Friday, May 1, 2015

TB diagnostic tool may also detect TBI

Harshini Mukundan uses an optical biosensor. LANL photo.

A detection approach originally developed for tuberculosis diagnostics is being adapted as a tool for determining traumatic brain injury, one of the challenges facing the medical community as it works to treat military and sports figures with head injuries.

“The goal of this project is to not only detect traumatic brain injuries, but eventually to guide treatment as well,” said lead researcher Harshini Mukundan of Los Alamos National Laboratory. “We hope that our project will greatly benefit the care and recovery of veterans and deployed troops,” (Full Story)

Also from Medical Xpress

Mathematical model seeks functional cure for HIV

HIV, the AIDS virus (yellow), infecting a human immune cell. NIH image.

Individuals with the natural ability to control HIV infection in the absence of treatment are referred to as elite controllers (ECs). Such individuals maintain undetectable viral loads less than 50 copies per mL without therapy.

A group of researchers from Pennsylvania State University and Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a mathematical model of post-treatment control (PTC) of HIV infection in noncontrollers. (Full Story)

New technology could better detect dangerous materials at US ports

A typical American port, from Inside Science.

Some scientists are skeptical. It would still require a huge amount of radiation to scan a full cargo container, said Christopher Morris, chief scientist and head of the Los Alamos Muon Tomography Team. Morris has a patent on technology with a similar goal.

"If you fill up a cargo container from bottom up with frozen peas, the thickness of the peas is two-and-a-half meters. To see through that much material requires enormous doses. It requires incident lethal doses of radiation," and inspectors would have to be shielded from them. (Full Story)

SF team wins supercomputing challenge

Meghan Hill, left, and Katelynn James, right, pose with Rhonda Ward, their AP biology teacher, Journal photo.      

Inspired by circumstances surrounding their teacher, two young women at Santa Fe’s Mesa del Sol charter school took top honors at the 25th Annual New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge with a project on the cutting edge of science, exploring the use of nanotechnology as an alternative way to kill cancer cells. (Full Story)

PATHION develops new solid-state electrolytes

PATHION has an exclusive worldwide license for LiRAP from Los Alamos National Laboratories. Supported by an ARPA-E grant, LiRAP has proven to be a safe alternative compared to the liquid electrolytes used in most of today’s lithium ion batteries.

Solid-state electrolytes, unlike liquid-state, have extremely low expansion, no out-gassing, and the elimination of dendrite growth between anode and cathode, although sometimes at the expense of performance. (Full Story)

Los Alamos computer simulation improves offshore drill rig safety

A simulation of vortex induced motion shows how ocean currents affect offshore oil rigs. LANL image.

The security and efficiency of fossil-fuel extraction methods is increasingly important to an industry seeking to balance environmental concerns and profitability. To meet this goal, they to turn to US DOE Los Alamos National Laboratory supercomputers to understand how turbulent ocean currents affect floating oil rigs. LANL’s simulations point to a safer way to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy. (Full Story)

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