritical CO2 to extract more geothermal energy.

The idea started in 2000 at Los Alamos National Laboratory; when physicist Donald Brown thought of pumping geothermal fluid using supercritical CO2 - a pressurized form that is part gas, part liquid; instead of water. (Full story)

HPC Advisory Council announces world's fastest 120Gb/s networking demonstration

The following HPC Council member organizations have contributed and are participating in the 120Gb/s InfiniBand SCinet demonstration: AMD, Avago, Colfax Intl, Dell, HP, IBM, InfiniBand Trade Association, Koi Computers, LSI, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and others. (Full story)

What happens when materials break up?

Because of the Roadrunner supercomputer’s unique capability, scientists are for the first time attempting to create atomic-scale models that describe how voids are created in materials, mostly metals, how they grow, and merge; how the materials may swell or shrink under stress; and how once broken bonds might reattach. . . . (Full story)

Lab gains in community perceptions; results of leaders survey released

Los Alamos National Laboratory has made significant improvements in the all important “favorable impression” category of an annual opinion survey.

The tracking study by Albuquerque-based Research & Polling, Inc. continues an annual program measuring the laboratory’s perceived performance and relationships with the communities of Northern New Mexico.

Also this week in the Los Alamos Monitor:

nvironmental work begins in Pueblo Canyon

Los Alamos National Laboratory is beginning to repair a degraded channel in Pueblo Canyon on the northwest side of the White Rock interchange with NM 502. While the work will have some short term impacts, the laboratory expects the job of stabilizing the wetland in the area to have positive results for the long term.

Researchers make hydrogen fuel progress

While previous research has shown that hydrogen can be harvested from ammonia borane for use in a fuel cell, the process leaves behind spent fuel. But researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Alabama have shown that the byproduct can be efficiently converted back into usable fuel through a series of chemical reactions. (Full story)

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Computer scores against HIV

A small section of the HIV phylogenetic tree modeled on Roadrunner. LANL image.

More than idle genetic curiosity, the work is part of en effort to develop an effective vaccine against the deadly disease, said Bette Korber, a Los Alamos National Laboratory biologist and one of the world's leading AIDS geneticists. Full Story - subscription or viewing an ad is required.

Mother Nature aids LANL

Los Alamos National Laboratory and its downstream neighbors may have dodged a chromium bullet. If the latest analysis of the contaminant found in the regional aquifer is sustained, the chromium problem appears to be taking care of itself by natural geochemical processes.
Full Story.


Structures and spectral variations of the outer heliosphere

The sky map was produced with data that two detectors on the spacecraft collected during six months of observations. NASA image.

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has obtained all-sky images of energetic neutral atoms emitted from the heliosheath, located between the solar wind termination shock and the local interstellar medium. Full Story.

LANL project to control sediment

Los Alamos National Laboratory is trying to reduce sediments flowing down two canyons toward the Rio Grande. The lab broke ground last week on one of two planned "grade control" structures aimed at trapping sediments in Pueblo and DP canyons. Full Story.

Boosting math and science education

n Tuesday, Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation devoted much of its annual conference on education to the state's evolving version of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM), known as New Mexico Project 2012.
Full Story.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Laser-particle acceleration advances modern cancer radiotherapy

An international team of physicists at Los Alamos National Laboratory has succeeded in using intense laser light to accelerate protons to energies never before achieved.

Physicists around the world are examining laser particle acceleration and laser produced radiation for potential future uses in cancer treatment. (More)

LANL Roadrunner simulates nanoscale material failure

How mechanical properties change at the nanoscale is of fundamental interest and may have implications for a variety of nanostructures and nanodevices. (More)

LANL Roadrunner models nonlinear physics of high-power lasers

Los Alamos scientists Lin Yin and Brian Albright of Applied Science and Method Development, along with Los Alamos guest scientist Kevin Bowers, are using an adapted version of VPIC, a particle-in-cell plasma physics code, on Roadrunner to model the nonlinear physics of laser backscatter energy transfer and plasma instabilities. (More)

Roadrunner used to explore magnetic reconnection According to LANL

According to
physicist Bill Daughton of the Plasma Theory and Applications group, understanding the three-dimensional evolution of magnetic reconnection at the most basic level remains an exceptionally challenging problem. (More)

AIDS researcher: Finding common ground generates uncommon solutions

Bette Korber wants to see a vaccine for AIDS in her lifetime, and she just might be part of it. She's a laboratory fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where she has co-led a global HIV sequence and immunology database that she hopes will unlock the clues to the vaccine. "It's an international resource for people all over the globe," she says. (More)

Zerkle honored with Gov's award

Carolyn E. Zerkle is currently directing LANL's multiple responses to the Department of Energy's stimulus opportunities under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (More)

Also this week in the Los Alamos Monitor:

On the shoulders of giants; nuclear workers honored

Los Alamos has had many days of commemoration for fallen patriots and veterans of foreign wars, but Friday the community celebrated a day of remembrance dedicated to its own workers.

NM Gov. Bill Richardson was the first of a series of speakers in the program Friday that paid tribute to past, present and future nuclear weapons employees. (More)

Los Alamos National Laboratory names six scientists as 2009 Fellows

The title of Fellow is bestowed on only about 2 percent of the Laboratory's current technical staff. The new Fellows come from myriad scientific disciplines and have sustained high-level achievement important to the Laboratory, become recognized authorities in their fields, and made important discoveries used or cited by peers inside and outside the Laboratory. (More)

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