Friday, June 17, 2016

Science on the Hill: Fragile life underfoot has big impact on desert

Field study area, from the New Mexican.        

By decomposing organic matter, some of the biocrust microorganisms release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Others remove carbon dioxide from the air and fix it into biomass in the soil.

It is a nicely balanced system — except it’s under assault, according to recent research by a multidisciplinary team of biologists, geneticists and computational scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service. (Full Story)

Efficient hydrogen production made easy

Hydrazine reaction apparatus, LANL image.

New research from Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers, “Efficient Hydrogen Evolution in Transition Metal Dichalcogenides via a Simple One-Step Hydrazine Reaction,” not only presents one of the best hydrogen water splitting electrocatalysts to date, but also opens up a whole new direction for research in electrochemistry and semiconductor device physics. (Full Story)

The neutrino turns 60

Interior of the Los Alamos neutrino detector at LANSCE in the 1990s, LANL photo.

“At every turn, it seems to take a decade or two for scientists to come up with experiments to start to probe the next property of the neutrino,” says Keith Rielage, a neutrino researcher at the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory. “And once we do, we’re often left scratching our heads because the neutrino doesn’t act as we expect. So the neutrino has been an exciting particle from the start.” (Full Story)

Kitware brings ray tracing to the visualization toolkit

Surface modeling using the VTK plug-in running on ParaView, from Kitware.

Kitware introduced a new capability to the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) to offer scalable, high-fidelity rendering functionality to next-generation high-performance computing platforms. “At Los Alamos, we are very excited that OSPRay is integrated with ParaView, and we look forward to applying it to our scientific problems of interest on Trinity,” said James Ahrens, Ph.D, the data science at scale team leader at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Also from WIS-TV

Genomics conference started when human genome sequencing finished

Chris Detter. Post photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, by virtue of its historic concerns about radiation effects on human cells, had a head start in collecting genetic information and would become a major producer and repository of genetic information.

A conference founder and LANL genomics researcher, Chris Detter said the idea for the convocation came up one day while he was walking across the Omega Bridge in Los Alamos and posed a question to a colleague: “How about we start bringing all the centers around the world together at one location and we have a meeting?” he wondered. (Full Story)

Los Alamos app allows users to visit 1940s ‘Atomic City’

Security gate on the outskirts of Los Alamos in 1955, LANL image.             

Los Alamos, a once secret city where scientists participated in the nation’s classified World War II nuclear development program, can now be experienced much like it was then with a new app.

The "Los Alamos: The Secret City of The Manhattan Project" iPhone app takes users through an "augmented-reality" while visiting the northern New Mexico city to see it in its 1940s character. The app was created by Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

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