Friday, December 23, 2011

Los Alamos National Laboratory announces top 10 science stories of 2011

Los Alamos National Laboratory's top 10 science stories of 2011 illustrate the broad variety of scientific excellence that's the hallmark of the Laboratory. This year's stories include alternative energy research, world record magnetic fields, disease tracking, the study of Mars, climate change, fuel cells, solar wind, and magnetic reconnection. (Full Story)

Scientists monitor Santa’s journey

Scientists expect Santa to arrive in Northern New Mexico about midnight on Christmas Eve

Los Alamos National Laboratory trackers will use state-of-the-art technology to mark the course taken by St. Nick and his eight tiny and highly efficient reindeer. Visit for a live link beginning at 6 a.m. Dec. 24 to see his whirlwind journey. (Full Story)

Scientists model brain structure to help computers recognize objects

Garrett Kenyon. LANL photo.

A team of scientists are modeling a brain structure to help computers recognize shapes and objects as humans do.

While a humans’ visual performance gets worse when an image is shown for a shorter period of time and when shapes are more complicated, scientists are expecting computers to recognize shapes faster than humans.

After measuring human performance, researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, Chatham University, and Emory University created a computer model based on human neural structure to recognize shapes. (Full Story)

Seven laboratory scientists honored

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has awarded the distinction of Fellow to seven scientists from LANL for advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. (Full Story)

Economy, energy, and entrepreneurship: Los Alamos National Laboratory

David Pesiri. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory’s David Pesiri speaks on topics including funding, peer review, entrepreneurship, nanotechnology research, and communicating research missions in a social networking environment.

Los Alamos is a capabilities-based national security science laboratory. For topics that deal with national security, I think the role of the federal program office is central. And, that means that whether it is DOD (Department of Defense), or the intelligence community, or DHS (Department of Homeland Security), or other agencies, what's prescribed andwhat is assigned really has to do with the federal program. (Full Story)

Cutting edge chemistry in 2011

Typical polyaromatic hydrocarbon. From Wikimedia.

Several teams were trying to work out how prebiotic molecules found themselves encased in cells in the first place. James Boncella, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US, made primitive vesicles to investigate how the first cell-like structures might have harnessed energy. The team made the vesicles from fatty acids and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and trapped metal ions in the central void. (Full Story)

Soyuz launch will return ISS to full staff

Former LANL scientist Donald Pettit gestures as he boards the Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. From USA Today.

"I told my family it's like going back home, or at least my second home," said Pettit, a 56-year-old married father of two who spent six months on the outpost in late 2002 and early 2003.

It also will mark a key milestone for the chemical engineer who began his career at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico in 1983.

"I was there 13 years," Pettit said. "And I find it interesting that I worked the early part of my career at a nationallaboratory, and now I'm going back into space on the space station, and again, it's a national laboratory asset. (Full Story)

Los Alamos, EMC ink deal to develop new HPC technology

Alan Bishop (PADSTE) and Percy Tzelnic, senior vice president at EMC Corp., sign a supercomputing CRADA on Dec. 1 LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced the signing of a new Umbrella Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with EMC Corporation. Together, LANL and EMC will enhance, design, build, test, and deploy new cutting-edge technologies in an effort to meet some of the nation’s most difficult information technology challenges. (Full Story)

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