Friday, July 25, 2014

New technology allows hair to reflect almost any color

Hair color goes high-tech (courtesy photo)
What if you could alter your hair to reflect any color in the spectrum? What if you could use a flatiron to press a pattern into your new hair color? Those are possibilities suggested by researchers from the University of New Mexico and Los Alamos National Laboratories. (full story)

National labs snare 9 innovation ‘Oscars’

LANL’s Acoustic Wavenumber Spectroscopy (AWS), which
generates images of hidden structural properties and/or defects.
(LANL photo)
The National Nuclear Security Administration national laboratories – Sandia, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore – have landed nine of R&D Magazine’s 2013 R&D 100 Awards, also known as the “Oscars of Innovation.” (full story)

Also appearing this week in the Albuquerque Journal:

Scholarships open door for grad

Scholarship winner Raymond Fasano plans to study
engineering at Tufts University (courtesy photo)
Raymond Fasano didn’t have much money growing up and had to rely on only one parent for everything.

The Bernalillo High School valedictorian didn’t let that deter him from excelling.

His diligence earned him two major financial aid packages. Fasano was accepted into the QuestBridge program, and he is the recipient of a $30,000 scholarship from the Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund. (full story)

Three Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers have been named among the most influential scientists in the world.

Scholarship winner Raymond Fasano plans to study
engineering at Tufts University (courtesy photo)
Hepatitis C researcher Alan Perelson and HIV researcher Bette Korber, along with mass spectrometry researcher Allison Aiken, were named to Thomson Reuters Corp.’s list of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds,” released Tuesday. (full story)

This story also appeared in the Albuquerque Journal and the Los Alamos Monitor

And also appearing this week in the Santa Fe New Mexican:

Native student to receive business scholarship

Los Alamos National Security LLC, working through the Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation, is offering a $1,000 Northern New Mexico Tribal Business Scholarship for Native American students who are already pursuing business degrees. (full story)

Mechanism Found for Development of Protective HIV Antibodies

Scientists at Duke University and Los Alamos find
a vulnerability in HIV that could lead to a vaccine
(courtesy image)
Scientists at Duke Medicine have found an immunologic mechanism that makes broadly neutralizing antibodies in people who are HIV-1 infected.

These findings, published online July 24, 2014, in the journal Cell, are a major development toward determining the key to induction of potent neutralizing antibodies by an HIV vaccine.

…study authors included Peter Hraber and Bette T. Korber of Los Alamos National Laboratory…. (full story)

Bechtel-UC Teams at US National Laboratories Win Six R&D 100 Awards

LANL’s Safire, an R&D 100 Award winner (LANL photo)
Bechtel announced today that researchers from two U.S. national laboratories managed and operated by Bechtel partnerships have earned six 2014 R&D 100 Awards, known as the Oscars of Invention.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory teams collected four awards and Los Alamos National Laboratory teams received two. R&D Magazine gives the awards to recognize the top 100 technology products of the year, honoring cutting-edge scientific and engineering technologies with commercial potential. (full story)

This story also appeared in the Yahoo! News

How I make science and research work as a business

Gary Grider (courtesy Albuquerque Business First)
With a high population of science-based jobs in the state, the art of mixing science and business is something New Mexico might be able to thrive in. To find out how that can best be done, Albuquerque Business First spoke to Gary Grider, who works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. He gave us a few tips about how business and science can work together to create stronger industries. (full story)

Los Alamos National Laboratory launches new student app

Los Alamos National Laboratory recently launched its new student mobile app students and postdoctoral candidates can use to learn about employment opportunities, science research, education programs and more. (full story)

Thuc Hoang, Trinity Project Manager, National Nuclear Security Administration

Illustration of the Trinity Supercomputer, from Cray Inc.
Forty-two petaFLOPS equals one big upgrade for the National Nuclear Security Administration. A new super computer dubbed Trinity will be assembled next year at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The $174 million deal with Cray is one of the biggest contracts in the supercomputer manufacturers history. Cray also built supercomputer Cielo, which will be retired after Trinity is up and running. Thuc Hoang is the Trinity project manager in the Office for Advanced Simulation and Computing at the NNSA. She told Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive how supercomputing supports the mission. (full story)

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Friday, July 11, 2014

Cray to Develop New Supercomputer to Manage Nuclear Stockpile

Illustration from Cray Inc.
Cray Inc will develop a supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration. The deal, worth $174 million, is one of the largest contracts in Cray’s history.

The supercomputer, named Trinity, is projected to be one of the fastest in the world when it’s built at the Los Alamos National Laboratories. The NNSA, part of the Department of Energy, manages the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile, a responsibility that includes running virtual simulations testing the stockpile’s safety, security, reliability and performance. (full story)

This story also appeared in ABC News, PC World, HPC Wire, US News, Albuquerque Journal and many other outlets

Imaging the Fukushima Daiichi reactors with cosmic-ray muons

Reactor building at Fukushima plant.
Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico, US, will team up with Toshiba Corporation to use muon tomography to safely peer inside the cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. The initiative could reduce the time required to clean up the disabled complex by at least a decade, and greatly reduce plant personnel exposure to radiation. (full story)

Earth-crushing pressure? This electron spin doesn’t care

Magnetic diffraction in a high-pressure
diamond anvil cell.  From PhysOrg
To fully understand something, it is often instructive to view it at its extremes. How do materials behave when their bits are forced much closer together than is comfortable? How do electrons accommodate proximity? What normal behaviors break down?

The researchers in this study, from Argonne; The University of Chicago; Los Alamos National Laboratory; the NSF; the University of Tennessee; and Oak Ridge calculated the ranges of energy that an electron may assume. (full story)

A new TV series highlights the legends of the “Manhattan Project”

Los Alamos office at 109 E. Palace Ave, Santa Fe.
From KOAT.
It was the 1940s, and people on the outside could only wonder what was going on “up on the hill.” What was the top-secret mission? “The Manhattan Project was arguably history’s largest, most secret scientific effort.”

Only the best and brightest scientists knew the magnitude of the assignment in the remote desert, today's Los Alamos.  Los Alamos was really the ideal location.  That's where the world's first atomic bomb was developed, ending world war two.

LAPD competes in Robot Rodeo

Robots Rodeo, LANL photo.
Even though the title has as the word “rodeo” in it, it was all business at the 2014 Western National Robot Rodeo. The event took place June 23-27 inside the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Technical Area 49.

This year, five bomb squads from New Mexico and their bomb-diffusing robots participated, as well as two teams from Colorado and one team from the United Kingdom. (full story)

Los Alamos National Security gives grants to local businesses

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) employees pledged a record $327,000 during the recently completed scholarship fund drive. More employees donated to the fund this year than in past years.

“Our employees know first-hand that education can unlock opportunity for these talented students who hold the promise to be future leaders in government, industry, or the nonprofit sector,” said Los Alamos’ Environmental Programs Director Jeff Mousseau. (full story)

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Gates says fixing education toughest challenge

Bill Gates with Charlie McMillan (left) and Gary Grider at the Laboratory's Metropolis Computing Center. LANL photo.

Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates says eradicating malaria is easier than fixing the United States’ education system. But what he really wishes he could do is write a check to eliminate biological, chemical and nuclear weapons.

Gates made the comments in a 45-minute talk Monday to employees at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was in northern New Mexico for a private tour of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons facility. (Full Story)

Bill Gates talks health, education in LANL visit

Gates speaks to Lab employees.  LANL photo.               

The world’s richest man said he saw some great science during a brief visit Monday to Los Alamos National Laboratory. “Obviously, I believe in science and innovation,” said Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft and co-chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Gates was introduced by LANL Director Charles McMillan, who identified lab interns in the audience who were recipients of Gates Foundation scholarships. (Full Story)

Also in the Albuquerque Journal and Los Alamos Monitor

Scientists ignite aluminum water mix

Bryce Tappan ignites a small quantity of aluminum nanoparticle water mixture. LANL photo.

Research by Los Alamos National Laboratory explosives scientist Bryce Tappan, published as the cover story in the prestigious German journal of chemistry Angewandte Chemie, for the first time confirms that chemical kinetics—the speed of a chemical reaction—is a primary function in determining nanoaluminum combustion burn rates.

Tappan and his co-authors, Matthew Dirmyer of Los Alamos, and Grant Risha of Penn State University, made this discovery by looking for the “kinetic isotope effect” in nanoaluminum particles. (Full Story)

In virus hunt, Saudi Arabia suspects African camel imports

Somali camels are seen before being exported to Middle East countries. Reuters photo.

Lisa Murillo, an expert in virology and affiliate scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the United States, said she had analyzed data on human MERS cases in the Middle East and camel imports from the Horn of Africa - and found striking correlations that cry out for further investigation.

As a result of her findings, Murillo says she has developed what she acknowledges is a "very speculative hypothesis" - that the number of MERS cases in Arabian Peninsula countries is related to the number of camels imported into those countries. (Full Story)

Record $327,000 pledged by LANL employees in 2014 scholarship drive

2014 Los Alamos Employees' Scholarship recipient Nicolette Gonzales, right, talks with Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan. LANL photo.

Los Alamos National Laboratory employees pledged a record $327,000 during the recently completed 2014 Los Alamos Employees’ Scholarship Fund (LAESF) drive.

Coupled with $250,000 in matching funds from Los Alamos National Security, LLC, which manages and operates the Laboratory, the total amount contributed in this year’s campaign is more than $577,000. (Full Story)

Ten local companies win funding from Los Alamos Venture Acceleration Fund

Ten New Mexico companies have been awarded funds from the Los Alamos Venture Acceleration Fund.

Los Alamos National Security, which manages Los Alamos National Laboratory, has invested approximately $3 million via the Venture Acceleration Fund in 49 companies in New Mexico. (Full Story)

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Scientist highlights the importance of teachers

Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Charlie McMillan
(Courtesy Photo)
The leader of the federal science lab founded to create the atomic bomb said here Monday said that having more citizens educated in science “will create a better democracy.”

Science and technology have become such driving forces in society that having a population of voters who understand the issues “will make a better society,” Charles F. McMillan, director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said Monday at the 4th annual EXSEED Conference at Loma Linda University. (full story)

Science Matters: LANL group working on improving solar cells

Quantum dot LSC devices under ultraviolet illumination
(LANL Photo)
One of the tours offered to community members this month at Los Alamos National Laboratory took them behind the security fence to the Center for Advanced Photophysics. There, bent over spectroscopes, reaching into glove boxes and turning on high-powered lasers in darkened rooms, free of dust and ambient vibrations, a team of about 30 people are working to realize a more perfect solar cell. (full story)

This story also appeared in Compound Semiconductor, Laser Focus World, Photonics dot com, and the Los Alamos Monitor

Researchers Review Studies on Nanotwinned Metallic Materials

Bright-field transmission electron microscopy (TEM) images
of magnetron sputtered (a) epitaxial nanotwinned (NT) Cu,
(b) epitaxial NT Ag (20), (c) polycrystalline NT 330 stainless
steel films (arrows indicate the location of twin boundaries),
and (d) electrodeposited (ED) NT Cu (14). (e) EBSD image of
a defective twin boundary in sputtered NT Cu (X indicates a
twin boundary that has defects—the so-called defective twin
boundary). ( f ) Extremely fine twins in ED NT Cu nanopillars.
(g) NT Au nanowires. (Courtesy Image)
Dr. Xinghang Zhang and his colleagues, Irene J. Beyerlein and Amit Misra from Los Alamos National Labs, reviewed studies on nanotwinned metallic materials. Nanotwins were shown to induce numerous unique properties in metallic materials, including high strength and ductility, high temperature thermal stability and superior radiation tolerance. (full story)

Robot Rodeo Underway at Los Alamos National Lab

A competitor at the annual Robot Rodeo tests his skill
(LANL Photo)
Eight teams from around the Southwest will be putting their bomb squad robots to the test as part of a three-day competition at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (full story)

This story also aired twice on KRQE (story 1, story 2) and on KOAT

Probing Fukushima with Cosmic Rays Should Speed Cleanup

Los Alamos National Laboratory postdoctoral researcher Elena
Guardincerri, right, and undergraduate research assistant Shelby
Fellows prepare a lead hemisphere inside a muon tomography
machine, which can peer inside closed containers and provide
detailed images of dense objects such as nuclear materials or
other items of interest. (LANL Photo)
Los Alamos National Laboratory will partner with Toshiba Corporation to use a Los Alamos technique called muon tomography to safely peer inside the cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and create high-resolution images of the damaged nuclear material inside without ever breaching the cores themselves. The initiative could reduce the time required to clean up the disabled complex by at least a decade and greatly reduce radiation exposure to personnel working at the plant. (full story)

Nvidia, ARM Team Up to Tackle Supercomputing

Three computer makers have signed on to use Nvidia graphics processors and ARM-based CPU cores to launch the world's first 64-bit ARM development systems for high performance computing (HPC).

In addition, Nvidia is working with Los Alamos National Laboratory to "explore how we can unite GPU acceleration with novel technologies like ARM to drive new levels of scientific discovery and innovation," said Pat McCormick, senior scientist at the lab. "We aim to leverage the latest technology advances, both within and beyond the HPC market, to move science forward in entirely new ways." (full story)

Observations and simulations improve space weather models

NASA's Van Allen Probes sample the Earth's magnetosphere.
(LANL Image)
Los Alamos researchers and collaborators used data from NASA's Van Allen Probes to demonstrate an improved computer model to help forecast what is happening in the radiation environment of near-Earth space—a place seething with fast-moving particles and a space weather system that varies in response to incoming energy and particles from the sun, potentially threatening satellites that orbit there. The work was published in a pair of articles in a special section on early results from the Van Allen probes in the Geophysical Research Letters. (full story)

Photosynthesis research project wins $14.4m funding from US Department of Energy

A research project aimed at understanding and learning from the natural process of photosynthesis to advance the development of clean energy has received further funding from the US Department of Energy totaling $14.4m.

The PARC collaboration is hosted and administered by Washington University whose partners include investigators from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, North Carolina State University, Northwestern University, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, University of California-Riverside, University of Glasgow, University of New Mexico, University of Pennsylvania, University of Sheffield,, Princeton University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Penn State. (full story)

Multi-fuel power generation gets boost with NICTA deal

NICTA’s Hugh Durrant-Whyte (Courtesy Photo)
The global demand for efficient ‘multi-fuel’ electricity generation has brought together some of the world’s leading computer scientists in an R&D effort aimed at creating systems to connect and manage electricity and natural gas supplies on a shared platform.

As part of a deal announced today the work will take place under a twelve-month Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between NICTA and Los Alamos National Laboratory, announced today. (full story)

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