Friday, January 20, 2017

Weird Mars rock spied by Curiosity Rover is probably a meteorite

“Ames Knob” is an iron-nickel meteorite, image.

The meteorites found by Curiosity — and by the rover's smaller, older cousins, Spirit and Opportunity — could help scientists understand how the Red Planet changed so dramatically over the eons, said ChemCam principal investigator Roger Wiens, of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

"We hope that the meteorites will be able to tell us some information about the Mars environment, such as whether they fell on land or in water, or how dense the atmosphere was when they fell," Wiens told via email. (Full Story)

D-Wave open sources quantum app development software

D-Wave image.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Computer Scientist Scott Pakin built a quantum macro assembler called qmasm that leverages qbsolv to create programs that would otherwise be too large to implement on the D-Wave system. Other national labs are using qbsolv to develop quantum computing frameworks that they hope to open source.

In June 2016, LANL’s Information Science and Technology Institute asked scientists to propose projects involving the use of the D-Wave machine. The goal was to expose as many people as possible to D-Wave software development. (Full Story)

Using neutrons to shed light on diabetes

Amyloid peptides may disrupt the cell membranes of beta cells in the pancreas, from WPI

With neutron reflectometry technology at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a research team that included Izabela Stroe at Worchester Polytechnic Institute explored the role that amyloid polypeptides may play in the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Using specialized equipment at Los Alamos, the team observed what happened to the model membranes when they came in contact with human IAPP. One of the tools they used, neutron reflectometry, is able to produce images of the membranes with high spatial resolution due to the way neutrons scatter from biological objects. (Full Story)

LANS to fund $2.5 million in community projects

Los Alamos National Security, LLC reaffirmed its investment in the community Wednesday, announcing that its board of directors approved $2.5 million to fund community support projects. The investment will go to support education, economic development and charitable giving in the northern New Mexico region. LANS is the management and operations contractor for the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

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