Friday, November 11, 2016

Smoking causes extensive damage to DNA, study shows

Ludmil Alexandrov, LANL photo.

“Tobacco smoking damages DNA in organs directly exposed to smoke as well as speeds up a mutational cellular clock in organs that are both directly and indirectly exposed to smoke.” said Ludmil Alexandrov of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, who led the study.

In other words, it accelerates the occurrence of genetic mutations, increasing the risk of cancer.

"Before now, we had a large body of epidemiological evidence linking smoking with cancer, but now we can actually observe and quantify the molecular changes in the DNA due to cigarette smoking," Alexandrov said. (Full Story)

Also from Smithsonian and Nature World News

Humans on Mars

Animation of a prototype nuclear powered deep space explorer, LANL image.

"Mars is in the air. We grew up with the Apollo program," said Patrick McClure, Los Alamos National Lab. "We really want to make that happen in our lifetime. We think it would be a great contribution to humanity."

Like his other far-flung team members, Los Alamos nuclear reactor scientist Patrick McClure is bubbling with enthusiasm about the end uses for the small nuclear reactor his team will test in the Nevada Desert in 2017. The reactor is named Kilopower. (Full Story)

LANL captures multiple R&D 100 Awards

Pulak Nath holds the Pulmonary Lung Model, LANL image.

Los Alamos National Laboratory captured several R&D 100 awards: Two, for co-developed cyber security products, Entropy Engine and Path-Scan; two for a pair of large collaborations, the CCSI (Carbon Capture Simulation Initiative) Toolset and the Virtual Environment for Reactor Applications (VERA); one for a medical device, the PulMo (Pulmonary Lung Model); and another Special Recognition Award Winner for Quantum-Dot Solar Windows. (Full Story)

Fermi biography takes readers to ground zero

A valuable new biography recognizes the lifelong contributions of a physicist who had roles in the work of all three legs of the project that developed the bomb – at Hanford, Wash., at Oak Ridge, Tenn., and at Los Alamos.

His name is Enrico Fermi.          

At Los Alamos Fermi was a valuable member of the team that fit “all the pieces together. He was the person to consult about almost any physics question.” Fermi, a native of Italy, received the 1938 Nobel Prize for Physics. (Full Story)

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