Friday, November 23, 2012

Drought lies in the throat of the thirsty

Forest researcher Park Williams. From the Journal.

If your measure of drought is the combined stress of rising temperatures and lack of moisture on Southwestern forests, the drought of the past decade is significantly worse than the droughts of 1898 or the 1950s, according to an analysis by Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Park Williams. Ditto if your measure is the amount of water flowing through the Colorado River Basin, providing vital supplies to New Mexico, six other western U.S. states and Mexico. (Full Story)

Los Alamos research and leadership prizes awarded

Left to right, Garzon, Batista, and Beyerlein.  LANL photos.

Commendations for exemplary scientific research and leadership have been bestowed upon three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, Fernando Garzon, Cristian Batista and Irene Beyerlein, by the Laboratory Fellows organization.

"This year's prizes again show the depth and breadth of the scientific talent at Los Alamos," said Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. "I'm proud that Los Alamos continues to be a home for such creative and innovative work. Congratulations to Fernando, Cristian, Irene, and their collaborators." (Full Story)

LANL names 2012 Laboratory Fellows

Left to right, Farrar, Elliot, and Shashkov.  LANL photos.

Three members of the Los Alamos National Laboratory scientific staff are being honored with appointment as Laboratory Fellows for 2012. The new Los Alamos Fellows are Charles Farrar, Steven Elliott and Mikhail Shashkov.

"Chuck, Steven, and Mikhail have made exceptional contributions in their fields and to national security,” said lab Director Charlie McMillan. “To be honored by their peers is a testament to their work. I congratulate the 2012 Laboratory Fellows and thank them for their service.” (Full Story)

Now Big Brother is REALLY watching you

The first part of the project involves a program called PetaVision. This initiative is a cooperative effort between Los Alamos National Laboratory and Portland State University with the support of the National Science Foundation. The goal of this initiative is to “Achieve human-level performance in a ‘synthetic visual cognition’ system,” in other words, create a computer program that will duplicate a human’s ability to see and recognize objects, specifically faces. (Full Story)

Nano insights could lead to improved nuclear reactors

Scanning electron microscope image of a copper and iron nano pillar. The arrow points to the interface between the two metals. From Caltech.

In order to build the next generation of nuclear reactors, materials scientists are trying to unlock the secrets of certain materials that are radiation-damage tolerant.

Scientists from Caltech, Sandia National Laboratories, UC Berkeley, and Los Alamos National Laboratory have taken a closer look at radiation-induced damage, zooming in all the way to the nanoscale. (Full Story)

LANL leads effort in nuclear disarmament

A section of the Aries disassembly line at TA-55.  LANL photo.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Lab are working to help the U.S. meet the goals of a 2007 treaty with Russia to decrease the two nations’ nuclear weapons stockpiles.

On Thursday, the National Nuclear Security Association said LANL, in its second year of production, has managed to disable weapons pits and create 200 kilograms of plutonium oxide that cannot be used for weapons. (Full Story)

NNSA delivers W76-1 units to Navy for 2012

W76-1.  SNL photo.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has announced that it delivered all of its scheduled W76-1 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile warhead units to United States Navy in FY 2012.

The W76-1 Life Extension Program involves engineers, scientists and technicians from NNSA’s Pantex Plant, the Y-12 National Security Complex, Savannah River Site, Kansas City Plant, Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. (Full Story)

Also from the Daily Post this week:

New companies get boost from Los Alamos National Security

Two local biotech start-ups, a water and power company and a hardware inventor are the latest recipients of $165,000 in Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) awards from Los Alamos National Security, LLC.

“Although the program was originally intended to commercialize Lab technologies, VAF frequently funds companies with no tie to LANL or research institutions,” says David Pesiri, the Laboratory’s Technology Transfer Division leader. (Full Story)

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