Friday, March 16, 2012

Guarding grapevines with genes

Dying grapevines. Auburn University photo.

By using genes from humans and insects, scientists created a hybrid gene that can identify the bacteria and kill it, ridding the vine of Pierce's disease before infection. The team inserted the hybrid gene into grapevines, and sap from those vines killed the bacteria in a lab test.

“Due to the synergy of the two functions, you can recognize a pathogen and clear it instantly,” said Goutam Gupta of Los Alamos National Laboratory, which worked on the program with researchers from UC Davis and the USDA. (Full Story)

Could a nuke stop an asteroid after all?

PC Magazine Illustration.

The ongoing debate about how best to deflect an Earth-bound space rock has taken another turn—it seems a targeted nuclear explosion may just do the trick after all.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico have been using the Cielo supercomputer to work on various nuclear weapons physics problems in recent months. Most are classified, but some are being shared with the public, like the model of what would happen if a one-megaton nuclear blast impacted a granular asteroid that's detailed in a video. (Full Story)

This story also appeared in, Discovery News, and HPCwire

LANL reveals Saturn finding

Saturn’s moon, Dione. NASA image.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists, along with an international research team, have announced the discovery of molecular oxygen in the atmosphere of Dione, one of Saturn’s 62 moons.

The finding could have implications for how life couldform on other celestial bodies.

Robert Tokar, a lab scientist who worked on the project, said NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, a nuclear-powered craft the size of a school bus launched in 1997, detected the oxygen ions on a flyby of the small, 700-mile wide moon. Cassini buzzed the moon in 2010, according to a statement from the lab. (Full Story)

IX Power to develop new water, energy tech with LANL

From left, Marcus Lucero, John R. Grizz Deal, Kathleen McDonald, Randall Wilson, Otis (Pete) Peterson, and David Pesiri, LANL Tech Transfer division leader. LANL photo.

IX Power LLC signed a cooperative research and development agreement with Los Alamos National Laboratory to develop and commercialize new water and energy-related technologies.

Under the agreement, IX Power (pronounced “Nine Power”) will provide funding to evaluate and further develop LANL inventions that it hopes to take to market, said IX Power CEO John “Grizz” Deal. (Full Story)

This story also appeared in the Los Alamos Monitor

Panasas and Los Alamos National Lab to examine big data I/O requirements for exascale computing

Dr. Garth Gibson, Panasas co-founder and CTO, and Gary Grider, high performance computing division deputy leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory, will take part in the "Faster Memory, Faster Compute" panel at the GigaOM Structure:Data conference to be held in New York, NY, March 21 and March 22, 2012. (Full Story)

The new algae economy

Randy Grissom, the dean of economic and workforce development at Santa Fe Community College and director of thecollege’s Sustainable Technologies Center, highlights Eldorado Biofuels, headquartered in Santa Fe, a company that is currently involved in a project funded through Los Alamos National Laboratory. “They’re taking used water from the oil and gas industry and using it to grow algae.” (Full Story)

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