Friday, May 28, 2010

Los Alamos lab's new golden age:
Federal stimulus money fuels jobs for cleanup, research

Visitors check out a remote excavating machine at the TA-21 clean up open house. LANL photo.

More than 60 years after the development of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos National Laboratory officials are using $212 million in federal stimulus funding for environmental cleanup that will provide hundreds of jobs for demolition and excavation workers.

The lab is also receiving $65.7 million in stimulus money for renewable energy research as well as studies of tree mortality, transuranic waste and superconducting radio frequency cavities. (Full Story)

LANL shows off cleanup efforts

A robotic excavator is used in conjunction with an environmental cleanup at LANL. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory held a public open house Saturday to show off their numerous cleanup projects including their first ever hazardous waste landfill. The landfill was used during World War II and the Manhattan Project. (Full Story)

Recovery Act at LANL provides jobs, environmental cleanup

Three workers hired for Recovery Act projects at Los Alamos National Laboratory share their stories

See the
YouTube movie here!

Robot Rodeo: Bomb squads sharpen skills
via remote pancake-making contest

Sgt. Troy Baker, left, head of the Santa Fe Police Department's bomb squad, watches the monitor as technician Scott Waite maneuvers the robot during Wednesday's competition. Santa Fe New Mexican photo.

Six bomb squads - from Santa Fe police, Albuquerque police, New Mexico State Police, Farmington police, the Los Alamos lab and the New Jersey State Police - are taking part in the training, which is scheduled to run through Friday.

The teams guide their robots through 10 different challenges, including an obstacle course, simulated attacks, cooperation exercises and activities designed to test abilities to minutely control the robot, said Chris Ory, a member of the LANL hazardous devices team. (
Full Story)


Los Alamos National Laboratory is hosting its fourth annual Robot Rodeo this week, where bomb squads converge in the forest to compete against each other in events meant to demonstrate dexterity in operating remote-controlled robots used to help disarm explosives.

The Santa Fe Police Department's bomb squad is one of six teams competing for trophies in the three-day event. Tasks include navigating a darkened obstacle course and splitting a wire with a 12-gauge shotgun mounted on each robot. (Full Story)

Bingaman visits Gulf of Mexico, applauds
N.M. National Labs

"After spending time in the Gulf, it's clear to me that there is an aggressive effort underway to solve this problem. I have hopes that the attempt later this week to stop the leak will be successful," Bingaman said. "I am also glad to know that both Sandia and Los Alamos has some of their best and brightest people working with BP and the federal government." (Full Story)

Swift survey finds smoking gun of
black hole activation

The optical counterparts of many active galactic nuclei (circled) detected by the Swift BAT Hard X-ray Survey. NASA Image.

ata from an ongoing survey by NASA's Swift satellite have helped astronomers solve a decades-long mystery about why a small percentage of black holes emit vast amounts of energy. Swift was built and is being operated in collaboration with Penn State, the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, and others. (
Full Story)

Scientists gain new "core" understanding of nanoparticles

hile attempting to solve one mystery about iron oxide-based nanoparticles, a research team working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) stumbled upon another one. But once its implications are understood, their discovery* may give nanotechnologists a new and useful tool.
…The research team, includes scientists from Oberlin College and Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

There’s just one hurdle left in the quest to build an artificial cell, but . . .

Is this Life?

ordes of green, sub-microscopic balloons float in a watery mixture in Jack Szostak's laboratory at Harvard Medical School. They come in a variety of shapes: spheres, blimps, worms. And as Szostak examines magnified images of them, he can't help but notice a striking resemblance to bacterial ecosystems, pulsing with that fetid, yet undeniable quality that has eluded definition for generations--life. (
Full Story)

Autonomous robots could be used for
homeland security, spying

Nick Morozovsky works on a robot at the University of California San Diego. Union-Tribune photo.

"These projects, where we can coordinate with gifted university students and staff, can potentially become important lifesavers in devastating situations," said Nancy Ambrosiano, a spokesperson at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Full Story)

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