Friday, April 28, 2017

Antarctica has a network of meltwater rivers that is much larger than previously thought

Reuters image.     

The effects of warming global temperatures are already being felt in the Antarctic, says Stephen Price, a meltwater researcher at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

"Ice shelves are very flat, and essentially lie at sea level. So a small increase in temperature at sea level can translate to an increase in temperature over a very large area of an ice shelf," Dr. Price tells the Monitor via email. "If temperatures at sea level are already near the melting point, then small increases in temperature could lead to huge areas of the surface of ice shelves that were previously frozen becoming melted, for at least part of the year." (Full story

Seven amazing women in tech you need to know

Sara Del Valle, LANL image.

Sara Del Valle, Computational Epidemiologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory – We use mathematical equations to describe how diseases spread. Then we use computer science to create simulations like what you see in computer and video games. We can ask, “What happens if there’s a virus in an airport? Or in a school?” then simulate how the virus spreads. Usually we rely on code from existing packages, but sometimes we write our own from scratch.

Even though I'm a mathematician, I lead a team of computer scientists, software developers, and statisticians. The software developers build the simulations and add new capabilities to the code.  (Full story)

Evidence that dark matter emits gamma rays weakened

Cluster of galaxies EMSS 1358+6245 about 4 billion light years from Earth, NASA image.      

New evidence shows that radiation of gamma rays from dark matter is less convincing, as other parts of galaxies also emit excessive gamma ray. This leaves the dark matter to remain the biggest mystery.

“What I see in the control regions looks just like what I see in the galactic center,” Astrophysicist Andrea Albert of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico who also participated in the analysis said. “That's a bummer.”

Gamma rays radiation was previously believed was emitted by dark matter as its signature of activities. However, this finding has weakened the case of dark matter. (Full story)

Researchers hope breakthrough will lead to better test for bovine TB

Scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory say they have made a breakthrough that could lead to a quick blood test for bovine tuberculosis. Harshini Mukundan, leader of the lab’s biomedical applications team, said they came up with the idea after speaking with local ranchers.

"It is kind of incredible that when one cow is potentially infected the whole herd may have to be culled," she said. "If you could have a process that you could run on all of the animals and say, 'yes, this one has been infected' and 'no, this has not,' then obviously a lot of that time and economic burden could be reduced." (Full story)

Managing disease spread through accessible modeling

Influenza A.           

A new computer modeling study from Los Alamos National Laboratory is aimed at making epidemiological models more accessible and useful for public-health collaborators and improving disease-related decision making.

"In a real-world outbreak, the time is often too short and the data too limited to build a really accurate model to map disease progression or guide public-health decisions," said Ashlynn R. Daughton, a graduate research assistant at Los Alamos and doctoral student at University of Colorado, Boulder. She is lead author on a paper out last week in Scientific Reports, a Nature journal. (Full story)

Jaqueline L. Kiplinger to receive award for pioneering contributions to chemistry

Jaqueline Kiplinger, LANL photo.       

Jaqueline Kiplinger, Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellow within the Inorganic, Isotope and Actinide Chemistry Group, is the recipient of the 2017 Violet Diller Professional Excellence Award given triennially by Iota Sigma Pi (the National Honor Society of Women in Chemistry). The award recognizes contributions to chemistry that have had widespread significance to the scientific community or society on a national level.

Kiplinger is an internationally recognized leader in f-element chemistry, the study of lanthanides and actinides.  Kiplinger came to Los Alamos as the first Frederick Reines Postdoctoral Fellow in 1999.  (Full story)