Friday, September 15, 2017

 Neutralizing biothreats through disease forecasting

Forecasting disease is a tricky business. Health records are an obvious source, but their built-in lag time in reporting limits their usefulness for disease forecasting. So a multidisciplinary team with expertise in epidemiology, ecology, mathematics, data science, computer programming and remote sensing at Los Alamos National Laboratory have turned to data from some surprisingly familiar sources. Look no farther than what’s under your thumb, plus extensive satellite imagery. (Full story)

Detection of mineral bolsters argument that Mars was once habitable

Mars, as it may have looked 4.2 billion years ago (left) and today (right). Credit: Kevin Gill

Despite the existence of both a thicker atmosphere and water, questions remain as to whether or not Mars was truly habitable in the past. According to a new study from a team of researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the discovery of a specific mineral (boron) has added weight to the argument that Mars was once a potentially life-bearing world.

The study, titled “In situ detection of boron by ChemCam on Mars“, was recently published in the scientific journal Geophysical Research Letters. For the sake of this study, the LANL research team consulted data collected by the  Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument aboard the Curiosity rover, which showed evidence of boron on the surface of Mars. (Full story)

Will the gut-brain connection revolutionize wellness?

The Viome in-home test kit, from Viome.

While there are a variety of blood, saliva, urine, and stool tests that can evaluate your gut and the various indicators we’ve been describing, most fail to give you a full picture of everything that’s going on inside your digestive tract. Fortunately, a technology originally designed for the national security at Los Alamos National Lab and recently licensed by Viome has allowed for a way to test your complete microbiome, allowing you to determine what type of foods to eat in order to support your microbiome. You can discover which bacteria, viruses, yeast, fungus or mold are present in too great quantities, which need to be replenished, and which markers of chronic inflammation are present in your gut. (Full story)