Friday, April 2, 2010

Tiny buckyballs could put fast-spreading cancer cells into suspended animation

A basic buckyball structure. PopSci illustration.

Toxicologists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico exposed human skin cells to several types of buckyballs.

One tris configuration of buckyballs had three molecular branches coming off the main structural body in one hemisphere, a hexa configuration had six branches arranged in a symmetrical pattern, and the last was a plain buckyball. (
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Guard troops learn to spot bombs

A handful of New Mexico National Guard troops learned some new techniques to detect the factories and labs where crude bombs are created.

Bomb experts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory led the training.

Lab bomb techs place a homemade explosive device on their range to show troops the real danger of roadside attacks. (
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With a bang

Experts detonate an EFP — explosively formed projectile — during a class for members of the New Mexico National Guard on Wednesday. The training was held at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Photo by Eddie Moore.

In the past year more than 200 soldier-students have attended this crash course in explosives. The intention is to familiarize them with the materials enemies could use to make bombs. Lecture-style instructional periods are a large part of their day, as LANL personnel with PhD's explain what chemicals or materials to watch for in "the theater." (Full Story)

LANL says state hazardous waste permit risks explosives training

N.M. National Guard troops examine how a small homemade explosive charge can penetrate two inches of solid steel. LANL photo.

LANL says that training will be impacted if the New Mexico Environment Department prohibits open burning in the hazardous waste permit the lab has applied for from the state. (Full Story)

Self-repairing materials within nuclear reactors may one day become a reality

The blue glow of a reactor core, called Cherenkov radiation, is light emitted by electrons from the reactor that travel faster than the speed of light in water. LANL photo.

Self-repairing materials within nuclear reactors may one day become a reality as a result of research by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists.

In a paper appearing today in the journal Science, Los Alamos researchers report a surprising mechanism that allows nanocrystalline materials to heal themselves after suffering radiation-induced damage. (
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Someday, a way to 'see' nuclear, chemical threats

David Thompson, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who is monitoring the project, declined to say much about how such a device would be used. But he is impressed by the Drexel-Optra effort thus far - while cautioning that it is still in the early stages. "It's an ingenious technique," Thompson says. (Full Story)

Cray awarded $45M from DOE for new super[computer]

Cray just announced that the US Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Agency has awarded it a $45M contract for a new super to be installed at Los Alamos National Lab. (
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Cray gets $45 million supercomputer contract

Cray Inc said it signed a contract worth more than $45 million to supply the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) with a next-generation supercomputer.

The new system will create a new supercomputing platform, named Cielo, for the advanced simulation and computing program at the NNSA, Cray said. (
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Pint-size reactors face long process

Before it can revolutionize power production and bring clean energy to the third world, Hyperion Power's hot-tub-sized nuclear reactor must navigate a complicated, multiyear regulatory process. (Full Story)

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