Friday, April 13, 2012

Cancer therapy gets a boost from new isotope

Miering Nortier holds a sample target. LANL photo.

Using proton beams, Los Alamos and its partners could match current annual worldwide production of the isotope in just a few days, solving critical shortages of this therapeutic isotope that attacks cancer cells.

A collaboration between Los Alamos, Brookhaven, and Oak Ridge national laboratories is developing a plan for full-scale production and stable supply of Ac-225. (
Full Story)

Cancer therapy gets a boost from new isotope -- VIDEO extra

Click on the picture to watch a YouTube video about the research.

A new medical isotope project at Los Alamos National Laboratory shows promise for rapidly producing major quantities of a new cancer-treatment agent, actinium 225.

Ac-225 emits alpha radiation. Alpha particles are energetic enough to destroy cancer cells but are unlikely to move beyond a tightly controlled target region and destroy healthy cells. Alpha particles are stopped in their tracks by a layer of skin—or even an inch or two of air. (Full Story)

When stellar metallicity sparks planet formation

Artist’s concept showing a young Sun-like star surrounded by a planet-forming disk of gas and dust. NASA.

In new research, scientists have attempted to determine the precise conditions necessary for planets to form in a star system. Jarrett Johnson and Hui Li of Los Alamos National Laboratory assert that observations increasingly suggest that planet formation takes place in star systems with higher metallicities.

“Our calculation is an estimate of the minimum amount of heavy elements that must be present in circumstellar disks before planets can form,” says Johnson. (Full Story)

How it would work: Destroying an incoming killer asteroid with a nuclear blast

Click on the picture to see a YouTube video.

The killer asteroid--the one that we might never even see coming--could end life on this planet and there would be nothing humans could do about it. It creates a kind of helplessness that’s difficult to even think about, and it’s Robert Weaver’s job to think about it all the time.

Weaver, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), doesn’t hunt for killer asteroids, but he does study the ways humans might use their vast nuclear arsenals--designed to wipe each other off the face of the planet--to save the whole of humanity from a catastrophic asteroid impact. (Full Story)

How do supermassive black holes get so big?

The Sagittarius A black hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. NASA.

In 1988, when the study of supermassive black holes in galaxies was in its infancy, Jack Hills, an astrophysicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, proposed that the smoking gun for a supermassive black hole at the center a galaxy would come in the form of stars vaulting from the galactic center at speeds of more than 1 million miles an hour – essentially fast enough to escape from the galaxy. (Full Story)

Cyber security exercise puts laboratories to the test

LANL's Dale Leschnitzer works through a cyber-security disaster scenario. LANL photo.

Fending off thousands of computer attacks from around the world, controlling vast libraries of sensitive information, yet keeping the scientific flow of knowledge moving, cyber teams such as those at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and elsewhere in the government complex feel the squeeze.

Recently, LANL hosted an information security exercise dubbed "Eventide" that put more than 100 participants from around the [DOE] complex into a virtual maelstrom of bad news and worse events. (Full Story)

Navajos, lab to study reservation resources

Lawrence Livermore, along with Los Alamos and Sandia national laboratories in New Mexico, is part of team that is laying the groundwork to provide long-term technical assistance to tribes on energy development and resource management. (Full Story)

Fire season looms

The lab will simulate how fire will move through Los Alamos with a map projector aimed at a sand box shaped with the area’s topographic detail. The exhibit will give people the opportunity to see almost exactly how a new fire might progress through the area. (Full Story)

LANL Prepares for 2012 Fire Season

Emergency Operations at Los Alamos National Laboratory continually plans and prepares for the yearly wild fire season in Northern New Mexico.

Fire readiness activities include training with the latest in simulation technology, the SIM Table, and a year-round program of fire fuel mitigation, thinning too-dense forest and cutting back thick underbrush all across Lab property. (Watch the
video here or click on the picture)

LANL selects three New Mexico firms for environmental work

Three northern New Mexico companies will compete for up to $250 million in service contracts to transport and dispose of hazardous and radioactive waste at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

To subscribe to Los Alamos Report, please e-mail and include the words subscribe losalamosreport in the body of your email message; to unscubscribe, include unsubscribe losalamosreport.

Please visit us at
And don't forget to follow us on Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr