Friday, April 5, 2013

Scientists get inside look at how AIDS virus grooms its assault team

“The viruses that make it through transmission barriers to infect a new person are particularly infectious and resilient,” said Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist Bette Korber. “Through this study we now better understand the biology that defines that resilience.”

Research will help inform vaccine design and interpretation of vaccine trials, and provide new insights into the basic biology of viral/host dynamics of infection (full story).

Research deciphers HIV attack plan

A new study by Los Alamos NationalLaboratory and University of Pennsylvania scientists defines previously unknown properties of transmitted HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS. The viruses that successfully pass from a chronically infected person to a new individual are both remarkably resistant to a powerful initial human immune-response mechanism, and they are blanketed in a greater amount of envelope protein that helps them access and enter host cells (full story).

End of the line for Roadrunner supercomputer

It's the end of the line for Roadrunner, a first-of-its-kind collection of processors that once reigned as the world's fastest supercomputer.

The $121 million supercomputer, housed at one of the nation's premier nuclear weapons research laboratories in northern New Mexico, will be decommissioned Sunday.

As part of the U.S. nuclear stockpile stewardship program, researchers used Roadrunner's high-speed calculation capabilities to unravel some of the mysteries of energy flow in weapons (full story).

LANL to pull plug on record-setting computer

Rest in peace, Roadrunner. Roadrunner, the first supercomputer to break the once-elusive petaflop barrier – one million billion calculations per second – will be decommissioned by Los Alamos National Laboratory on Sunday. The IBM system achieved petaflop speed in 2008, shortly after installation at the lab.

“Without ceremony, this weekend the World’s Fastest Supercomputer from 2008 will be switched off,” LANL said in an announcement. “But it will not be forgotten. Advancements made possible by Roadrunner have informed current computing architectures and will help shape future designs.” (full story)

'Petaflop' supercomputer is decommissioned

A US supercomputer called Roadrunner has been switched off by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The machine was the first to operate at "petaflop pace" - the equivalent of 1,000 trillion calculations per second - when it launched in 2008.

It has been used to model viruses and distant parts of the universe, as well as in nuclear weapons research (full story).

Antarctica is melting too, new video

A chilling new video of Antarctica’s future has been created, and I’m not just saying that for the sake of the cheap pun. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has recently released the short clip which their experts produced with the assistance ofclimate scientists from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the UK’s University of Bristol. It includes three different computer-generated simulations of how Antarctica’s Amundsen Sea Embayment — a bay currently lined with glaciers — is expected to melt over roughly the next 200 years (full story).

‘A better path’ toward projecting, planning for rising seas on a warmer Earth

In two recent papers in the journals Nature Climate Change and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers present a probabilistic assessment of the Antarctic contribution to 21st-century sea-level change. Co-authors include Nathan Urban, a former postdoc with Princeton’s Michael Oppenheimer now at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (full story).

Guest Column: Turn labs into local economic ecosystems

New Mexico has two national laboratories — Los Alamos and Sandia — each with R&D budgets near $2.5 billion. Both of the New Mexico laboratories have demonstrated that they are capable of doing economically relevant work.

We must identify ways to make the federal R&D investment at a government-owned laboratory have three to five times as much local economic impact as a single federal investment in highway construction (full story).

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