Friday, June 25, 2010

Regulators failed to address risks
in oil rig fail-safe device

The Q4000 drilling rig operates in the Gulf of Mexico at the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster Wednesday, June 16, 2010. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

Without any way to see into the blowout preventer, engineers had essentially been operating blind, using the rate of oil flow, for example, to deduce the conditions inside. Help came from Scott Watson, an expert in gamma ray imaging at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Gamma rays, a form of electromagnetic radiation similar to X-rays but higher in energy, might at least penetrate a few inches into the blowout preventer’s thick steel walls. (Full Story -- the Los Alamos passage appears on page 8 of 9)

Research from Los Alamos National Laboratory
has provided new data on viral hepatitis

Hepatitis at 20x Magnification. From MicroscopyU.

Researchers detail in 'Designing a low-cost drug resistance database for viral hepatitis,' new data in viral hepatitis. According to a study from the United States.

"Self-maintaining and self-updating sequence databases already exist for several viruses. The resistance mutation database would be annotated by authorized users, recruited from among clinicians and researchers familiar with each virus," wrote C. Kuiken and colleagues, Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Sterile neutrino back from the dead

Artist's concept of an oscillating neutrino. LANL illustration.

In the 1990s, results from the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector (LSND) at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico suggested there might be a fourth flavour: a "sterile" neutrino that is even less inclined to interact with ordinary matter than the others. (Full Story)

NASA prepares for potentially damaging
2011 meteor shower

Leonid meteors seen from 39,000 feet aboard an aircraft. (NASA)

Meteoroids 2010 - an international conference on minor bodies in the solar system held May 24-28 in Breckenridge, Colo. The conference was sponsored in part by NorthWest Research Associates/CoRADivision, NASA, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Office of Naval Research. (Full Story)

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