Diverse science at N.M. labs

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By Harold Morgan

When someone else sets up the argument, columnists become happy. A page one headline and story about a new device from Sandia National Laboratories generated happiness. That’s because the device has nothing to do with nuclear weapons, so far as I can tell. Nor is it military. The relationship to national security seems direct, again from this layman’s view, though that relationship travels the public health route, certainly a national security matter.
The argument here is that New Mexico’s federal research sector — Los Alamos National Laboratory, Sandia, White Sands Missile Range, and other military research and development organizations — is diverse, tackling big science topics well beyond the core national defense-nuclear weapons subjects. The topic was a five-inch cube of plastic called SpinDx designed for field use to quickly test people for toxins, bacteria, or viruses. SpinDx was developed at Sandia’s Livermore, Calif., branch. Collaborators include the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the Department of Agriculture’s Western Regional Research Center and Bio-Rad Laboratories of California.

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