Friday, March 28, 2014

Lab-made mini human to screen drugs, toxins

Illustration of an integrated desktop human testing system.

Led by researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Athena project aims to create mini versions of four artificial organs -- liver, lung, heart, and kidney -- that can be connected inside an artificial torso.

Each organ will be about the size of a smartphone screen, according to LANL, and be connected by tubing filled with artificial blood. All together, the Athena "body" should be small enough to sit on a desk. (Full Story)

Also in the Times of India

ATHENA desktop human 'body' could reduce need for animal drug tests

Project leader Rashi Iyer.  LANL photo.

Creating surrogate human organs, coupled with insights from highly sensitive mass spectrometry technologies, a new project is on the brink of revolutionizing the way we screen new drugs and toxic agents.

"There are huge benefits in developing drug and toxicity analysis systems that can mimic the response of actual human organs," said Rashi Iyer, a senior scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Also in Bio-Medicine, and R&D Magazine

Semiconductor material can be magnetized with light

William Rice holds a crystal of strontium titanate up to the light. LANL photo.

Interest in oxide-based semiconductor electronics has exploded in recent years, fueled largely by the ability to grow atomically precise layers of various oxide materials. One of the most important materials in this burgeoning field is strontium titanate (SrTiO3), a nominally nonmagnetic wide-bandgap semiconductor, and researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have found a way to magnetize this material using light, an effect that persists for hours at a time. (Full Story)

Team observe closest milemarker supernova in generation

Close proximity of the supernova helps scientists assess distances. Image from Nanowerk

The team observed the supernova a mere 12 million light years away from Earth. Finding one so close is important because astrophysicists use these stars to map distances in the universe.

The supernova, SN 2014J, was observed through the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory project, which is a scientific collaboration with California Institute of Technology,  Los Alamos National Laboratory, and others. (Full Story)

It's not easy staying green: Forests and climate change

Frontiers in Science Lecture Series presented by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows featuring Nathan McDowell of Earth Systems Observations Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Climate warming is imposing a threat upon our forests unlike any other they have experienced in thousands of years. Warming dries the forests so that, from the perspective of the trees, even short droughts are severe. No forests appear to be immune to this challenge. (Full Story)

Innovation Summit honors 10 lab-related businesses

Ten New Mexico small businesses participating in projects using either the technical expertise or receiving other assistance from Los Alamos and Sandia are being recognized at the 13th annual Innovation Celebration.

“The technical expertise Los Alamos and Sandia principal investigators provide to small business owners is another example of the vital importance of the national laboratories to the state of New Mexico and small business owners,” said David Pesiri of Los Alamos. (Full Story)

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