Friday, June 22, 2018

How scientists discovered a new way to produce actinium-225, a rare medical radioisotope

A single patient with end-stage prostate cancer. The first 
before treatment with actinium-225, the second after three 
doses, and the third after an additional dose.

Scientists have figured out how to harness actinium-225's power for good. They can attach it to molecules that can home in on only cancer cells. In clinical trials treating late-stage prostate cancer patients, actinium-225 wiped out the cancer in three treatments.

"There is no residual impact of the prostate cancer. It's remarkable," said Kevin John, a researcher at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Los Alamos National Laboratory. Actinium-225 and treatments derived from it have also been used in early trials for leukemia, melanoma, and glioma. (Full story)

Also from Newswise

Researchers investigate enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes for quantum computing

A carbon nanotube defect site generated by functionalization 
of a nanotube with a simple organic molecule. LANL graphic.

Scientists at Los Alamos and partners in Germany and France are investigating the enhanced potential of carbon nanotubes to be used as single-photon emitters in quantum information processing. Their analysis of progress in the field has been reported in the recent edition of the journal Nature Materials.

“We are particularly interested in advances in nanotube integration into photonic cavities for manipulating and optimizing light-emission properties,” said Stephen Doorn, one of the authors and a scientist with the Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full story)

Beetles exploit warm winters to expand range, study confirms

Bark beetles have killed millions of trees, LANL photo.

Anew study by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists and colleagues confirms that increasing minimum winter temperatures allow beetles to expand their range but reveals that overcrowding can put the brakes on population growth.

"It has long been predicted that warming winters will allow range expansion. This is the first large dataset that demonstrates that warmer winter temperatures are likely allowing mountain pine beetles to establish outside of their native range," said Devin Goodsman, a Los Alamos postdoctoral researcher and first author on the report. (Full story)

Also in the Daily Post

This ghostly subatomic particle could help us understand dark matter

LSND at Los Alamos, LANL photo.

The Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector, or LSND collaboration used a beam of neutrinos generated by the accelerator complex at the Los Alamos National Laboratory for their research. But what they found was that their measurement was inconsistent with the reports of other scientists. The only way they could make sense of their measurements was if there existed not three types of neutrinos participating in neutrino oscillations, but rather four or more. (Full story)

Using 1 trillion files helps scientist find a needle in a haystack

Bradley Wade Settlemyer.

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist having trouble solving a stubborn research problem needed some help – his scientific simulations had generated a sea of data, but it took so long to search the data that he couldn’t find the information he needed. He found himself looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. At the same time, the lab’s storage research team had been hard at work on another classic big data problem: creating massive numbers of files as quickly as possible. The day the team met with the scientist, you could say that Big Science and Big Data put their heads together – and now they’re making history. (Full story)

Physical acoustics summer school hosted by UM

Demo at the 2018 Physical Acoustics Summer 
School. UM photo.

Sometimes the quickest introduction to cutting-edge physical acoustics is questioning why a whistling bottle rocket whistles.

That’s why Greg Swift, a member of the Condensed Matter and Magnet Science Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, held a bottle rocket – unlit – in a ballroom at The Inn at Ole Miss earlier this month (June 3-8) during the 2018 Physical Acoustics Summer School, or PASS. (Full story)