Friday, January 6, 2012

Artificial vision: Image and pattern recognition with lateral neural networking

Garrett Kenyon. LANL photo.

Digital images make a computer’s “eyesight” fantastic, but how well can software, even advanced neural networking programs, actually recognize and identify the contents of a photo? Not very well, currently, but a new paper published in the Public Library of Science may be changing that by modeling neural network functions after human visual abilities.

Decoded Science had the opportunity to ask co-author Garrett T. Kenyon of Los Alamos National Laboratory a few questions about this study. (Full Story)

Career profiles: Breakthrough behind the scenes

Photo from Science.

Kimberly Powers spent a year researching tobacco use prevention and control at the University of New Mexico. Then, at Los Alamos National Laboratory, she studied mathematical models that could explain the behavior of viruses within a host and helped scientists develop new models.

Now a postdoc at UNC, she's trying to clear one of treatment-as-prevention's major hurdles: understanding how HIV is transmitted during its so-called acute stage, which occurs before the infection is recognized. Her most recent findings suggest that targeting those early infections with drugs like HPTN 052 could deliver a serious blow to the HIVepidemic. (Full Story)

Survey of ‘leaders’ gives lab high marks

For the second straight year, the Los Alamos National Laboratory continues to get high marks from community leaders.

According to the latest survey released earlier this month, LANL “has maintained this high level of favorability as 78 percent of the community leaders say they currently have a favorable opinion of the lab. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor this week:

LANL chief McMillan hit the ground running

McMillan speaks at the post fire "thank you" event at Ashley Pond. Monitor photo.

Los Alamos lab director Charles McMillan had been on the job for about a month when June 26 rolled around. He had just taken over for Mike Anastasio, who retired.

McMillan will never forget where he was on June 26 when the Las Conchas Fire started. He will never forget because it also was his anniversary. (Full Story)

Top 7 ‘breakthrough’ military weapons

Inner configuration of the FEL. LANL image.

#3 The Free Electron Laser. Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have announced that they’ve successfully built and tested a device that can produce the type of electrons needed to generate weapons-grade megawatt laser beams. A Navy ship armed with such a laser would be able to zap a barrage of incoming missiles. (Full Story)

June beetles conscripted into cyborg army

Honeybees are trained to sniff out explosives. LANL photo.

Cybugs can leverage insects’ highly evolved natural capabilities -- their natural sensors and power generation skills -- to provide cheap robot-like capabilities.

Take the honey bee. The Los Alamos National Laboratory has already demonstrated that olfactory training can exploit the bees’ fantastic sense of smell to turn them into effective explosives detectors. (Full Story)

Century of statehood: Making history on the Hill

Santa Fe New Mexican photo.

In her 90 years, Mary Roeschke hasdone a little of it all: working at Los Alamos National Laboratory during the Manhattan Project, taking minutes for the Legislature, driving a school bus and raising two sons, one of whom was among the first children born in Los Alamos.

At Los Alamos Roeschke would catch little glimpses of what was going on in the new, secretive hilltop outpost, as she typed up memos and asked for the signatures of some of science’s biggest names. (Full Story)

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