Friday, October 19, 2018

LANL scientist Bette Korber honored for work on HIV vaccine

Bette Korber, a theoretical biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been named scientist of the year by R&D magazine, for her innovative “mosaic” design for an HIV vaccine.

“We selected Bette as our 2018 Scientist of the Year to recognize not only her groundbreaking contribution to the mosaic vaccine and the fight against HIV, but also for her continued commitment to trying new and innovative scientific approaches,” said Bea Riemschneider, the magazine’s editorial director. (Full Story)

Also from Laboratory Equipment

Three Los Alamos Medal winners changed the course of science

From left, Paul Whalen, Geoffrey West and John M. Pedicini, LANL photo.          

Los Alamos National Laboratory today announced that three individuals have been awarded the Los Alamos Medal, the Laboratory’s highest honor, for groundbreaking contributions to science and national security. John M. Pedicini, Paul Whalen and Geoffrey West were selected for their distinguished achievements that have impacted the success of the Laboratory, either through mission accomplishments or enhancing the Laboratory’s distinction. (Full Story)

These new tricks can outsmart deepfake videos—for now

Deepfakes could have a profound effect on courts, from Wired.

Over at Los Alamos National Lab, cyber scientist Juston Moore’s visions of potential futures are a little more vivid. Like this one: Tell an algorithm you want a picture of Moore robbing a drugstore; implant it in that establishment’s security footage; send him to jail. In other words, he's worried that if evidentiary standards don’t (or can’t) evolve with the fabricated times, people could easily be framed. And if courts don't think they can rely on visual data, they might also throw out legitimate evidence. (Full Story)

Arctic greening thaws permafrost, boosts runoff

Arctic researchers dig deep snow pits to understand the warming effect of snow-shrub interactions on underlying permafrost. LANL photo.

A new collaborative study has investigated Arctic shrub-snow interactions to obtain a better understanding of the far north's tundra and vast permafrost system. Incorporating extensive in situ observations, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists tested their theories with a novel 3D computer model and confirmed that shrubs can lead to significant degradation of the permafrost layer that has remained frozen for tens of thousands of years. These interactions are driving increases in discharges of fresh water into rivers, lakes and oceans. (Full Story)

Los Alamos lab spin-tests nuclear missile instrument

The High Explosives Centrifuge Test facility. LANL image.

Scientists and engineers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are using a new centrifuge facility to evaluate a flight-ready telemetry equipment for evaluating test missile launches. The equipment transmits a stream of data on the missile’s temperature, acceleration, vibration, and strain at various parts of the weapon’s airframe. Because test missile flights end with missiles being destroyed, telemetry data from the flight must be collected by receiving stations along the flight path. (Full Story)

Watch the video

Modeling non-numerical data in systems biology

Illustration from MNN.

An interview with Dr. Eshan Mitra, Ph.D., from Los Alamos National Laboratory, discussing the importance of computer models in biology and the development of a more accurate model of the RAF phosphorylation pathway.

Why are computer models used in systems biology?

We use computer models to study processes in biology that are challenging to directly observe with experiments. Our models focus on cell signaling pathways: sets of proteins in a cell that work together to perform a certain function, such as cell growth. (Full Story)

LANL, NM Tech strengthen collaboration

A lot more scientists and engineers from Los Alamos National Laboratory and New Mexico Tech could be mingling on each other’s campuses under a new agreement to be signed Thursday in Socorro.

The new accord allows for joint appointments for faculty and staff at both institutions, providing unprecedented access to one another’s research and facilities. (Full Story)

LANL Profile: Michael Martinez capturing culture in art

Michael Martinez, from the Daily Post.

With pen and ink, artist Michael E. Martinez of Los Alamos’ Detonation Science and Technology group takes to paper, beautifully crafting a bleached skull with a headdress inspired by the American Plains Indians. To give it a New Mexican theme, he uses the Zia symbol for the skull’s eyes and accents the smooth face and war bonnet with turquoise coloring. Emblazoned on the New Mexico flag, the Zia symbol originated with the Zia people. (Full Story)

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