Friday, December 19, 2014

New Los Alamos lab fellows named

Left to Right: Fryer, Kiplinger, Funsten, Gordon and Moore.  LANL image.

Five scientists have been named as this year’s Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows. They are Christopher L. Fryer, Herbert O. Funsten, John C. Gordon,Jaqueline L. Kiplinger and David S. Moore.

“The sustained scientific excellence demonstrated by the work of Chris, Herb, John, Jaqueline and David exemplifies the outstanding people and capabilities we apply to today’s national security mission, and positions the Laboratory to be prepared to meet future challenges,”  LANL Director Charlie McMillan said in a news release. (Full Story)

Also from the Los Alamos Daily Post

Homo Minutus

Illustration from The Scientist.

Led by toxicologist Rashi Iyer of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico,project ATHENA (Advanced Tissue-engineered Human Ectypal Network Analyzer) aims to create a multiorgan platform that mimics the human body. In addition to the heart, this “desktop human” includes organ-on-a-chip counterparts for the lung, liver, and kidney.

“The liver technology was actually developed for extracorporeal support for patients with massive liver damage,” says Iyer. “We took that and developed it further for analytical purposes.”  (Full Story)

In Navajo country, coal gives life — and takes it, some say

Los Alamos' instruments at the Four Corners site. LANL photo.

Four Corners is one of the nation's oldest coal-fired power plants. The facilities are the nation's two largest plant emitters of nitrogen oxide, which can affect breathing in high concentrations, according to a study by the Los Alamos National Laboratory. Scientists found the plants are at the threshold of the Environmental Protection Agency's standards for clean air, but possible changes to the standards could soon put the facilities over the legal limit. (Full Story)

9 Breakthroughs of 2014

NIF target, from LLNL.

Criteria for judging the top 10 included: fundamental importance of research, significant advance in knowledge, strong connection between theory and experiment, and general interest to all physicists.

Members of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the Los Alamos National Laboratory were first to obtain a "fuel gain", important in promising nuclear fusion reactions for future energy production, far greater than one in laser-driven nuclear fusion and fission reaction experiments within the lab. (Full Story)

Manhattan Project Park a go

V-Site at Los Alamos.  LANL photo.

Ten years of effort has been devoted to creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which will have units in Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Tennesee, and Hanford, Washington.

Needless to say, the park’s supporters were very excited to get news that the legislation had passed the Senate on Friday as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. (Full Story)

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Friday, December 5, 2014

Software can now identify DNA from viruses and speed up diagnoses

DNA, image from ComputerWorld.   

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) announced this week that bioinformatics software it created can now identify DNA from fungi, bacteria, viruses and other pathogens, slashing the time it takes to diagnose some illnesses from weeks to hours.

The software can also speed the analysis of cancerous tumor genetics for chemotherapy options and prognosis. (Full Story)

Software speeds detection of diseases, cancer treatment targets

The "Tree of Life" showing the divergence of modern species, from Wikipedia Commons.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has released an updated version of powerful, award-winning bioinformatics software that is now capable of identifying DNA from viruses and all parts of the Tree of Life—putting diverse problems such as identifying pathogen-caused diseases, selection of therapeutic targets for cancer treatment and optimizing yields of algae farms within relatively easy reach for health care professionals, researchers and others. (Full Story)

Also in PhysOrg, and ABQ Business First

New nuclear weapons needed, many experts say, pointing to aged arsenal

A missile launch control facility at Malmstrom Air Force Base. LA Times photo.

Two decades after the U.S. began to scale back its nuclear forces in the aftermath of the Cold War, a number of military strategists, scientists and congressional leaders are calling for a new generation of hydrogen bombs.

Restarting design and production in the U.S., however, would requires billions of dollars to build new facilities, including a metallurgy plant at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico for plutonium triggers. (Full Story)

Editorial: A new way to defeat cyber crime

Author David Pesiri, LANL photo.

Imagine a world in which warfare affecting billions of innocent victims in a single evening could be waged by a handful of enemies using weapons purchased off the shelf from an ordinary electronics store. If such a thing seems impossible,think again. The battlefield of the future is cyberspace, and the future is now.         

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory have made great strides over the past two decades in something called quantum key distribution. These systems use photons to encode information based on complex quantum rules. (Full Story)

NNSA honors Los Alamos in 2014 Sustainability Awards

Jean Dewart fosters behavioral changes across the Laboratory. LANL photo.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) this week awarded 15 Sustainability Awards for innovation and excellence to its national laboratories and sites, and Los Alamos National Laboratory is among the winners, with honorees in both the Best in Class and Environmental Stewardship categories.

The awards recognize exemplary performance in sustainability objectives through innovative and effective programs that increase energy, water and fleet efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases, pollution and waste. (Full Story)

Also from the Post:

LANL Employees Pledge $2.17 Million In 2015 Giving Campaign

The work of more than 250 community and social service organizations will benefit from the more than $2.17 million pledged by Los Alamos National Laboratory employees to United Way and other nonprofits. (Full Story)

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