Friday, October 2, 2009

Ancient skeleton may rewrite earliest chapter of human evolution

LANL’s Giday WoldeGabriel collecting samples in Ethopia. Science photo.

Ethiopian geologist Giday WoldeGabriel of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, also a co-leader of the team (he joined in 1992), is searching for a familiar-looking motif—a distinct layer of volcanic tuff called the SHT (Sidiha Koma Tuff), previously dated to 3.4 million years ago by radiometric methods. Read two news items from Science Magazine here, and here.

Oldest "human" skeleton found -- disproves "missing link"

LANL geologist Giday WoldeGabriel examines a slab of diatomite in the Afar region of Ethiopia, LANL photo.

"All of a sudden you've got fingers and toes and arms and legs and heads and teeth," said Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, who co-directed the work with Berhane Asfaw, a paleoanthropologist and former director of the National Museum of Ethiopia, and Giday WoldeGabriel, a geologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Full Story.

Human ancestor story captures imagination of the worldwide press

See a collection of news stories from across the globe via Google news.

$6.4 billion lab budget approved

Congressional negotiators Wednesday approved a $6.4 billion budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration's nuclear weapons program in 2010, essentially unchanged from the 2009 spending for the program.

The budget, which includes money for Sandia and Los Alamos national labs, splits the difference between the House, which wanted to cut nuclear weapons spending, and the Senate, which wanted to increase it. Full Story.Link
Also from the Albuquerque Journal this week:

LANL helps NASA with lunar bricks

Last month scientists from Prairie View A&M University's Center for Radiation Engineering and Science for Space Exploration brought bricks made of simulated moon dirt to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, where a neutron beam helped determine whether the bricks could one day be used to build lunar habitats.
Full Story.

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LANL begins demolition of domes used to store transuranic waste

LANL crews demolish a containment dome at TA-54.

San Ildefonso Pueblo governor happily watches as LANL demolishes the first of 13 nuclear waste storage structures. The first of the 13 domes was ripped to shreds Wednesday morning, its 4,000 barrels of waste already shipped off to the Waste Isolation Pilot Project site in Southern New Mexico.
Full Story.

CO2 removal from air could reduce
foreign oil dependence

University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Los Alamos National Laboratories are working on a project called Green Freedom which ultimately would combine a high-temperature teaching and test reactor and the ability to pull carbon dioxide from the air to create carbon-neutral synthetic fuel.
Full Story.

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