Friday, December 3, 2010

Scientists Ratchet Up Understanding of Cellular Protein Factory

Inverse-color close-up representation of the transfer RNA binding regions in a bacterial ribosome. LANL image.

heoretical biologists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have used a New Mexico supercomputer to aid an international research team in untangling another mystery related to ribosomes -- those enigmatic jumbles of molecules that are the protein factories of living cells. (
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Mercury serves up a nuclear surprise

Physicists had assumed that atomic nuclei split into equal sized pieces. But studies of unstable nuclei are revealing a very different picture. Nature Illustration.

he observation of an unexpected nuclear reaction by an unstable isotope of the element mercury has thrown up a rare puzzle. The enigma is helping theorists to tackle one of the trickiest problems in physics: developing a more complete model of the atomic nucleus.

Theorist Peter Möller of Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, thinks that he has an explanation. He has used a nuclear model that he and his colleagues developed [that] considers the stability of the differently shaped nuclei that occur as mercury-180 divides. (
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Biomagnetics Reports the Identification of a Second Biomarker

his is a significant milestone in the cooperative research agreement that was signed between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Biomagnetics, representing a major step in the development of a new point-of-care diagnostic system. In parallel, development of assays for two different tuberculosis biomarkers and the Cholera toxin is currently in progress. (
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Solid storage solution

Diammoniate of diborane contains a high weight fraction of hydrogen. Image from Spectroscopy Now.

Scientists from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Thomas Proffen of the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, explain how there has been a resurgence of interest in hydrogen-rich boron compounds. (Full Story)

LANL workers make pledge to United Way

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees have pledged a record $1.5 million to United Way and other eligible nonprofit programs.

Los Alamos National Security LLC, which operates the Laboratory, plans to apportion its $1 million match, according to the preferences of its employees, bringing the total donation to $2.5 million.

The laboratory employee contributions will fund a number of United Way agencies and programs as well as other eligible nonprofit organizations. (
Full Story)

LANL Debuts Hybrid Garbage Truck

Los Alamos National Laboratory has begun using a diesel-hydraulic hybrid truck for daily garbage pickup, improving fuel efficiency by 30 percent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by even more. The truck employs a system that stores energy from braking and uses that pressure to help the truck accelerate after each stop—a key feature in the stop-and-go life of a garbage truck. Traditional trucks lose that energy as heat during braking. (Full Story)

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