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Science And Technology Highlights At LANL In 2017

on January 5, 2018 - 6:53am
Los Alamos National Laboratory put its Big Science capabilities to wide, productive use in 2017. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

With a top-story list populated by breakthroughs in supercomputing, accelerator science, space missions, materials science, life science, and more, Los Alamos National Laboratory put its Big Science capabilities to wide, productive use in 2017.

“No discipline left untouched—that’s the story from Los Alamos in 2017,” said Alan Bishop, Principal Associate Director for Science, Technology and Engineering at Los Alamos.

Recent Contamination Events At LANL Did Not Result In Radiological Uptake

on January 4, 2018 - 8:49am
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

A spokesperson for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said Wednesday that contamination events at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Plutonium Facility noted in recent weekly reports filed by Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) staff were reported as part of a Radiation Protection Observation Process employed at LANL.

“None of the identified contamination events rose to a level requiring Occurrence Reporting.

LANL: Tweaking Quantum Dots Powers Up Double Pane Solar Windows

on January 3, 2018 - 7:00am

Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are creating double-pane solar windows that generate electricity with greater efficiency and create shading and insulation. It’s all made possible by a new window architecture which utilizes two different layers of low-cost quantum dots tuned to absorb different parts of the solar spectrum. The approach complements existing photovoltaic technology by adding high-efficiency sunlight collectors to existing solar panels or integrating them as semitransparent windows into a building’s architecture. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Engineered quantum dots

Nature On Tap: Recent Discoveries In Astronomy At UnQuarked Thursday

on January 2, 2018 - 5:00pm

PEEC News:

Nature on Tap is 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at UnQuarked in Central Park Square. Local astronomers and astrophysicists Dr. Galen Gisler, Dr. Steve Becker and Dr. Paul Arendt will provide an engaging discussion about gravitational waves, the creation of precious metals, black holes, neutron stars, the night sky and upcoming planetarium shows. Nature on Tap is part of a series of conversations about art, history, nature, and science. 

Gisler was born under the dark and starry skies of eastern New Mexico and eventually found his way back to his home state.

NSF Awards $5.7 Million To Protect U.S. Cyberspace

on December 29, 2017 - 9:14am

HSNW News:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently gave the nation’s cybersecurity professionals a boost with the inclusion of four new universities into its CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.

NSF awarded nearly $5.7 million, with an expected total of almost $16.6 million over the next five years, to universities in Illinois, Maryland, Louisiana and Texas.

Promising New Wildfire Behavior Model May Aid Fire Managers In Near Real Time

on December 29, 2017 - 9:04am

NASA Global Fire Map. Courtesy/NASA

HSNW News:

Wildfires continue to scar California beyond the normal fire season in what’s been a particularly catastrophic year for natural disasters across the U.S. But a new big-data solution for predicting wildfire spread is also heating up, and it may become a useful tool in the firefighters’ arsenal, according to wildfire researchers attending the 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting.

The more readily available updates of wildfire behavior are, the more informed the decisions of fire managers, according to the researchers.

AGU: Scientists Engineer Microbes To Form ‘Memories’ Of Their Environment

on December 27, 2017 - 10:35am
Inserting chemically sensitive genes into the DNA of bacteria can produce lasting memories of their environment and show scientists how they communicate. Courtesy/Pixabay
 
AGU News:
By JEREMY REHM
 
Microbes like bacteria aren’t conscious enough to form memories, but a group of scientists in Texas developed a new way for them to do so at the genetic level.
 
Researchers report they’ve successfully engineered microbes to report on their environments and form genetic “memories” of the event.

AGU: Algae Growth Reduces Reflectivity, Enhances Greenland Ice Sheet Melting

on December 22, 2017 - 5:23am
AGU News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — New research shows algae growing on the Greenland ice sheet, the Earth’s second-largest ice sheet, significantly reduce the surface reflectivity of the ice sheet’s bare ice area and contribute more to its melting than dust or black carbon.
 
The new findings could influence scientists’ understanding of ice sheet melting and projections of future sea level rise, according to the study’s authors.
 
Glaciologists have long known materials such as mineral dust and black carbon can darken the surface of large ice sheets.

Texas A&M Representatives Meet With Local Leaders On LANL Managing And Operating Contract

on December 18, 2017 - 9:54am

Texas A&M representatives meet with Los Alamos community leaders and Regional Coalition of LANL Communities staff Friday morning at La Cocina Restaurant in Espanola. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz, left, chats with Assistant Vice Chancellor Scott Sudduth of Texas A&M University’s Office of Federal Relations and Senior Advisor Diane Hurtado for Strategic Initiatives at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station Friday in Espanola. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

 

By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post

Manhattan Project Unsung Hero: Mathematician Ulam

on December 16, 2017 - 6:58am
Mathematician Stanislaw Ulam is featured in a display in the Hans Bethe House, part of the Los Alamos History Museum. Courtesy photo

Ulam used this slide rule--before calculators were invented--to solve many mathematical problems. Courtesy photo
 
By HEATHER MCCLENAHAN
Los Alamos Historical Society
  • A mathematician does something on a piece of paper & then lo & behold a big explosion may occur. —Stanislaw Ulam, 1967, written in his desk drawer.
 
Stan Ulam may be one of the least known of the leading Manhattan Project scientists.

Four Scientists Win Los Alamos Medal

on December 14, 2017 - 8:51am

The Los Alamos Medal was established in 2001 to honor those who have contributed to the Laboratory at the highest level. Courtesy/LANL

LANL News:

  • Cram, Deaven, Menlove and Moyzis receive Laboratory’s highest honor

Los Alamos National Laboratory will award four former researchers with the Los Alamos Medal for their scientific contributions. Scott Cram, Larry Deaven, Robert Moyzis and Howard Menlove will receive the award, the highest honor bestowed by the Laboratory.

The team of Cram, Deaven, and Moyzis are recognized for their work sequencing the human genome and Menlove for his work on

AGU: New Simulations Suggest Meteors Explode From The Inside

on December 12, 2017 - 11:37am
AGU News:
 
NEW ORLEANS, LA — Researchers have identified an explosive new mechanism that breaks down meteors as they hurtle toward Earth.
 
New simulations of falling meteors suggest air particles penetrate the space rocks’ porous interiors as they careen through the atmosphere. These air particles create pockets of high pressure that ultimately lead the rock to explode from the inside, tens of kilometers above the Earth.
 
By uncovering this new way in which Earth’s atmosphere breaks up meteors, the new finding suggests the atmosphere may provide better protection against meteors than

New Mexico History Museum And Santa Fe Opera Presentations Recognize State’s ‘Atomic Histories’

on December 12, 2017 - 10:46am
Test of Atomic Bomb at Trinity Site, New Mexico, July 16, 1945, near Alamogordo, NM. Palace of the Governors Photo Archives. Courtesy/National Park Service
 
General Leslie Groves walks across the Trinity Site in September 1945, 45 days after the first nuclear bomb was tested there. Courtesy/Historical AP News Features Photo
 
NMHM News:
 
SANTA FE  The New Mexico History Museum and the Santa Fe Opera will each feature presentations exploring New Mexico’s Atomic Histories during 2018 and 2019.
 
The History Museum’s Atomic Histories exhibition opens June 3, 2018 and runs through May 2019.

National Institute Of Justice Examines Use Of 3D Printers In Crime-Solving

on December 11, 2017 - 9:50am
DOJ News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C.  The Office of Justice Programs National Institute of Justice has published an article online that provides an overview of how 3D printing technology is being used by criminal justice practitioners in firearm identification.
 
The NIJ-funded research determines best practices and provides credibility for use of the technology in a forensic science capacity:
 
The Next Generation of Crime Tools and Challenges: 3D Printing
  • Researchers who developed a 3-D imaging system for analyzing cartridge casings say their latest work is “a critical next step” that gives

LAMS Hawks Sweep Robotics Tournament

on December 8, 2017 - 6:44am
Alpha Hawks are generally on the left and top row and the Beta Hawks are on the right middle and bottom in similar T-shirt styles and Logos. Photograph by Heath Watkins
 
By ANN COOKE
Los Alamos
 
Los Alamos Middle School’s two robotics teams travelled to Phoenix over the weekend to compete in Glendale’s FIRST Technical Challenge (FTC) Qualifying Tournament.
 
The Alpha Hawks, a team comprised of mostly eight graders, and the Beta Hawks, a team comprised of seventh graders, competed in a field of over twenty robotics teams, and were two of only three middle school teams attending in

EM’s Los Alamos Field Office Awards Contractor 84 Percent of Available Fee

on December 6, 2017 - 4:33pm

​Technicians load the last remediation notrate salt drum for transportation. Courtesy photo

LANL News:  

The cleanup contractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) earned approximately 84 percent of the available fee for fiscal year (FY) 2017, according to a recently released award fee scorecard from the EM Los Alamos Field Office (EM-LA).

Los Alamos National Security (LANS) received $8,458,736 of an available $10,083,579 fee. In its scorecard, EM-LA noted the contractor’s strong performance in several areas, including: 

  • Successfully completing an operational test of the Chromium

Free Weekly Raspberry Pi Club At Los Alamos Makers

on December 6, 2017 - 2:33pm
Einstein meets Raspberry Pi is one of the projects completed at Los Alamos Makers. The bust of Albert Einstein was 3D printed and brought to life with Raspberry Pi-powered animated eyes. Courtesy/Prisca Tiassé Yoder

Los Alamos Makers News:

“It's small. It's cheap” ($10). “You can turn it into an environmental monitor that can keep track of the temperature in your house, and even turn on your fan or air conditioner before you get home from work.”

This is how Akkana Peck describes the Raspberry Pi in her latest book, “Jumpstarting the Raspberry Pi zero - Controlling the world around you with

Los Alamos National Laboratory: Computer Simulations Reveal Roots Of Drug Resistance

on December 6, 2017 - 11:43am
Bacterial efflux pumps, such as the P. aeruginosa MexAB-OprM pump shown here, are one of the dominant molecular mechanisms available to Gram-negative pathogens for removing toxins, including antibiotics. Inactivation of the pump assembly and function would be a major step for reducing bacterial multidrug resistance. Courtesy/LANL
 
LANL News:
 
New supercomputer simulations have revealed the role of transport proteins called efflux pumps in creating drug-resistance in bacteria, research that could lead to improving the drugs’ effectiveness against life-threatening diseases and restoring

Heinrich Releases Video Promoting Computer Science Education Week, STEM Education

on December 5, 2017 - 9:18am
U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
 
U.S. SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee, released the following video promoting "Hour of Code" events taking place this week across New Mexico during Computer Science Education Week.
 
 
The Hour of Code is a national initiative to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming, designed to demystify "code," to show that anybody can learn the

LANL FY2017 Hazardous Waste Facility Noncompliance Numbers Decline

on December 4, 2017 - 3:39pm
By MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos Daily Post
 
 

Los Alamos National Laboratory had 25 noncompliance reports under its Hazardous Waste Facility Permit from the New Mexico Environment between Oct. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, according to a report filed Nov. 28 with state.

The number is down from 100 instances in 2016 and 400 in 2015. The report also states that there were no releases from a permitted unit that could have posed a threat to human health or the environment.

Noncompliance issues included containers not labeled “hazardous waste”, failure to protect two containers

LANL: First Efficacy Study Announced For HIV-1 Preventive ‘Mosaic’ Vaccine

on December 4, 2017 - 9:24am
LANL theoretical biologist Bette Korber. Courtesy/LANL
 
LANL News:
 
International partners are announcing the first efficacy study for an investigational HIV-1-preventive “mosaic” vaccine. Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson are joining forces with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and National Institutes of Health on this study, and they have enlisted the aid of top researchers worldwide to conduct the trial.
 
The HIV-1 mosaic vaccine in the trial was originally designed at Los Alamos National Laboratory by theoretical biologist Bette Korber and her team.
 

Descartes Labs And UbiQD Announce Expansions

on November 28, 2017 - 9:39am

Two high-tech companies announced their expansion with a celebration Monday morning at UbiQD's Eastgate headquarters in Los Alamos. From left, Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Matt Geisel, Los Alamos County Economic Development Administrator Joan Ahlers, UbiQD CEO Hunter McDaniel, Descartes Lab CEO Mark Johnson, Los Alamos National Laboratory Chief Technology Officer Duncan McBranch and Los Alamos County Council Chair David Izraelevitz. Photo by Maire O'Neill/ladailypost.com

UbiQD CEO Hunter McDaniel, left, and Descartes Lab CEO Mark Johnson chat before Monday's announcement.

Quantum Dots Amplify Light With Electrical Pumping

on November 21, 2017 - 8:20am

A collage showing a transmission electron microscopy image of the improved quantum dot and its representation, left, the schematic of the device, which nicely illustrates “current-focusing” idea, center, and the device under operation at right. Courtesy photo

LANL News:

Los Alamos achieves light amplification with electrically stimulated quantum dots, critical step towards solution-processible laser diodes

In a breakthrough development, Los Alamos scientists have shown that they can successfully amplify light using electrically excited films of the chemically synthesized semiconductor

Eight Los Alamos Innovations Win R&D 100 Awards

on November 20, 2017 - 11:48am

Eight Los Alamos National Laboratory projects won R&D 100 awards last week at R&D Magazine’s annual ceremony. Courtesy/ R&D 100

 

LANL News:

  •  ‘Oscars of Invention’ honor the latest and best innovations of the past year

 

Eight Los Alamos National Laboratory technologies won R&D 100 Awards last week at R&D Magazine’s annual ceremony in Orlando, Fla. 

 

“The R&D 100 Awards represent the breadth, depth and innovation of the science and engineering at our Laboratory.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Trinity Supercomputer Lands On Two Top-10 Lists

on November 17, 2017 - 4:23pm
The Trinity supercomputer, with both Xeon Haswell and the Xeon Phi Knights Landing processors, is the seventh fastest supercomputer on the TOP 500 list, and number three on the High Performance Conjugate Gradients Benchmark project. Courtesy photo
 
LANL News:
 
The Trinity Supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory was recently named as a top 10 supercomputer on two lists: it made number three on the High Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) Benchmark project, and is number seven on the TOP500 list.
 
“Trinity has already made unique contributions to important national security

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