Friday, April 27, 2012

World's glaciers 'out of balance’

The retreat of McCall Glacier in North Alaska. The left panel is 1958; the right panel is 2003.
Earth's glaciers are seriously out of balance with the global climate and are already on their way to losing almost 40% of their volume.
"When we look at the data, we can see that the glaciers are out of balance, meaning the climate has actually changed faster than the changes we've seen in ice area and volume," explained Sebastian Mernild from Los Alamos National Laboratory (Full Story)

Brain-scan program wins computing prize

Jordan Medlock describing his winning research project. LANL photo.
Manzano High School senior who taught a computer how to identify plaques in brain scans of mice for Alzheimer’s disease research won this year’s Supercomputing Challenge in Los Alamos.
The 22nd annual competition, sponsored mainly by Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories, had more than 200 New Mexico elementary through high school students, who competed in teams of up to five, according to a lab statement. (Full Story)

Firefighers use new high-tech tool
Firefighting takes on a futuristic look. On tonight’s “Drought Watch” Byron Morton shows us a new firefighting technology being used at Los Alamos National Lab.
It’s called a “Sim-Table” and it uses an overhead projection system and a sandbox to simulate terrain, fire progression, fire mitigation variables, and an amazing array of fire response techniques. (Full Story)

Lab recognizes pollution prevention efforts

George Rael, LASO assistant manager, presents a P2 award to Lab Deputy Director Beth Sellers.  LANL photo.

Efforts to refurbish used gas containers, perform wildfire-related work in the winter, and recycle thousands of lead bricks were among projects winning awards at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s annual P2 Awards.
Employee ideas allowed the Laboratory to save or avoid using more than 100,000 reams of paper, 3,000 chemical containers, 9,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 50 million gallons of fuel, and 80 tons of metal.  (Full Story)

Fused genes tackle deadly Pierce’s disease in grapevines

A gene fusion research project led by a UC Davis plant scientist and collaborators at Los Alamos National Laboratory delivers a one-two punch to Pierce's disease, a deadly threat to California’s world-renowned wine industry. The study was published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Full Story)

Heavy elements 'spark planet formation'
Usually, planets form in star systems with comparatively high concentrations of elements heavier than hydrogen and helium, a new study has suggested.
Such heavier elements are necessary to form the dust grains and planetesimals that build planetary cores, according to the study, which was carried out by researchers Jarrett Johnson and Hui Li of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Full Story)

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