Friday, August 12, 2011

Using neutrons to spy on the elusive hydronium ion

In a paper appearing in Angewandte Chemie International Edition, Los Alamos researchers join an international team in describing the role played by the elusive hydronium ion in the transfer of protons during enzyme-catalyzed reactions.

Prior to this research, no one has ever directly witnessed the role of the hydronium ion, a water molecule bound to an additional hydrogen ion, in macromolecular catalysts—the catalytic mechanisms of enzymes (full story).

McMillan addresses community leaders' event

Charlie McMillan, attending his first regional community leaders’ breakfast as director, assumed the post at the beginning of June. But on June 26, the Las Conchas Fire erupted, threatening the lab and the townsite.

McMillan put himself up front and center during the crisis, attending daily news conferences at Ashley Pond. And most of what the lab went through during the fire already has been well documented (full story).

Also in the Monitor this week:

LANL honors inventors

The 13th Annual Outstanding Innovation Technology Transfer Awards reception honored laboratory inventors of patented, licensed, and copyrighted technologies for their important role in transferring science and technology from Los Alamos National Laboratory to industry. The awards reception took place Thursday at Fuller Lodge (full story).

Inside LANL’s radioactive waste dump

Area G was heavily protected during fire

LOS ALAMOS, NM (KRQE) - Los Alamos National Laboratory officials let News 13 into the heavily guarded Area G in Technical Area 54 on Thursday. It’s also known as the radioactive waste site.

“We have about nine thousand barrels,” said Don Cox, the Deputy Associate Director for Environmental Programs at LANL. The accumulation of waste has happened over decades, and only within the past decade has the lab started shipping most of the waste to a permanent waste disposal site in remote southeastern New Mexico (full story).

BYU prof looks at numbers behind safety of aging nukes

Shane Reese, a statistics professor, is a co-author on research that analyzes past tests of nuclear weapons to look at the reliability of the United States's nuclear weapons stockpile at Los Alamos National Laboratories in New Mexico (full story).

FDA warns against the use of CardioGen-82

The FDA has alerted health care professionals to stop using CardioGen-82 for cardiac PET scans due to increased radiation exposure. Modeling performed by the Los Alamos National Laboratory suggests the excessive radiation exposure of approximately 90 mSv associated with strontium isotopes (full story).

Local hazmat team wins competition

Dirty bombs, railroad cars leaking unidentified noxious fluids and even a drug lab cleanup: either a series of major catastrophes has hit New Mexico, or it's the 15th annual Hazmat Challenge.

The challenge, an annual training event held at Los Alamos National Laboratory, also includes an element of competition with a traveling trophy winning hazmat teams take home each year.

The trophy is one that Farmington has hosted more than most, and because of an exceptional showing at this year's challenge the city once again can proudly say, "We're the best." (full story)

Metal band climbs into wayback machine

Tom Gattis can be likened to a superhero.

No, he wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider and now can climb walls and shoot webs out of his wrists. Nor is he from Krypton and is not faster than a locomotive or can leap a building in a single bound.

But Gattis does share a common thread with these superheroes — a double life.

Gattis is a structural/civil engineer at Los Alamos National Laboratory by day, a heavy metal musician by night (full story).

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