Friday, May 8, 2015

 Defeating the Virus

Illustration from The Scientist

Bette Korber and colleagues at Los Alamos National Laboratory are designing so-called mosaic antigens to overcome HIV diversity. These are computationally derived proteins created by stitching together genetic sequences from across the entire HIV genome. These mosaic antigens, when delivered via viral vectors either alone or in combination with each other or a protein booster component, can provide greater breadth of cellular immune responses against HIV variants and protect against SHIV infection in monkeys. (Full Story)

 The trouble with reference rot

Van de Sompel, LANL photo.

Herbert Van de Sompel, an information scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory Research Library in New Mexico, quantified the alarming extent of this 'link rot' and 'content drift' (together, 'reference rot') in a paper published last December. With a group of researchers under the auspices of the Hiberlink project, he analysed more than 1 million 'web-at-large' links (defined as those beginning with 'http://' that point to sites other than research articles) in some 3.5 million articles published between 1997 and 2012. (Full Story)

LANL team developing downsized MRI for use on battlefield

Second generation MRI system, LANL photo.

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory are working on a mobile MRI machine that could help doctors in battlefield hospitals and in poor communities better diagnose injuries to the brain and other soft tissues.

It won’t be small enough to fit in a backpack, but the machine that lab scientist Michelle Espy and her team hope to perfect will be a lot more portable than the typical Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine used in a hospital. (Full Story)

Watch the video

Two more from the New Mexican this week:

Farmington second cleanest city for particle pollution, study says

Four corners power station, from the Daily Times

“It’s not just particles that are a concern to health,” Climate Scientist Manvendra Dubey said. “It’s also things like ozone and smog, which are gasses.”

Dubey was part of a study the national laboratory released in 2014 that found the San Juan Generating Station, Four Corners Power Plant, San Juan Mine and Navajo Mine were collectively the largest point-source polluters in the country. (Full Story)

Los Alamos startup aims to glean data from satellite images

Steven P. Brumby, Descartes Labs co-founder, New Mexican photo.

Started last year by a group of scientists with a century of experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Descartes Labs is training computers to use satellite images in what it hopes will change the way we see the world.

Descartes co-founder Steven P. Brumby, a theoretical physicist who led a machine-learning team at LANL for seven years, remembers as a child that he always wanted the window seat on airplanes, “to see what was on the ground.” (Full Story)

Why your next light saber will be an LED enhanced with Quantum Dots

Quantum Dot window material, LANL image.

According to our friends over at Los Alamos National Laboratory, that would be a little more than 15 years before the discovery of quantum dots. We bring that up because quantum dots have emerged as the linchpin of next-generation lighting technology.

Quantum dots are nanoscale particles of semiconductor materials. They’ve earned the moniker “artificial atoms” because their electronic properties can be precisely engineered. (Full Story)

Inspiring a new generation of women in nuclear science and engineering

ChemCam on the Curiosity rover. NASA image.

Nina Lanza, a research scientist from Los Alamos National Laboratory currently working on the Curiosity Rover mission on Mars, brought a unique research perspective based on her experiences working in a large multidisciplinary team. Her research focuses on the elemental analysis of Martian rock and soil using ChemCam, an instrument that combines laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy with a high-resolution camera. (Full Story)

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