Friday, February 15, 2013

FDA approves first bionic eye for the blind
The implanted detector.  Image from Second Sight Medical Products.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that its support for a decade of revolutionary research has contributed to the creation of the first ever retinal prosthesis – or bionic eye – to be approved in the United States by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for blind individuals with end-stage retinitis pigmentosa. The $75.2 million project involved researchers from five DOE National Laboratories including Los Alamos. (Full Story)

Quantum cryptography put to work for electric grid security

The miniature transmitter communicates with a trusted authority to generate random cryptographic keys to encode and decode information. LANL image.

A Los Alamos National Laboratory quantum cryptography (QC) team successfully completed the first-ever demonstration of securing control data for electric grids using quantum cryptography.

The demonstration was performed in the electric grid test bed that is part of the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) project at the University  of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.  (Full Story)

Simple computer models unravel genetic stress reactions in cells

Molecular structure depicts a yeast transfer ribonucleic acid.   

Brian Munsky, a scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Center for Nonlinear Studies, is adept at untangling biology. Munsky and colleagues report their combined experimental and modeling prediction methods in the Feb. 1, 2013 edition of Science.

These methods integrate single-cell experiments and discrete stochastic analysis to predict complex gene expression and signaling behaviors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae—or yeast, a scientific-lab standard since yeast and human cells share many genes. (Full Story)

New process speeds conversion of biomass to fuels

Artist’s conception of the process. LANL image.              

Scientists took a major step forward recently toward transforming biomass-derived molecules into fuels. The team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers elucidated the chemical mechanism of the critical steps, which can be performed under relatively mild, energy-efficient conditions. (Full Story)

This story also appeared in PhysOrg

Metamaterials provide active control of slow-light devices

Schematic of active optical control of terahertz waves in electromagnetically induced transparency metamaterials. LANL image.     

Wireless communications and optical computing could soon get a significant boost in speed, thanks to “slow light” and specialized metamaterials through which it travels.

Researchers have made the first demonstration of rapidly switching on and off “slow light” in specially designed materials at room temperature. This work opens the possibility to design novel, chip-scale, ultrafast devices for applications in terahertz wireless communications and all-optical computing. (Full Story)

DOE Scientific Computing Center gives awards for HPC science studies

Tanmoy Das.  IOP photo.

The Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) Award for High Impact Scientific Achievement — Early Career — Tanmoy Das, Postdoctoral Researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Das was nominated for his computational work to understand fundamental materials aspects in three different areas: Fermi surface anisotropy, spin-orbit ordering effects,  and self-consistent spin-fluctuation theory. (Full Story)

Q&A: North Korea not a nuclear threat to U.S. yet, scientist says

Sig Hecker.  From the LA Times.

The country is years away from being able to hit the U.S. despite its recent test, says Siegfried Hecker, who has visited its facilities.

Hecker is a former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and a professor at Stanford. But his knowledge of the North Korean nuclear program is not purely academic. (Full Story)

Los Alamos Venture Acceleration Fund Accepting 2013 Applications

The Venture Acceleration Fund (VAF) of Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the company that manages and operates Los Alamos National Laboratory for the National Nuclear Security Administration, is accepting applications for the2013 calendar year. Companies selected will receive awards that can range from $10,000 to $100,000 in order to commercialize technology and take it to market faster. (Full Story)

Generosity marks YMCA’s 2013 Red and Black Ball

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan with, from left, YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly, wife Janet McMillan and Los Alamos County Clerk Sharon Stover as the Y’s annual Red and Black Ball gets underway.

During the evening's live auction, a $750 winning bid to have lunch with the Laboratory director was won by Roger Waterman of TRK and Steve Girrens of LANL. (Full Story)

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