Friday, November 19, 2010

Researcher takes ‘mosaic’ approach to new HIV vaccine

HIV is not only a different kind of beast; it's a different beast every day.

"We're in the evolutionary fast lane studying HIV," said Bette Korber, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher who led a team that designed a vaccine expressly to counter the genetic diversity of the virus.

"As soon as the body makes an immune response, HIV wiggles out of it," she said (full story).

LANL pledges $2.5M to United Way

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees are donating $1.5 million to United Way and other nonprofit programs this year.

That’s up from $1.3 million pledged by employees last year.

Los Alamos National Security LLC, which operates the laboratory, will provide $1 million in matching funds, bringing total contributions this year to $2.5 million (full story).

Los Alamos scientists develop sensors, simulators that could make turbines energy-efficient, wallet-friendly for wind farmers

When a turbine blade breaks, it's no easy fix.

Just ask the wind-farm owner who has to front the $250,000-plus price tag for bringing in the crane — and has to shell out the additional bucks to fix or replace the blade.

That's just one hurdle that keeps wind energy trailing coal in cost-effectiveness. Right now, wind costs about 5 to 8 cents per kilowatt-hour, while you can get a kilowatt-hour of coal power for about half that price.

The Department of Energy's goal is to close that cost gap and increase wind power by 20 percent over the next 20 years. But Washington, D.C., isn't the only place where people are getting serious about alternative energy — a team of interdisciplinary scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory is leading a project that could help make turbines more affordable and efficient for wind-farm owners (full story).

LANL physicist among Early Career honorees

Physicist Eric D. Bauer of Los Alamos National Laboratory is among the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers recently announced by the Obama Administration.

This is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are early in their independent research careers (full story).

National lab in NM names 5 Fellows

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - Five scientists have been named Fellows at Los Alamos National Laboratory in northern New Mexico.

They are Brenda Dingus of the neutron science and technology group; William Louis of the subatomic physics group; John Sarrao, director of Los Alamos's Office of Science Programs; Dipen Sinha of the sensors and electrochemical devices group; and Giday Woldegabriel of the computational earth sciences group (full story).

Temperature breakthrough for hydrogen storage

A compound first made in 1923 releases hydrogen at a lower temperature than ammonia borane, one of the most studied materials for hydrogen storage (full story).

Brain Research Fund Awarded $5K

The Mind Research Network has announced a $5,000 gift to the Domenici Discovery Fund from Los Alamos National Security LLC which manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory for DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration.

"The LANS contribution brings MRN closer to our goal of delivering tools for more accurate and earlier diagnoses of brain disease and disorders," said John Rasure, MRN president and CEO. "LANL has been a critical partner since MRN's founding, and we appreciate their confidence in our mission." (full story)

FBI exec takes over LANL counterintel

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) - The assistant director of the FBI's counterintelligence division has accepted a position as counterintelligence head at Los Alamos National Laboratory (full story).

Full-body scanners: we reveal all

The recent release of pictures taken by full-body scanners has outraged the travelling public and focused attention on the risks the devices may carry. New Scientist deals with the concerns:

Are there health concerns surrounding millimetre-wave scanners?

In theory, these ought to be safer than X-rays because millimetre photons do not have enough energy to break chemical bonds. Last year, however, researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico suggested that these low energy photons could damage DNA in an entirely novel way. . . . (full story)

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