Friday, May 22, 2009

Pandemic passenger screening for airports

Four major US national laboratories have worked together to develop a computer model to help airport authorities screen passengers for pandemic influenza.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in Richland, Washington, and teams at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, California, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, report details of their simulations in the current issue of the International Journal of Risk Assessment and Management. (Full story)

New Zealander uses mathematics to unlock virus secrets

Swine flu researcher Catherine Macken and her colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico are trying to pinpoint why the latest swine influenza virus can move relatively quickly between humans.

Macken estimates there have been around 50 distinct incidences of pig-human transmission in the last three decades, but every other time the virus has hit a "dead-end" once it reached a human host. (Full story)

Magnetic cactus demonstrates mathematical plant patterns

In a recent study, researchers have experimentally demonstrated for the first time a celebrated model of "phyllotaxis," the study of mathematical regularities in plants. Now, researchers have constructed a "magnetic cactus" with 50 outward-pointing magnets acting as spines.

With this setup, the researchers, from Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico; Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; and The Pennsylvania State University (PSU), have verified Levitov's model, and their study has been published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. (Full story)

LANL conference eyes energy futures

The speakers who laid the foundation for a high-level conference on 21st century energy saw many of the same problems in a talk Monday. They differed in examples and emphasis, but they agreed that the world is facing an extreme test. The Los Alamos National Laboratory-hosted conference that runs this week at the La Fonda Hotel has about 125 participants. (Full story)

LANL workers give $170K to campaign

Employees of Los Alamos National Laboratory for the eighth consecutive year are the largest contributors to the United Way of Santa Fe County's annual giving campaign.

Lab employees and Los Alamos National Security LLC, the company that manages the lab for the National Nuclear Security Administration, donated $170,000 to the campaign. (Full story)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Los Alamos employees raised more than $2 million in pledges and donations in its most recent United Way giving campaign, which supported both United Way of Santa Fe County and United Way of Northern New Mexico. The figure includes a dollar-for-dollar match from LANS.

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