Friday, October 17, 2008

News from Los Alamos National Laboratory for Oct. 13 - 17

LANL awards $120M in contracts

Pictured from left to right are San Ildefonso Pueblo Gov. Leon Roybal, Ohkay Owingeh Gov. Earl Salazar, Laboratory Director Michael Anastasio, U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), and Don Winchell, manager of the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Los Alamos Site Office. Standing near Bingaman is Evelyn Maes of the lab’s Government Affairs Office.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has awarded four new subcontracts, worth a total of $120 million, to four New Mexico-based businesses.

The awards include a five-year, $65 million contract with TSAY Construction and Services LLC to provide custodial services to LANL.

TSAY is owned and operated by Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. The award is the largest contract ever won by an American Indian business from the laboratory, drawing praise from U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM. See the full story here.

Beam solves the 'case of the gold'

One of the largest specimens of single crystalline gold ever found rests in Heinz Nakotte's palm.

Several valuable nuggets have been locked in a safe every night at Los Alamos National Laboratory lately, and that isn't a reference to weapons codes or nuclear secrets.

A New Mexico State University neutron physicist working with a geologist from Ohio has kept some precious pieces of raw gold in the vault at the Lujan Neutron Scattering Center.

That's where they are secured when Heinz Nakotte is not actually peering inside one or another to see how it's made. Get the rest of the golden facts here.

Researchers develop new technology to detect breast cancer

X-ray computed tomography (CT) image compared with the ultrasonic migration reconstruction image of the inclusion, both show a small feature that was an unintentional part of the simulated, water filled, cyst.

Though screening for breast cancer through mammograms can be uncomfortable, expensive and potentially risky, new technology being developed by a team of scientists may help offset those concerns.

Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are now collaborating to develop ultrasound-computed tomography to better screen for breast cancer. The effort is led by the Detroit-based Karmanos Cancer Institute. See the story here.

Exploded view

One might think that the last thing the world needs right now is another high explosive material. However, there are countless applications for civilian explosives in demolition, mining, and engineering, so researchers are always on the look out for compounds with a lot of pent up energy that can be put to good use.

Now, David Chavez of the of High Explosives Science and Technology group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, USA, and colleagues Michael Hiskey and Darren Naud, in collaboration with Damon Parrish of the Naval Research Laboratory, in Washington, DC, have produced a melt-castable nitrate ester that is a highly explosive solid at room temperature.

Read the whole explosive story here.

LANL names a new leader of public affairs

Los Alamos National Laboratory named Lisa Franklin Rosendorf on Tuesday to head the Communications and Government Affairs Division. She takes the place of David McCumber, who has expressed his desire to return to the practice of law and has been reassigned to the office of Legal Council, according to a lab announcement.

"There is a real transformation underway as the laboratory becomes a 21st century hub for national security science," Rosendorf said in a telephone interview this morning. Read the whole story here.

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