Friday, June 12, 2015

Rapid diagnosis a new weapon against re-emerging TB

Harshini Mukundan, LANL photo.

Around the world, tuberculosis is making a comeback, owing to the increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and several other factors. The untreatable drug-resistant strains of the bacterium are rapidly increasing, causing grave concern. Drug resistance is a widespread global challenge today and could result in a post-antibiotic era, if unchecked. That and the global health concern of TB are two reasons why our team at Los Alamos National Laboratory has developed an innovative toolset for the early and accurate diagnosis of the disease. (Full Story)

Fusion researchers use Titan supercomputer to burst helium bubbles

Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers simulate helium bubbles growing inside a fusion reactor, LANL image.

A Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL)-based team made up of Luis Sandoval, Danny Perez, Blas Uberuaga, and Arthur Voter is working to understand more fully how tungsten behaves in such harsh conditions. The group hopes that by better understanding the interactions between helium bubbles and tungsten, they can predict the evolution of the material and maybe even mitigate concerns over tungsten in the reactor. (Full Story)

Working in atomic physics, Metropolis fashioned a musical tool

Nicholas Metropolis, LANL photo.     

June 11 marks the 100th birthday of mathematician Nicholas Metropolis (1915-99). An early recruit to the Manhattan Project who became a mainstay at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Metropolis was known for his work on the Monte Carlo method, initially used for problems of atomic physics too complicated for classical mechanics, but too particular for the broad solutions of calculus. (Full Story)

These giant robot arms handle highly radioactive materials

These enormous devices you can see in this fisheye photo are the main parts of remote manipulator arms at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s radiochemistry hot cell facility, where highly radioactive materials are used to produce isotopes for medical purposes.

The highly radioactive materials used to produce these critical isotopes can only be handled remotely inside hot cells, which are heavily shielded concrete containments with leaded glass windows to protect radiochemists from the radiation inside. (Full Story)

Education standouts

Chloe Keilers, Los Alamos High School, from the New Mexican.

Seventy-eight New Mexico students received $422,500 in scholarships from the Los Alamos Employees’  Scholarship Fund. Chloe Keilers of Los Alamos High School and Alexander Ortiz of Santa Fe High School each received the top awards of $20,000 as Gold Scholars.

Area students receiving $10,000 Silver Scholarships are Isabel Chavez, St. Michael’s High School; Eliza Harrison, Santa Fe Preparatory School; and Alexander Swart, Los Alamos High. (Full Story)

VISIBLE Team teaches teens the art and science of video games

Travis Burkett, right, and other members of Los Alamos National Laboratory's 'VISIBLE Team' (Virtual Simulation Base Line Experience) were at the Los Alamos Teen Center Friday to teach the art and science of creating video games. 'It's for serious purposes but we basically make video games at the Lab,' Burkett said. 'We're trying to get kids interested in artistic careers. This is a field that is only going to grow.' (Full Story)

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