Friday, November 14, 2014


How Wikipedia reading habits can successfully predict the spread of disease

Sarah Del Valle.  LANL photo.

Nowcasting is cool, but ideally you want to provide information to public health departments and policymakers so they can plan ahead of time," said Sara Del Valle, a project leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory whose team worked on the study. "Because if you really want to make a difference in how people are treated when they come to clinics and hospitals, it's better for them to be prepared. If they know in advance, we will see people in a couple of weeks, four weeks, they can better prepare." (Full Story)

Wikipedia positioned to track disease outbreak: The model that could rival current resources

Del Valle and colleagues study Wikipedia.  LANL photo.

"A global disease-forecasting system will change the way we respond to epidemics," Dr. Sara Del Valle, lead study author of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said in a press release. "In the same way we check the weather each morning, individuals and public health officials can monitor disease incidence and plan for the future based on today's forecast. The goal of this research is to build an operational disease monitoring and forecasting system with open data and open source code. This paper shows we can achieve that goal." (Full Story)

Similar stories also appeared in the International Business Times, BBC News, Live Science and many other news outlets

LANL showcases supercomputing history

Cielo Supercomputer.  LANL image.
Los Alamos National Laboratory is celebrating 100 supercomputers. The center that is best known for its role supporting national security for the last seven decades is also widely hailed as a premier supercomputing site.

“Computing power for our Laboratory’s national security mission is a huge part of our proud legacy, and it plays an integral role in our bold future,” says Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. (Full Story)

Also in the Los Alamos Monitor
and on YouTube

HIV transmission from manicure instrument highlights little-known risks for infection

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention already outline several mechanisms by which HIV spreads, including some common routes like sharing needles and having sex with someone HIV-positive, and other less frequently talked about, like being bitten by someone with HIV or eating food that was pre-chewed by someone with HIV. Manicure utensils are not part of this list.

Admittedly, some don’t see a need for it. “This transmission of HIV by shared manicure equipment is a very rare event that should serve not to make people fear HIV or contact with HIV-infected people,” said Dr. Brian Foley, of the HIV Sequence Database at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, in a statement. (Full Story)

Unusual light in dark space revealed by Los Alamos, NASA

LANL's Joe Smidt. LANL Image.

By looking at the dark spaces between visible galaxies and stars the NASA/JPL CIBER sounding rocket experiment has produced data that could redefine what constitutes a galaxy.

"What was very surprising is the brightness of many fluctuations that appear between stars and galaxies," said Los Alamos scientist Joseph Smidt, part of the data analysis team that studied the data from CIBER. (Full Story)

Also in the Los Alamos Monitor

And on YouTube

The dawn of nuclear weapons goes viral

Fat Man on Tinian Island. LANL photo.

A few years ago, the Los Alamos National Laboratory started posting historical pictures on Flickr, a photo-sharing site. The lab’s history section now has 515 images like early bombs and scientists and rapidly expanding fireballs and rising mushroom clouds.

A recent wave of Internet photographs has featured Little Boy and Fat Man preparations; one shows a man signing the nose of the Nagasaki bomb, and another is a tail fin close-up of scrawled names and home states, including Wisconsin and New York. (Full Story)

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