Friday, September 19, 2014



Oilfield sensor wins LANL innovation prize

Dipen Sinha and the innovative technology award. LANL photo.             

Los Alamos National Laboratory awarded the 2014 Richard P. Feynman Innovation Prize to Dipen Sinha and a research team that collaborated to develop a sophisticated acoustic sensor that can maximize flows in oil fields.

The sensor, called SAFIRE, was refined in collaboration with GE and Chevron and has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency of an existing oil field. (Full Story)



Ionic liquids disperse bacterial biofilms and increase antibiotic susceptibility

The five stages of biofilm development. From BioTech Daily.

Biofilm-protected bacteria account for about 80% of bacterial infections in humans and are 50–1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than bacteria that do not produce biofilms. Biofilms in skin are further protected by the outermost layer of skin, the stratum corneum, which serves as a natural barrier to most therapeutic agents.

Following a search for agents capable of disrupting orinactivating biofilm protection, investigators at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and UCSB reported in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (Full Story)



Collaboration drives achievement in protein research

Thomas Terwilliger.  LANL photo.

“It is tremendously exciting working with researchers around the world, helping them apply the software and algorithms that we have developed to see the inner workings of molecular machines,” said Thomas Terwilliger, a senior Los Alamos scientist and Laboratory Fellow.    

The Los Alamos National Laboratory connection is the development of software, called SOLVE/RESOLVE and PHENIX, in the protein structure analysis of the nuclease. (Full Story)

Also from Science Codex and the Los Alamos Daily Post



Secure computing for the everyman: Quantum computing goes to market

Quantum Key device. LANL photo.

The largest information technology agreement ever signed by Los Alamos National Laboratory brings the potential for truly secure data encryption to the marketplace after nearly 20 years of development at the nation's national-security science laboratory. 

“Quantum systems represent the best hope for truly secure data encryption, because they store or transmit information in ways that are unbreakable by conventional cryptographic methods,” said Duncan McBranch, Chief Technology Officer at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)




LANL conducts experiment in Nevada

The Leda experiment is moved from the DAF at NNSS. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully fired the latest in a series of experiments at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

“Leda is an integrated experiment that provides important surrogate hydrodynamic materials data in support of the Laboratory’s stewardship of the U. S. nuclear deterrent,” said Bob Webster, Associate Director for Weapons Physics. (Full Story)



DOE Secretary showcases National Labs on Hill

National Lab day on Capitol Hill.  LANL photo.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz joined Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL and Sen. Jim Risch, R-ID for National Lab Day on the Hill.

The event highlighted several notable research projects from across the National Laboratory system. Senators Durbin and Risch also formally launched the Senate National Laboratory Caucus       

“The National Labs continue to advance science, clean energy and nuclear security in this country,” Moniz said. “The Labs also provide essential capabilities for university and industrial researchers.”  (Full Story)


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Friday, September 12, 2014



Lab reports lowest radiation emissions in two decades

Technical Area 3. LANL photo.           

Los Alamos National Laboratory reached its lowest radioactive air emissions rate in 20 years during 2013, the lab reported Thursday. “The laboratory has worked diligently to ensure the air is as clean as possible.”

Based on 2013 data from 40 air monitoring stations located at the lab and in neighboring communities that measure ambient air quality, the off-site dose rate was 0.21 millirem — about 2 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act limit of 10 millirem, a unit of radioactive measurement. (Full Story)

Also from the Los Alamos Monitor



Los Alamos conducts important hydrodynamic experiment in Nevada

Making final adjustments to "Leda" in the "Zero Room" at the NNSS U1a facility. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory has successfully fired the latest in a series of experiments at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

“Leda is an integrated experiment that provides important surrogate hydrodynamic materials data in support of the Laboratory’s stewardship of the U. S. nuclear deterrent,” said Bob Webster, associate director for weapons physics. (Full Story)


Also from Homeland Security Newswire



National Labs play unique role in working for America
Co-author Charlie McMillan.  LANL photo.

By Paul Alivisatos, Dan Arvizu, Charlie McMillan and Terry Michalske. 

As directors within the National Lab System, we are honored to steward the phenomenal resources of this one-of-a-kind research network to solve problems in the public interest. In today’s rapidly changing global environment, the list of technological demands is staggering: more and cleaner energy, better batteries, carbon capture and storage, faster and more powerful supercomputers, national security, and the development of more energy efficient homes and offices, to name just a few. (Full Story)



LANL hosts pre-campaign kickoff reception

Alan Bishop talks about the 2015 Employee Giving Campaign and why he finds giving personally satisfying. LANL photo.

Individuals in the position of division leader and above joined United Way staff, board members and LANL Executive Director Rich Marquez for the Lab's Employee Giving Campaign "Pre-campaign" Kickoff Reception Sept. 2 at the Oppenheimer Study Center.

LANL Giving Campaign Chair Alan Bishop explained that the theme for the 2015 campaign is "Leading the Way" by example. He issued a challenge for this year's goal to surpass the all-time campaign's employee participation rate of 21 percent in 2013 and exceed last year's $2million in employee contributions. (Full Story)



New exhibit highlights archaeology, wildlife, and climate

Nake'muu Pueblo archaeological site on Los Alamos National Laboratory property. LANL photo.    

The Bradbury Science Museum unveils a new interactive exhibit featuring the rich history and current research into archaeology, wildlife biology, local climate and sustainability efforts at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The exhibit shows in posters, interactive elements and videos the Laboratory’s compliance work and research into the diverse archaeological and biological resources found here, as well as local climate research and the Laboratory’s environmental sustainability activities. (Full Story)



Day of commercially available quantum encryption nears

Quantum Key Device, LANL photo.

The largest information technology agreement ever signed by Los Alamos National Laboratory brings the potential for truly secure data encryption to the marketplace after nearly twenty years of development at the national-security science laboratory.      

“Quantum systems represent the best hope for truly secure data encryption because they store or transmit information in ways that are unbreakable by conventional cryptographic methods,” said Duncan McBranch. (Full Story)

Also from Engineering.com




Los Alamos’ explosive history ushered in nuclear age

Newly renovated Ashley Pond.  Photo from The Chieftain.

Sprawled across the vast mesas of the Pajarito Plateau with the Jemez Mountains looming darkly in the background, it looks, at first glance, like many other isolated backwaters in the American West.

In the early 1940s, as World War II raged across Europe and the Pacific, this remote, sparsely inhabited area 32 miles northwest of Santa Fe was being converted into a top-secret government complex to create what was, at that time, the most powerful and destructive military weapon ever known. (Full Story)


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Friday, September 5, 2014



Science Matters: LANL scientists take closer look at rain

Graphic from the New Mexican.        

“The fact that they [heavy downpours] are extreme means they don’t happen often, so it’s hard to separate the signal from the noise,” says Todd Ringler, an atmospheric scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, describing one of the most critical issues in the ongoing debate over global warming. “The challenge gets back to weather and climate,” he said. “We observe extreme events in terms of weather events, but we’re trying to understand extreme events in the realm of climate. It’s a tough job.” (Full Story)




LANL may have answer to computer security

Illustration from ABQ Biz First.            

Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists have developed a quantum random number generator that could change the face of computer security. Now, LANL has licensed the technology to Allied Minds, a firm in Boston that aims to build the next generation of cryptography though it subsidiary, Whitewood Encryption Systems Inc.

The deal is the largest technology transfer licensing agreement ever for LANL, according to Whitewood. (Full Story)



Light particles may hold the keys to a revolution in encryption

Quantum Key, LANL photo.

The largest information technology licensing deal ever signed by the Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory may one day produce uncrackable encryption for use in personal communications, e-commerce, banking and critical infrastructure data transfer.

Los Alamos has developed a way to encrypt data by using the random spin of photons — single light particles — to create cryptographic keys. This represents a vast improvement over current cryptological systems. (Full Story)

Also from NextGov



NASA to fund research at NMSU

Researchers will use the Apache Peak Observatory in Southern New Mexico. NMSU photo.

New Mexico NASA Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) has awarded a grant of $749,893 to New Mexico State University astronomers for research to be conducted over the next three years.         

Jovian Interiors from Velocimetry Experiment (JIVE) team includes NMSU’s Jason Jackiewicz and Patrick Gaulme, researchers from NASA and Didier Saumon from Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)



NERSC reveals 44 NESAP code teams

To ensure that the highly diverse workloads of the DOE science community continue to be supported as over 5,000 users make the transition to Cori, the partners launched the NERSC Exascale Science Applications Program (NESAP).

The 20 NESAP teams include the Multi-Scale Ocean Simulation for Studying Global to Regional Climate Change by Todd Ringler of Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)




Fargo selected as site for National Agricultural Genotyping Center

The National Corn Growers Association's Corn Board today announced that Fargo, N.D., will be the site of the National Agricultural Genotyping Center.   

The NAGC partnership brings together Los Alamos National Laboratory, the premier research institution in the world with a proven track record in developing high-throughput genotyping technology. (Full Story)


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Friday, August 29, 2014



Biofilm shatters serious skin infections

Cross section of skin layers shows topical application of an ionic liquid for combating a skin-borne bacterial infection. UCSB illustration.

Biofilms are the first line of defense for harmful bacteria and make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult because microorganisms protected in a biofilm have antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment.

“In essence, we may have stumbled onto a magic bullet,” said David Fox, a Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher. “Through a robust screening strategy, our research team has identified a unique class of materials.” (Full Story)



Antibacterial approach could resolve skin infections

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria account for some 80 percent of total bacterial infections in humans and are 50 to 1,000 times more resistant to antibiotics than simpler bacterial infections. (Full Story)

Also from Medical Design Technology



Los Alamos National Lab’s R&D fueling new quantum-crypto firm

Quantum Key encryption device developed at LANL. LANL photo.

Technology development firm AlliedMinds says it has set up a new company, Whitewood Encryption Systems, to develop quantum-crypto technology under an R&D licensing arrangement with Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Photon-based quantum crypto has been known to face some technical difficulties, such as geographical distance limitations, but it offers considerable promise due to ways it can be used to generate what are believed to be unique unbreakable keys, among other attributes. (Full Story)



Particle physics to aid nuclear cleanup

Postdoc Elena Guardincerri, right, and undergraduate research assistant Shelby Fellows prepare a lead hemisphere for muon tomography. LANL photo.

An international team of physicists and engineers plans to use these particles to peek inside Fukushima Daiichi’s reactor cores. The team hopes that with muon-vision, the exact level of destruction inside—and consequently the best method of decommissioning the site—will become clear.

Since the early 2000s, a small team at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has developed technology that uses muons to examine fragile or otherwise inaccessible nuclear materials. (Full Story)




Ion beams simulate nuclear-reactor damage

Three accelerators at the Michigan Ion Beam Laboratory. U. Mich. photo.

Damage to nuclear-reactor components caused by neutron irradiation across several years can be simulated with ion beams in just a few days. That is the finding of researchers in the US, who have used ions to create the same fabric of tiny structural defects found in long-running reactors.

Microstructural damage to the duct had already been studied extensively by researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory using atom probe microscopy, electron microscopy and other techniques. (Full Story)



Robots come out in full force

Several robotics teams from Los Alamos gathered at the Bradbury Science Museum on Friday to show off their handmade robots. In attendance were Project Y from Los Alamos High School, FIRST Robotics team from UNM-LA, FIRST Lego Atomic Phoenixes, FIRST Tech Challenge from Los Alamos Middle School and the Radioactive Fireflies. (Full Story)


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